Earlier this year, I did a weeklong review of possible 2008 Presidential candidates. At the time, neither I nor anyone else knew that Congressman Duncan Hunter would join the field (sixth item); in fact, my political radar missed him entirely. Had I known then what I know now, I would have placed him at the top of the list. As it is, Hunter's decision to enter the race is the best political news for anti-Communists this side of the recent Canadian election.
Duncan Hunter has served in the United States House of Representatives for over a quarter-century; and for the last few years he has been Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. During his tenure in Washington, he has been one of the loudest anti-Communist voices in town. He was a leading opponent of PNTR for Communist China (Newsmax), and an original co-sponsor of the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act. He even authored a bill to revoke PNTR after the Hainan outrage, and is an original co-sponsor of the House version of the currency corrective tariff (UPDATE: He also co-sponsored the House resolution against Communist China's attempt to buy out Unocal).
Thus, Hunter has a long and detailed record of being not merely and anti-Communist vote in Congress, but an anti-Communist leader in Congress. Moreover, his tenure as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee gives him immediate credibility on other national security issues. He is also a Vietnam War veteran - the only veteran in the Republican field besides John McCain.
His biggest drawback is the fact that, outside of Washington and San Diego, he is a near-complete unknown. However, in the current political environment, that is not as much of a problem as it would normally be. The 2008 presidential race is still one of the most wide-open in recent memory, especially on the Republican side. Additionally, Hunter would be the most reliable candidate for "social conservatives," and shares Congressman Tom Tancredo's views on illegal immigration (without much of the baggage inflicted on Tancredo because he, Hunter, has approached the issue more exclusively on security grounds). In fact, given Tancredo's previous statements that he would only run "if no one else will take up" the illegal immigration issue (Parapundit), there is a good chance he might support Hunter himself (or perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part).
In any event, if Hunter can get enough recognition and traction, he could very well establish himself as a leading 2008 candidate (i.e., the alternative to John McCain), at which point, anything can happen. As for the general election, Hunter will likely be underestimated, and thus begin as the underdog. However, his record of service, coupled with his prescient views on Communist China and America's terrorist enemies, will make him a much more compelling general election candidate than most people in Washington realize. Moreover, as a Californian, he would at worst force the Democrats to expend resources and time in that state; at best, he could very well flip it into the Republican column, which would all but ensure his election.
In other words, President Duncan Hunter is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
More to the point, we will not see a more principled, venerated, and thoughtful anti-Communist in the race than we have in Duncan Hunter.
For that reason, I hereby endorse Duncan Hunter for President without reservation.