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J. T. For F. T.

OK, tonight the actual election for the next president of the United States begins. And though I technically don't HAVE to make a commitment until next Tuesday, when we in New Hampshire hold our primary, I'm going to go out on a limb just hours before the Iowa Caucuses and announce who I'm supporting for president -- and, more importantly, why.

According to my heart, I should cast my vote for Mitt Romney. He is the candidate whose positions most closely resemble my own. While he is trying to cast himself as a conservative (much like I tend to be cast as such), he's far more muddled, middle-of-the-road, and pragmatic than that. I don't see him as having an overarching ideology, but rather a set of core principles that he weighs each issue upon and decides each on their own merits. He also has a central competency, a gift for management, that tends to get things accomplished no matter the level of opposition. He will take whatever situation he is given and work with it to achieve his goals, often in a way that either sweeps his opposition along with him or by presenting such strength that they dare not openly cross him. I saw it several times in Massachusetts, when the legislature was overwhelmingly against him -- some of his greatest accomplishments were in the latter half of his single term, after the Democrats had taken enough seats in the House and Senate to override his vetoes on any strictly partisan vote. Romney would probably be the best equipped to deal with a Congress run by Democrats.

According to my head, I should cast my vote for Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor has already shown that he can govern a city larger than most states, and practically single-handedly slew the myth that New York City was an invincible, eternal Democratic stronghold. He has repeatedly demonstrated his personal strength and courage, taking on the Mafia as a prosecutor, governing a city most considered unmanageable, taking charge after 9/11, and beating cancer. He's also no idealogue, with a healthy dose of political moderation that appeals to the centrist in me. And he's the most prominent candidate on a national basis, meaning that he's probably best equipped to win a national campaign.

But I'm going to set aside my head and heart and listen to my humerus. My strong left arm (I'm predominantly left-handed) -- in particular my funnybone -- says there's another candidate out there more deserving of my support. A candidate who speaks plainly, and says what he believes in simple, unvarnished truth. And one who shows that he's not afraid to laugh at situations that bear laughing -- especially his detractors and himself.

I've often said that one of the most important aspects of being a successful president is a healthy sense of humor. A sense of humor makes a candidate more likable, more human, and more likely to win the support and affection of the American people.

It's expressed many ways -- "which candidate would you most like to have a beer with?" is one frequent test. However it's said, though, it boils down to the same thing -- which is the more sociable man (or, some day, woman). Which would you rather spend some "down time" with.

It's been that way for as long as I can remember, and for decades before I was born. In each and every election, the candidate who was more likable won. John Kerry is a phony and a boor. Al Gore is a stiff. Bob Dole let himself be cast as the cranky old man. George H. W. Bush was no match for Bill Clinton's easy charm. On the other hand, Bush was the easy choice over droning wonk Mike Dukakis. Reagan was... well, Reagan, and he was up against Walter Mondale and Jimmy Carter. Likewise, grinning Jimmy went up against clumsy Gerry Ford, the heir of Watergate. Richard Nixon was an aberration, but so many other factors combined to push the "likability" factor aside in 1972 and 1968. Lyndon Johnson rode to re-election on the body of John Kennedy, one of the most personable men to ever hold the office. Eisenhower was everyone's grandfather. Truman was a feisty common man, and FDR was a lovable aristocrat with a winning smile.

So I'm going to cast my vote on Tuesday, January 8 for Fred Thompson. He seems to have the best sense of proportion for the job, as well as a common-sense pragmatism on most issues that means he'll most often come to a position that I can live with -- or at least respect.

I'm under no illusions. Fred's not doing well in the polls, but he doesn't seem to care much about them, and neither do I. In the end, they don't amount to a fart in a hurricane; it's the actual results that matter. And rumor has it that if he doesn't do well in Iowa, he'll bow out.

I hope he does well in Iowa, and I might end up voting for him next week even if he does withdraw before then.

