When Thaddeus McCotter took the stage in July 2011, the Livonia Republican skirted typical Washington conventions.
Armed with a stars-and-stripes electric guitar and not wearing a sportcoat — or a tie, for that matter — McCotter, who Friday amid a tumultuous month and a half of , announced his failed bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Then, he joined a group of local musicians onstage and played some rock 'n roll to the raucous festival crowd.
The image was a stark contrast to, say, the more stately apperance of eventual presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
To say McCotter was a long shot for the GOP nomination might be an understatment. Hardly a household name outside of Michigan's 11th Congressional district, the U.S. Congressman's announcement prompted some pundits to ask who?
"I don't want to say this guy is a no name, but he actually wears his campaign button upside down so that even he can glance down and see who he is," comedian Bill Maher quipped at the time on his HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher.
The race generated little national momentum and McCotter that September, claiming the national media often excluded him from its election coverage and sponsored primary debates.
The failed GOP bid thrust McCotter back into an increasingly bizarre Wayne 11th Congressional race to defend his seat against GOP challenger Kerry Bentivolio, a reindeer farmer and Tea Party favorite from Milford, and Democrats Dr. Syed Taj of Canton and William Roberts, a Lyndon LaRouce Democrat, from Redford.
McCotter, however, would then face a series of scandals and public blemishes.
In April, John Howting, a conservative activist and , brought some unwanted attention to the McCotter campaign. Howting was profiled in a New York Times piece, which reported he walked into a community organizing office in East Harlem using a false name and asked about organizing a union and shaking down politicians for more money.
McCotter said in a statement afterwards that Howting had been separated from the campaign before the reported events allegedly took place.
While McCotter escaped the Howting scandal relatively unscathed, his campaign was dealt a fatal blow in June when the congressman's name was taken off the August primary ballot after the minimum 1,000 signatures needed for re-election. Just 277 of the submitted signatures were valid, with several pages submitted included photocopies and duplicates of signatures.
That week, McCotter candidate to retain his seat as further questions emerged about the circumstances of the invalid petition signatures.
When it appeared McCotter would serve out the remainder of his term, he sustained another political embarassment Thursday when the Detroit News obtained an unfinished, racy comedic penned by McCotter from a disgruntled former staffer. The script, for a show entitled Bumper Sticker: Made On Motown, featured characters based on McCotter's real-life staffers depicted as heavy drinkers and womanizers, the report said, and it was revealed McCotter awarded substantial pay raises to two of the staffers prominently featured in the script.
For McCotter, the leaked script appeared to be the last straw. Citing the effect his public blemishes the previous month and a half have had on his family life, McCotter , thus capping a rollercoaster year in the spotlight.
What's next for McCotter?
Does Friday's resignation signal the end of McCotter's political career? What would you like to see next from the former Livonia congressman? Tell us in the comments.