Vanished

01.21.14

Where Is Rep Steve Stockman?

The Texas congressman mounting a long shot campaign for Senate hasn't appeared on Capitol Hill for weeks.

Judge Crater, Jimmy Hoffa and Steve Stockman?

The Tea Party Texas congressman challenging incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn in March’s primary is the new invisible man of American politics. The Texas congressman hasn’t shown up on Capitol Hill for a vote since January 9. Instead, he has made only sporadic public appearances, surfacing once in North Dallas on January 14 and then a few days later in Cairo. In between, Stockman missed key votes in Washington, including the omnibus budget. His spokeman, Donny Ferguson, has not responded to inquiries on the Congressman's whereabouts.

Stockman's disappearance from public view marks the latest oddity in a bizarre campaign that seems more performance art than politics. The Texas congressman recently unveiled a website called Cornynlovesobamacare.com that alleges that the number two Republican in the Senate has “a forbidden love” for Obamacare despite repeatedly voting against it. The website also includes an image Cornyn embracing Obama that The Wire’s Philip Bump has reported is a photoshopped image of the Texas senator’s head on the body of former Florida governor Charlie Crist.

The goal of Stockman’s campaign has been to label Cornyn, an ardent conservative as a liberal supporter of Obamacare. While this has given liberals some chuckles, it hasn’t exactly caught fire as a campaign message. In a December poll, the Texas congressman trailed by a whopping margin of 50%-6%. Stockman’s other attempts to draw attention to himself, including giving away “Obama barfbags” and fighting to allow donors to give campaign contributions in bitcoins have not proved successful either.

But, maybe disappearing will be enough to help Stockman’s underdog campaign catch on. After all, having the question “Where in the world is” attached to her name was a good career move for Carmen Sandiego.