Welcome, Instapundit readers, and feel free to poke around. We're a fairly eclectic group, but we do try to be entertaining as well as informative.


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Comments (40)

God Choice.Oops, w... (Below threshold)
epador:

God Choice.

Oops, what a Freudian Slip.

I've been known to vote for... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I've been known to vote for fictional characters too, though I usually wait for the general.

So you are voting for Hilla... (Below threshold)
curious:

So you are voting for Hillary then. Interesting choice.

Good choice J. I'm voting ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Good choice J. I'm voting for Fred too (on the 15 of this month). I hope and suspect he has a lot more support than the polls show. He really is the best choice overall and yes, the one with whom I'd most want to go have a beer.

The Iowa rumor is false and... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The Iowa rumor is false and possibly based on a cheap trick to give another candidate votes. Link QandO

Jay, I confess I had you pe... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay, I confess I had you pegged for either Romney or Giuliani. I had just forgotten about Thompson. He reminds me of someone who arrives late for the party and leaves early.

I like Fred because he does... (Below threshold)

I like Fred because he doesn't seem hungry for it. Before Gore lost in 2000, he tipped his hand in saying that he didn't know what he would do if he lost, but he knew that Bush would just hang out on his ranch if he lost. Gore's life was all about politics, whereas Bush saw himself differently. Fred is like him in that respect, and I don't see that in anyone else, except maybe a little bit in Rudy.

Do you really think Fred ca... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Do you really think Fred can beat the Queen of the Damned or BO? Fred may be a better actor than Reagan, but that doesn't mean he'll make a better President. If you want a mediocre Senator for President, why not just support Hillary, Joe Biden or Chris Dodd? As you admit, Rudy is a moderate who has shown he can do a tough job that nobody thought could be done - clean up New York and make it livable - and he did that as both a federal prosecutor and as Mayor before 9/11. I'd rather see Fred back on Law & Order, although last night's episodes seemed to imply that Arthur Branch either died or resigned, with Jack McCoy appointed to fill out the rest of his term.

Fred has declared very plai... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Fred has declared very plainly that he is NOT dropping out based on whatever happens in Iowa.

Fred's my top pick...and the only one I've sent money to.

And yes, he can DEFINATELY win...regardless of what "bob" claims!

"Fred may be a better actor... (Below threshold)
iurockhead:

"Fred may be a better actor than Reagan, but that doesn't mean he'll make a better President. ......
8. Posted by Bob | January 3, 2008 1:36 PM "

Uh, he's not just an actor. He was the minority council in the Watergate hearings ("What did the president know, and when did he know it?" came from the mouth of Fred), and is, of course, a lawyer. And he was a 2-term senator. Just as Reagan was not just an actor, but detractors of both just love to define them as such. Going for the moderate never wins. Go, Fred.

I too had thought my vote w... (Below threshold)
Wordygirl:

I too had thought my vote was decided in favor of Romney, and he would definitely be my strong second choice. But after hearing more and more bad (and increasingly misrepresentative) press about how Fred's not 'worked up enough' about running for president, I feel more and more that this man is truly in the race for what he can do for his country and not his own personal aggrandizement. I'm not sure how to link, but he has a 17 minute video on his website (and YouTube) that is honest, intelligent and forthright. Exactly what I want in a president.

Studio City, CA:Fr... (Below threshold)
Media Watcher:

Studio City, CA:

Fred and Jeri Thompson have signed a contract to do a reality show for Bravo. Bravo spokesperson, Heather Neel, refused to deny the speculation.

"Fred may be a better ac... (Below threshold)

"Fred may be a better actor than Reagan, but that doesn't mean he'll make a better President."

Is this an insult directed toward Fred or his supporters? Because the implication that those who support him, like Jay Tea and like myself, do so because they saw his acting on TV is about as haughtily dismissive as a comment can be - and totally lacking in any real desire to understand truly why he has our support.

