It was one part tea party rally, one part holiday concert.
But the Freedom Festival, sponsored by conservative talk radio station WAAM-AM (1600), was also the launchpad for U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's presidential run.
The 45-year-old Livonia Republican filed the necessary paperwork Friday to make the run, but he made it official in Whitmore Lake on Saturday, on a makeshift stage in an open field under a sweltering and ominous sky that threatened to soak the hundreds of people who came to the festival.
Talk to people who know McCotter well, and he's either the smartest guy in the room or a hard-line conservative who doesn't know what he's gotten himself into.
The first time Tom Stroup met McCotter, they talked about China and how to deal with trade issues. The conversation earned Stroup, the chairman of the 11th District Congressional Republicans, one of the congressman's nicknames.
"He calls me Comrade," said Stroup of Northville. "He has a huge vocabulary that sometimes sails over my head, but he's the smartest guy in any room that he walks into."
Sunday, July 3, 2011
The Detroit Free Press reports: