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Fate, Folly, Fred

OK, Mr. Thompson, so you have finally decided you're in the race. Late and a sloppy entry, but you have time to make up for that, just to long as you don't screw up again. And let's be honest, you have screwed up. I have this sneaking suspicion that when you decided to declare your candidacy on the 'Tonight Show', it was because someone in Marketing thought that was some slick 'outside the box' thinking. In fact, sir, it was plain stupid. You not only set yourself up as a shallow celebrity seeking applause without facing any of the hard questions which real candidates address, you demonstrated poor sense of timing and delivery - you managed to suggest that the debate you skipped was not worth your attention, and by extension you implied the same thing about the voters who watched that debate.

Let's get right to the brass, Mr. Thompson. Yes, you have assets, but maybe you don't see them as they really are. People are sick and tired of preening and posturing mandarins and narcissists, and so it's refreshing to see someone who promises candor and a strong backbone. Your problem, sir, is that you do not hold the monopoly on those qualities, so that your advantage is in transit. To coin certain phrases, use it or lose it and the clock is running. But we must also address your liabilities. I liked you as a Senator, all things considered, but it does not speak well of your sense of commitment that you jumped ship so quickly - a reasonable voter must ask what happens if you became President, then got tired of the job? Surely you know that the office of President is a four- or eight-year colonoscopy in plain and constant view of the public, under even the best of circumstances? So how do we know you are committed, sir? The question needs a better answer than how you feel just now.

You also have a problem in your rivals for the nomination. A mayor of New York, renowned for common sense and personal courage; a charismatic governor with talent for executive work; a bonafide hero from the Vietnam War who, tactless and boorish though he is at times, stands by what he believes regardless of the climate; and a plain-speaking southern governor whose quiet tact and reason are compelling. With all due respect for your intelligence and charisma, Mr. Thompson, you need to do a much better job of explaining why your resume is the superior one to these proven leaders. America needs a GOP nominee who not only can but will whip the pretender from the Left, and lead the nation's defense against her enemies and towards her commonwealth. A few quips get you looked at, sir, but now is the time for you to show your mettle and your stamina. You have a lot of work to do, and it's past time to begin, sir.


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Comments (22)

Am I the only person who is... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Am I the only person who is tired of all the whining about Thompson not getting in the race as early as everyone wanted?

I really wish they had ALL (D's and R's alike) waited until September to get in the race.

The election cycle is already sooooooo long.

Enough already.

If you can't explain your positions (well enough for me to vote for you) in the four months remaining until the primarys start, then don't bother running at all.

"Am I the only person who i... (Below threshold)

"Am I the only person who is tired of all the whining about Thompson not getting in the race as early as everyone wanted?"

No, you're not.

I see DJ's point(s), but ... geesh ... give the guy a day or two, at least, wouldja'? ;)

My problem Sheik, with Fred... (Below threshold)

My problem Sheik, with Fred is on two levels -

First, I wouldn't mind hm waiting to get in, except that he's been playing coy for months, with that YouTube thing and a string of 'maybe I'll run' hints. If he's the real deal, he does not need and should not want to play that kind of game. And also, why exactly should Fred get the nod? There's important questions to answer, and no script for Fred except what he's really made of.

I liked the fact that he's ... (Below threshold)

I liked the fact that he's waited. It gives him more money to spend when it counts instead of wasting my donations to weed out the field

Well DJ, I have a completel... (Below threshold)

Well DJ, I have a completely different opinion of Fred Thompson's maneuvering.

First, he didn't join late as much as everyone else joined early by even recent historical standards. That may be a mistake, but it had its advantages. During the whole summer, he was able to communicate with and build up a faithful base. He was able to take contributions without getting into the "who raked in more" pissing contest that the press loved to report on this summer. Most importantly, Fred was able to safely ignore the incessant and inane debates which have not really done much for anyone's campaign.

As for announcing on the Tonight Show, I wasn't a big fan of that. On the other hand, it's not like Fred came on playing a saxophone and telling jokes. He was able to take a venue that prefers humor over substance and talk seriously without losing the audience, at least not the studio audience. That takes skill and talent. It was a regrettable choice, but with the best outcome possible.

Finally, who cares about the New Hampshire debate? Did it really garner that much of an audience? Are your friends and co-workers who are not as interested in politics as you and I really talking about the New Hampshire debate? My anecdotal experience suggests that very few people have paid attention to or even cared about the outcome of all the debates this summer. Sure, it's great fodder for the pundits and blogs, but pundits and bloggers are only a small audience. Add that to the fact that all the debate formats implemented so far are ridiculous. None of the debates have allowed the candidates to have a true substantive discussion of the issues. Even Mitt Romney was complaining about that yesterday on the Hugh Hewitt show. So I don't see how Fred really lost out on ditching the New Hampshire debate. In fact, he was probably able to bring more substance while on the Tonight Show than anyone did at that debate.

DJ,I have a hard t... (Below threshold)


I have a hard time imagining any of the likely democratic candidates being better than anyone running on the GOP side. Yes, you may feel one of the republican's candidates is the best. Good, work hard for that candidate. But all of the republican are better than their democratic alternatives. That being the case, why are you doing the left's job of bashing someone on the right.

Your disrespect for the 11th commandment lowers my respect for you.

Sheik:<blockqu... (Below threshold)


Am I the only person who is tired of all the whining about Thompson not getting in the race as early as everyone wanted?
Make me Assenter #3.