Years ago, I sat in on a meeting at a bank when they were getting ready to implement their online payment system. As they sat there and bantered arbitrarily what they would charge their customers for paying their bills online I heard $1.00, $1.50 and more for each transaction until one man who hadn't spoken a word throughout the entire meeting quietly said, "Excuse me, but why should we charge them more than the cost of a stamp?"

That's the kind of person Fred Thompson is. Straightforward.Common.Sense.

And for anyone's information, I have never seen Fred on Law & Order. I've never watched the show. I don't know what kind of actor he is - nor do I care.

Hey, Jay ~ You didn't tell ... (Below threshold)

Hey, Jay ~ You didn't tell us it was going to be a "humerus" endorsement . . . ;-)

I've often said that one... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I've often said that one of the most important aspects of being a successful president is a healthy sense of humor. A sense of humor makes a candidate more likable, more human, and more likely to win the support and affection of the American people.

That just makes someone more electable by the unthinking masses. But it has nothing to do with being a "successful president".

So next time you're at a party and you tell someone you voted for Thompson, and they ask if he'd be a good president, you can respond "well, he has a good personality".

Actually Brian, the "unthin... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Actually Brian, the "unthinking masses" will vote almost 100% for Bill's wife just like you will next November. The marxists have had a lock on the "unthinking" vote for quite a few years now.

The Best Republican Preside... (Below threshold)

The Best Republican Presidential Candidate for 2008

Former Senator Fred Thompson is the only real conservative in the race for the Republican nomination, and the only candidate who can unite all three pillars of the Republican Party, namely, fiscal conservatives; national security and defense conservatives; and religious conservatives.

The Republican party, given that the nation is divided, cannot afford to alienate any of these pillars, or they will lose in the general election, as a sufficient number of the alienated pillar's constituents will simply not cast a vote for president when they vote. This is not an attempt to intimidate Republican voters, but merely a recognition that there are certain conservative voters who simply will not violate their own principles and vote for someone they have fundamental disagreements with, or do not trust. For example, Governor Romney, has not provided a satisfactory answer in the minds of many religious conservatives in his efforts to explain the change from pro-choice to pro-life. They want to know the motivation, and need to be convinced that it was not political. This matter remains unresolved, and thus alienates a proportion of religious conservatives who would otherwise support him as the party's nominee - regardless of his own religious persuasion. Mayor Guiliani also has a similar problem with religious conservatives, given his personal position on abortion; and promising to appoint strict constructionist judges will not vitiate the conflict with pro-life constituents. Religious conservatives will not vote for a pro-choice Republican nominee - even if it means electing Senator Clinton president. They will not violate a moral conviction. They will simply adopt the attitude - God's will be done, and maintain their conviction. Governor Huckabee alienates fiscal conservatives as a result of his tax and spend policies during his tenure in Arkansas. Senator McCain, terminally severed his relationship with a proportion of national security conservatives through his aggressive support of the proposed comprehensive immigration agreement, which failed as a result of a citizens' uprising against this legislation; his opposition to the tax cut policy of the Bush Administration; and his opposition to aggressive interrogation techniques on high value captured terrorists.

Senator Thompson has none of the foregoing problems. He is strong on defense of the nation during a time of war, and has already committed to a substantial increase in the size of our military to fight the enemy threatening our survival; will seal the border, and reverse illegal immigration through attrition; will maintain the current tax policy, and reduce taxes by instituting his proposed voluntary flat tax system with only two rates, one at 10% with no deductions; and the other 25% maximum with current deductions maintained. He will also lower the corporate tax rate to ensure US Corporations are operating at the same tax rates as foreign corporations. Moreover, Mr. Thompson is the only candidate to assemble a plan to address the impending social security system crisis - the "third rail" of American politics. The Senator is acceptable to religious conservatives as well, given his strong and long-standing pro-life position, which explains why he was endorsed by the National Right to Life organization, and many similar state organizations.

