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Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore To Jump Into 2012 Race, For Some Reason

Roy Moore 2012

First Posted: 03/29/11 03:19 PM ET Updated: 05/29/11 06:12 AM ET

According to CBS News, the GOP field of would-be presidential nominees is set to swell by one more:

Roy Moore, the former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice who lost his job after erecting a monument of the Ten Commandments outside the state's courthouse, plans to announce in mid-April that he is setting up a presidential exploratory committee, an aide confirmed to CBS News.

The aide, Zachery Michael, said Moore's platform will be focused on repealing the health care overhaul law, replacing the progressive income tax with a flat tax and bringing "commonsense solutions" on immigration and border control.

There's not much to analyze here. Moore would join a crop of contenders already stacked with social conservatives: Right now, it looks like we'll probably have Rick Santorum and Herman Cain, along with Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. There's a remote possibility Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin might run as well.

Michael says Moore is getting in because "we're just seeing the same type of politicians run for president," and that Moore "should not be thought of simply as a culture warrior."

But how is he going to set himself apart from this field? Repealing health care reform?

Michael argues Moore has "been a strong advocate for limited government." But so has the rest of the GOP field. About the best he can do is tout his battle over the Ten Commandments monument, an effort the other candidates will likely praise.

Moore has twice run in Alabama's gubernatorial primary. In 2006, he was never a threat to Bob Riley, and he lost by 30 points. And that's where he peaked. In 2010 he finished fourth and never polled above 23 percent. He also has, on various occasions, been floated as a presidential nominee for the Constitution Party, but he never put a ring on it.

In Iowa, Moore could splinter the social conservative vote and open up room for a Tim Pawlenty. He could also slightly magnify what Steve Kornacki terms "the GOP's Iowa problem." But Moore is a marginal candidate. The shadow cast by a dark horse obscures him.

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