As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I've personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I've been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions. But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday.
...I asked whether she believed Obama was born in the United States. When she replied that it was a matter of some controversy, her two campaign consultants quickly whisked her out of the room, accusing me of conducting a "Palin-style interview." It was the first time in hundreds of Cook Political Report meetings that a candidate has fled the room.