I am so sick of how long this campaign is, although Dems seem to live to campaign, a la Bill Clinton. Frankly, I wish we did what the UK does when its time to elect a new PM: call a General Election and you get six weeks. Period. You have guaranteed TV time, but you've got to get it done in those six short weeks. No Do-Overs. No constant stream of invective, negativity, and character assination. Nothing quite focuses the mind like a dealine that isn't two years hence!

y.a.j., asking questions an... (Below threshold)

y.a.j., asking questions and pointing out mistakes is now "bashing"? And I'm not the one breaking the 11th Commandment, you might want to go back and read what Ron actually said there.

And Shelby, Fred hurt himself fund-wise. By law he can't use his 'exploratory' funds in his campaign, he has to start at zero raisinig funds for his primary chase. So he's well behind in money right now.

And third, has anyone here heard Fred's plan for dealing with Iran? Social Security? Sealing the borders?



I have to agree with those ... (Below threshold)

I have to agree with those who are sick of hearing the complaining about his timing. I am very political but have not watched more than a half hour of any of the debates -- total.

They've been meaningless and stupid. Thompson was right on Leno to say that they're "sound bite debates." It's mostly been the frontrunners having a "I'm more conservative/liberal than you!" feud with the nuts being nutty (Kucinich, Ron Paul).

"And third, has anyone here... (Below threshold)

"And third, has anyone here heard Fred's plan for dealing with Iran? Social Security? Sealing the borders?"

Not yet; but, again, it's only been two days, man. Ask that same question, next week.

You may be dead on with your entire post, don't get me wrong, but you're coming across as the kinda' guy that paces in front of the microwave.

But yo, the package said "i... (Below threshold)

But yo, the package said "instant", not "2 minutes"!!!!

Easy there, chief ... in wi... (Below threshold)

Easy there, chief ... in with the good, out with the bad. Breathe, baby, breathe.

... every little thing, gon' be alright.

Swell, I make a joke, you g... (Below threshold)

Swell, I make a joke, you go patronizing.


I'm another one who is not ... (Below threshold)

I'm another one who is not terribly upset at his "late" entry. As kbiel said, he wasn't so late as everyone else was so early. Fred's got plenty of time to speak his mind.

;) No patronizing intended... (Below threshold)

;) No patronizing intended, whatsoever.

Mr. Drummond,At wh... (Below threshold)

Mr. Drummond,

At what point in your last primary election did you enter the race ?

You know the last election you ran for office in ?

I can only assume your vast personal experience is the foundation for your critical analysis of the Thompson tactics ...

or maybe not ... maybe its just your inexperienced opinion ... i.e. hot air ...

There's nothing to be upset... (Below threshold)

There's nothing to be upset about on the late entry - everyone's known he's running for months, so it's cost him nothing and gained him the ability to build his org from nothing without having to do the silly stuff 2 years out.

The only people upset about this are the press and people who are backing other candidates. As a disclosure, I tossed Fred a few bucks when his website first went up, and will probably toss some more closer to the primary. And while he's my preferred candidate right now, of the people above single digits I'd be ok with anyone but McCain.

My GOD, an intelligent coge... (Below threshold)

My GOD, an intelligent cogent post on wizbang? I must be on the wrong site!

Fred is the current Bob Dol... (Below threshold)

Fred is the current Bob Dole. Empty suit.
Just like the members of the Donkey Party he ran from Fox News to NBC.

DJ,Ronald Reagan's... (Below threshold)


Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican."

BTW, it was actually gaylord Parkinson, not Reagan who started it.

Since you seem to have trouble with the concpet, let me give you a quick guide. Say positive things about the candidate you favor, not negative things about candidates you don't like as well. You can talk about how your favorite has been honed and battle tested throught the summer in this long campaign, not refer to a "Late and a sloppy entry" from someone you don't like.

Refer to your favorite running an error free campaign, not say about his rival "And let's be honest, you have screwed up."

Talk about your prefered candidate's lengthy service, toughing it out when times are hard, not question whether his rival will go the distance.

Imagine Fred getting the nomination vs Hillary/Obama/Edwards. Imagine the race being incredibly close. And then imagine your words being brought out the day before the election ("Conservative DJ Drummond raises questions on whether Fred can go the distance as President") and swaying just enough voters to vote democratic or stay home, tipping the election to the democrat. Imagine it is your ill considered words that tip the balance and the impact of those words over the next four years.

Learn the 11th commandment, apply the 11th commandment and don't try to hide behind a smarmy "I'm just asking". The left has enough allies in the MSM that they don't need you to do their job for them.

y.a.j, keep posting like th... (Below threshold)

y.a.j, keep posting like that and your mask will fall off completely.

This ain't a tea party, and what RR warned about was not a blog pointing out screw-ups.

B'sides, if Fred is all he says, this won;t faze him, and if you think my comments will in any way strengthen the Donkey Plan, you are greatly mistaken.

And no, it's not "bashing" to say that either.

Geez, get a pair!

DJ said:>>People are... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

DJ said:
>>People are sick and tired of preening and posturing mandarins and narcissists

Exactly, and yet that's been the perfect description of Fred's pre-campaign and announcement. That web video of him using the cigar as a prop and rotating his chair right on cue was downright laughable. Hollywood through and through.

And having a commercial on the debate he skipped was a slap in the face to those who expect him to be a real alternative to the field.

I won't deny that Fred has charisma, but considering that acting is his profession, that's no surprise. But the time has come for him to drop the platitudes and tell us why he's different and why we should vote for him. And stop running away from the unscripted situations, please.






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