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Ali Hasan -- make that Muhammed Ali Hasan -- challenges Laura Ingraham on Fox News

He may not have been a great candidate for Colorado treasurer, but Ali Hasan -- now using the Muhammed in front of his name that he usually dropped in favor of Ali, and billing himself as "an American and Constitutionalist first, a Muslim second" -- came out the winner in last night's Fox News debate.

His oppenent? Laura Ingraham, who was subbing for Bill O'Reilly.

Speaking from Los Angeles, where he now lives after the disappointing treasurer run we previewed in the 2008 feature "Is This Muslum Republican Mr. Right or the Big Cheese?"-- but wearing a giant bolo tie that hinted at his Colorado roots -- Hasan argued for why the mosque project should go forward near Ground Zero, patiently putting up with the always-interrupting Ingraham.

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The people who object? "That's bigotry," he said. "There's no other way to slice that pie. America isn't guided by poll numbers, we're guided by the Constitution."

Ingraham was so put off by Hasan, who calmly reminded her that he's a Republican, that she's back on Fox this morning, still complaining about him.

But if he'd spoken as well while he was in Colorado, he might have won that first state house run, or maybe the treasurer's race -- or at least convinced his parents not to authorize the Hasan Family Foundation to pay Scott McInnis $300,000 for his "Musings on Water."

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