Many believe the ever-controversial Lou Dobbs could mount a competitive third party bid in 2012. A self-proclaimed "Independent Populist", Dobbs may possess the name recognition, capacity to generate significant campaign cash, and independent-minded political views to challenge the Republican and Democratic nominees in a potential three-way showdown.
An author, former CNN show host, and current radio icon, Dobbs often elicits spirited controversy due to his opinionated political stances. Through the years, Dobbs has railed against chronic budget and trade deficits, opposed NAFTA, and criticized the outsourcing of jobs to China and other foreign nations. He has advocated for the immediate withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other long-standing bases around the world where wealthy nations can provide for their own security. He is a strong proponent of border security, and is labeled by some as a xenophobe for his fervent anti-illegal immigration views. However, in a recent Telemundo interview, he appeared to reverse his position, claiming that he now supports a plan to legalize undocumented workers, a reversal which drew the ire of many former fans. Nevertheless, pro-choice, anti-gun control, and a staunch critic of the $700 billion Wall St bailout, Dobbs could appeal to Democrats, Independents, and Republicans on a variety of different issues.
His views on corporate special interests, trade, manufacturing, foreign policy, and abortion could appeal to a large number of Democrats. His views on budget and trade deficits, bailouts, and border security could attract a fair number of Republicans. And his reputation for bashing both parties could prove enticing to the rapidly growing number of Independents.
At the present time, Dobbs has not ruled out a Presidential bid in 2012. With recent polls showing over 50% of Americans in favor of a viable third party, "Mr. Independent" himself could possibly mount a serious Ross Perot-style, reform-oriented campaign.