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No joke: Sharron Angle is running again

CARSON CITY — Sharron Angle is running for office again? Seriously?

The same person who just lost a high-profile national race by 6 percentage points to wildly unpopular Harry Reid, considered the most vulnerable incumbent in the nation in 2010? And who before that lost a race for state Senate and before that a race for Congress?

That Sharron Angle?

The same person who throughout the entire 2010 Senate campaign literally ran away, hid and employed decoys to avoid even the most tepid questions from reporters? Who would only appear on conservative talk shows? Who told an interviewer she wanted the press to be her friend, and to report the news the way she wanted it reported? Who scrubbed her pre-primary website after she won the Republican Senate primary, and published a sanitized version later?

Seriously? She’s running for office again?

The same person who said that God had prepared her — like St. Paul or Jesus himself — to run for the U.S. Senate? Who said God had been in her campaign from the beginning? But who never explained how — if that was really so — she failed to win?

The same person who told a radio audience that, if Congress keeps going the way it’s going, people are going to look to "Second Amendment remedies" for relief? Who agreed with another interviewer who said there were "domestic enemies" within the walls of the Congress? That Sharron Angle is running again? Really?

The same person who said during the primary campaign for Senate that we needed to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare, but after the primary flip-flopped to say she wanted to save Social Security but nonetheless would favor partially privatized accounts for younger workers? The same person who said she wanted to shrink the size of government, by eliminating the Education Department?

The same person who said she would counsel a woman who had gotten pregnant as the result of a rape to take that "lemon situation and make lemonade"? Who said she could never envision a situation where abortion would be acceptable? That Sharron Angle is running for office again?

The same person who ran notoriously racist television advertisements depicting shadowy immigrants slinking along a fence, but who claimed the actors were not Latinos but possibly Canadians? Who said the Sept. 11 hijackers came into the United States via the Canadian border (they did not)? Who told an audience of Latino students that some of them looked "a little bit Asian" to her? And who ended her campaign by using photographs of obviously Latino men menacing a scared white family to illustrate her position on immigration?

That Sharron Angle? Seriously?

Yes. It’s that Sharron Angle. And yes, she’s serious.

In fact, by choosing to run for the congressional seat that Rep. Dean Heller is giving up in a bid to replace U.S. Sen. John Ensign, Angle has made her most intelligent choice well, ever. Like her or not, Angle has a real chance of winning the 2nd Congressional District. Yes, she lost to Reid, and decisively. But in terms of real votes, she was only 40,000 behind. And her two previous losses were close enough to prove that Angle waged respectable campaigns both times.

She’s got the unquestionable ability to raise money, albeit probably less money than when she had Reid as a foil. And her appeal to a conservative base has not waned in the past five months, especially since she’s the most conservative candidate in the race.

Sharron Angle is running for office again?

Yes, she is.

Seriously.

Steve Sebelius is a Review-Journal political columnist and author of the blog SlashPolitics.com. His column runs Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at (702) 387-5276 or by e-mail at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com.

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