In respect to the "fire in the belly" complaint, which is preferable: "Fire in the belly?" or the following leadership characteristics? Personal integrity; moral conviction; courage; perseverance; boldness; humility; analytical intelligence; calm and deliberate disposition; decisiveness; understands historical context and timing; commitment; and vision. In short, the Senator will show more than adequate "fire in the belly" when he demonstrates to those attempting to destroy our beloved nation a backbone of iron and the fury of an adversary who will unleash a conflagration, if necessary, to preserve our sacred liberty. One must guard against being deceived by cliché terms such as "fire in the belly," in the middle of a media driven political campaign, when there are substantially more important, and higher priority characteristics needed in the President of the United States, and leader of the free world.

For Republicans to win the White House, they must be united and have a large voter turnout among all three of their voting pillars, that is fiscal conservatives; national security conservatives; and religious conservatives. Senator Thompson, is the only candidate not alienating any of these voting pillars, and thus can galvanize their support. Accordingly, he is the best hope for Republicans in the 2008 national election. Indeed Senator Thompson can win the general election, and rest assured the other party knows it for the same reasons articulated herein; to wit: he unites the Republican constituencies and assures a large conservative voter turnout in the 2008 election.

Great post! I'm for Fred a... (Below threshold)

Great post! I'm for Fred as well.

With Thompson, what you see... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

With Thompson, what you see is what you get. His agent, his manager, his personal assistant, and his stylist all agree -- Fred is the real deal.

Brian, I cited examples goi... (Below threshold)

Brian, I cited examples going back over 70 years, explaining the exceptions. Would you care to refute my theory with counterexamples?

I thought not.

J.

Go to Fred08.com and watch ... (Below threshold)

Go to Fred08.com and watch his video to Iowa. It's 17 minutes long for those of you with sound byte attention spans and you'll see why people want to vote for him.

Also, read on down into Rasmussen's polls in Iowa. 77% of undecideds lean toward Thompson OR Huckabee. I'm of the opinion we're in for a surprise in the morning. I also heard Fred on Sean Hannity last night. He's not folding no matter what happens in Iowa or N.H.

Interesting... Didn't expec... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Interesting... Didn't expect us to land on the same candidate...

But really Jay for all your posturing we all knew you'd never back Romney. lol

"Russians don't take a dump... (Below threshold)
JohnAnnArbor Author Profile Page:

"Russians don't take a dump without a plan."

(And in that movie, a guy named Putin ends up dead, too.)

how about a Thompson - Romn... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

how about a Thompson - Romney ticket or a Romney - Thompson ticket ... the debates alone against Hill or Obama and their #2 would be priceless ...

Fred: of course. ... (Below threshold)
Denny, Alaska:

Fred: of course.

I'm a Fred guy myself. I li... (Below threshold)

I'm a Fred guy myself. I like his positions and I think he can unite the party.

However, what really pushes me over the top for Fred is imagining Jerri as first lady. Wow.

When you have a beer with F... (Below threshold)
Morgan:

When you have a beer with Fred does his wife come along? If so, I'm sold.

The "have a beer" test is i... (Below threshold)
tom swift:

The "have a beer" test is insufferably silly. I'm not going to have a beer with the President, any more than I'm going to have a beer with my cardiologist. There are more important qualifications for the job. And it proves nothing. All of our Presidents have been affable; they'd never have reached national office otherwise - although it's hard to imagine Nixon as affable, he must have been able to fake it at key moments.

I'm for Fred because he comes across as the lone adult in a room full of goddamn highschool sophmores.

I pray Fred Thompson will n... (Below threshold)
Annie:

I pray Fred Thompson will not drop out of the race. He is the only one I would be willing to vote for at this point. He's not someone who is obsessed with being president, unlike others, but I think he is by far the most qualified.

Fred has been the only guy ... (Below threshold)
LickyLicky:

Fred has been the only guy for me since I first heard he was considering a run and started to put his policy views out there. A lifelong Dem(dumb), I had enough of the whining and pandering in the last two years or so, and finally, in the last year, made the last few degrees of the full 180. Maybe it's because I've come to a point in my life where I've worked for so much that it pains me to think of someone taking it all away, massing it with two or three others' assets like mine, and distributing to the gen pop, regardless of their contributions. I know, that's the simple way of explaining the bugget and taxes and potential socialism, but you get the point. I truly feel that Fred speaks to me when he says something, and that what he does say is really worth hearing. Not just listening to, but HEARING. I never contributed to a campaign before- until Fred. I read a lot of posts saying that. Not so many about other campaigns, and not because I'm hanging out on the Fred boards. I truly believe that he can do for this country what no one has done in a very long time. I believe that he means every word he says, and that he will continue this great country's tradition of being just that: a great country. I will hang with Fred until the end. I'm self-employed, so I don't get paid on a regular basis, but come next week, when a monthly billing comes through in excess of overhead and put-aside and all that good stuff, Fred will be getting more of my hard-earned money. He deserves it, and will use it to further our cause.

I believe the only real problem with Fred is that everyone says he's got a problem. All the people who say, "well, I'd vote for him if I thought he could win..." Well, people, if all the people who said that actually put their vote where their mouth is, he'd have no problem! I am going to hang with him until the end, and because I have respect for him, I will vote for whomever he endorses, barring total chaos.

EF for FT!... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

EF for FT!

Brian, I cited examples ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, I cited examples going back over 70 years, explaining the exceptions. Would you care to refute my theory with counterexamples?

OK, Jay, try to read my comment more slowly this time.

What you cited was that the more likable guy won. I don't dispute that.

But you used that as support for the claim that being likable is "one of the most important aspects of being a successful president".

Would you care to support your theory with examples? Tell us about how the more likable Jimmy Carter was a successful president?

I thought not.

The current energy bill ban... (Below threshold)

The current energy bill bans the incandescant light bulb by 2012. What in the name of God's Holy Trousers gives the Federal Govt. jurisdiction of this sort of thing? This makes my point about Fred. He talks about Federalism. Unless the creeping instrusion of Federal control into ever more areas of our lives is reversed, Liberty will be a shrinking pool of salty water in the Moajve. I don't see anyone else who recognizes this issue except Fred.

Actually Brian, the "unt... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Actually Brian, the "unthinking masses" will vote almost 100% for Bill's wife just like you will next November.

Wow, so you think Hillary is the most likable candidate of the bunch? I'm surprised you feel that way. I certainly don't.

I think IMAO's FrankJ said ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I think IMAO's FrankJ said it best:
Kill the Terrorists
Protect the Borders
Punch the Hippies

Regardless of how well Fred... (Below threshold)
LEL:

Regardless of how well Fred does tonight, I'll be very disappointed if he drops out before at least South Carolina. I really think the guy deserves a much better hearing than he's been getting.

Also, I really like his "lazy" approach. He seems to be the only one in the race that hasn't spent his entire adult life dreaming of the Presidency.

Hey, Jay Tea, this means th... (Below threshold)

Hey, Jay Tea, this means that Frank J. doesn't have to kill you in a painful manner now. "Vote for Fred! Thompson or die" seems to be the motto over there at IMAO.

Fred is the clear CLASSY ch... (Below threshold)
charmingtail Author Profile Page:

Fred is the clear CLASSY choice for the White House!!! We do not need a Gomer Pyle look a like Huckster in the White House!!!

Brian, for once in your mis... (Below threshold)

Brian, for once in your miserable life - Shut.Up.

Go Fred Go! The best choice... (Below threshold)
MB:

Go Fred Go! The best choice for America!

So far he's been the candidate the Media wants to 'deselect'; but I'm expecting that "certain News sites" will add his picture now..




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