I've had a special fondness for failed presidential candidate Duncan Hunter ever since I trekked through the Nevada desert with him on the campaign trail last year. During the trip, we stopped at a gold mine, and Hunter got the idea that the Brobdingnagian ore haulers (whose wheels alone are ten feet tall) would make good troop vehicles in Iraq since they'd resist IEDs. (Possibly true, but they also resist steering.) These kind of pie-in-the-sky, mad-inventor brainstorms earned the nickname "Hunter Specials" among staffers on the committee he chaired, Armed Services.
I wondered occasionally if Hunter's ruthless thrashing in the GOP primaries had dampened some of his unusual style of enthusiasm, but apparently it didn't. This morning's Post carried the story of a Hunter Special for the ages: He submitted a request to our embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, to personally hunt and serve wildebeest to needy Darfurian refugees there.
Here's State's response last week: "Talking Points Regarding CODEL Hunter":
The embassy "welcomes Congressman Hunter's interest in food assistance to Darfur refugees in Chad. Given the significant" U.S. aid in the world program, the embassy "would encourage the congressman to time his visit to coincide with an already scheduled food distribution." ...
"Regarding the Congressman's desire to hunt wildebeest and distribute the cured meat to refugees, wildebeest are not present in Chad."
Okay, this idea is totally ridiculous, but I'm still a little sad this particular Hunter Special won't work out. Hunter's retiring from Congress this year, and it seems like a perfect way to go out, combining, as it does, two of his signature passions: quixotic altruism and big-game hunting.