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The Spirit Of '80

I hope I can get this published before the caucuses start in Iowa...

I was interested in politics from a very early age. I was eight when I supported Jimmy Carter in his quest for the presidency, and actively argued for his defeat at the age of twelve. And I remember pretty clearly how I felt about the 1980 election.

I don't recall all the candidates who ran then. I remember Jimmy Carter was seeking re-election, and NOBODY wanted four more years of him. (If you need any reminders of the glories of the Carter administration, I give you the "triple doubles" -- inflation, unemployment, and interest rates all over 10%, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics just to remind you of how miserable Mr. Nobel Peace Prize left this country.) He was challenged by Teddy Kennedy, whose campaign was going along swimmingly until some reporter asked a totally unfair question ("why do you want to be president?") and he went right off the bridge into the drink.

On the Republican side, I remember three candidates. John Anderson ended up running as an independent. And of the other two, I was solidly behind one of them.

My guy had an amazing resume', quite possibly one of the best for any presidential candidate in decades. He also had a nice sense of moderation, a willingness to eschew partisanship and ideology for doing what he thought was the right thing to do. The fact that he was also a veteran and war hero was largely irrelevant; we'd only had one president since World War II who hadn't served in that war, and Jimmy Carter had been a Navy man -- a nuclear engineer, no less, who'd served in subs.

So I proudly backed George Bush (former congressman, ambassador to the UN and to China, and CIA director) for the New Hampshire primary.

And he got the living crap beat out of him by Ronald Reagan.

Then, at the Republican National Convention Reagan did a thing of extraordinary grace. (Well, extraordinary for most people. But Reagan did so many acts of grace, this one didn't really stand out.) He tapped his primary rival (the man who hung the name "voodoo economics" on Reagan's principles), George Bush, to be his vice-president. And Bush, whose family motto ought to be "loyalty," turned out to be quite possibly the best possible veep for Reagan.

Then, when Reagan finished his second term, Bush stepped up to run again. By now, I'd lost my enthusiasm for Bush. The man running in 1988 was trying to run as Reagan II, and it just didn't fit. I found myself wondering what the hell happened to the guy I'd supported just eight years ago. I think I supported Jack Kemp in the primary. But when my guy didn't win (again), I held my nose and voted for Bush. (And (yuk) Dan Quayle. There was no way I could even think of voting for Michael Dukakis.)

I'm getting a little whiff of 1980 again, and I think I like it. While most of the Republicans are trying to cast themselves as the "New Reagan," one of them comes out more Reaganesque than the rest of them put together.

Hollywood actor? Check. Formerly held elected office? Check. Successful in a third field? Check. Considered somewhat dim and old and lazy by the media and his detractors? Check. Easygoing charm and ready wit? Check. Strong conservative principles, without being a prick like Pat Buchanan? Check. Speaks kindly about religion, without being overly religious himself? Check.

Now, if Fred Thompson were to get the Republican nomination (I'll be doing my bit, next Tuesday morning, when I cast my vote for him), he ought to consciously emulate Reagan once again and tap one of his rivals for the vice-presidential spot. There's one candidate who balances his weaknesses better than any other -- a proven, gifted leader and a guy with a true head for business and organization. And what better person to oversee a divided (or possibly Democratic) Senate than a former governor who'd had to deal with an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature?

Thompson/Romney '08. That'd be a bumper sticker I'd plaster all over my vehicle. And any other vehicles I could get away with putting it on.


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Comments (32)

Imagine another option for ... (Below threshold)

Imagine another option for Fred - Joe Lieberman. Can you imagine the KOS KIDZ Reaction to a Thompson/Lieberman ticket? You would need an olympic sized shop vac to clean up all the brain, goo and snot from exploding heads!

Ugh again with Thomp... (Below threshold)

Ugh again with Thompson.

Thompson quit the Senate in 2001.

You know after 9-11.

As a member of the active duty military community-

Can I drag my arse to the polls and vote for the guy that quit the Senate?

That could NOT be bothered to campaign for Bush the second time around when the going got tough?

What is it with the Republican base?

How quintessentially un -American...

What now -everybody loves a quitter?

Sorry but I owe my vote to Rudy.

Rudy was there for us and he wasn't taking cheap shots at the war effort, and making arbitrary criticisms to get out ahead of the Democrats and garner favor with the media-

a la McCain.

Thompson has a reputation as a quiter-and he has

Rudy has my vote.

He has earned it.

He was there for us when very few others were.

Crap;this should r... (Below threshold)


this should read-

Thompson has a reputation as a quiter-and he has earned it.

Rudy has my vote.

He has earned it.

He was there for us when very few others were.

Look, RoryHe did n... (Below threshold)

Look, Rory

He did not quit. He opted to not run again after he made the decision to take his daughter off life support. You know. He left to mourn. He's human. He *is* allowed to do that.

Do you keep repeating the 'quit' meme to make him look lazy? Stuck on repeat much?

Rudy is a RINO.

Jay, from your keyboard to ... (Below threshold)

Jay, from your keyboard to God's (and the GOP's) ears. Or would that be their eyes? Whatever.

Thompson/Romney 2008


Well, I see the TR referenc... (Below threshold)

Well, I see the TR reference and the need to carry a big stick, be a Bull Moose and so on, but the major advantage of having Romney in the VP position is no one but a crazed Mormon would act violently to have the VP succeed to the POTUS. Uh Oh... maybe that's not such a good idea afterall.

I love Liebs on the war, of... (Below threshold)

I love Liebs on the war, of course, and I believe he's an honest and honorable man. But in spite of the fact that the Kos Kidz hate him, he's truly liberal. He's got his war support and his character going for him, but the rest (to a conservative) is all negative.

I could vote for Romney if I really had to - a lot easier than McCain, in fact - but don't you think he's going to get *hammered* on flip flopping? I think he'd be a real liability in the general election.

FDT and Michael Steele coul... (Below threshold)

FDT and Michael Steele could be a very tough ticket to beat, particularly for someone whose main argument is being half black. Not to mention the fact that Steele would be an excellent President after 8 years as Veep.

I like your rationale but I... (Below threshold)

I like your rationale but I prefer it the other way....Romney/Thompson. They would kill any Dem in the debates.

Just as the Dems pulled apa... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Just as the Dems pulled apart between the philosophy and the MONEY...
This time it will be the Republicans..
Money=Mitt He is the CEO old big money kind of guy.
Philosophy..The Republicans spent 30 years raising the evangelical tiger cub. Kept it caged..feed it red meat. Now Huck is loose. He represents the folks who have elected Republicans.
He pulled himself up not like Mitt or W.
He is a former Baptist minister...but humble background..
Class warfare in the Republican Party..

McCain?..last May immigration nuff said..

Which Republican candidate represents the soul of the Party?

It will be Mitt..
but those evangelicals will not forget their man Huck "being tossed under the bus"

..and yes Ron Paul is still on the Republican ticket...it will be interesting to see how all his online hoopla and big bucks transmits to real votes...

A "divided" Senate? Come <i... (Below threshold)

A "divided" Senate? Come on. Despite the public's disgust with government in general right now, can you produce one piece of scientific polling data that even suggests the GOP might claw their way back to Congressional respectability? People might be upset with Democrats, but they're upset because the Democrats didn't do what they said they were going to do.

Anyway, the primaries are a waste of time. Clinton's organizational infrastructure eclipses everyone else's, and it'll be status quo, business-as-usual bullshit in Washington for another eight years. Lah-dee-dah.

Followed JT here from:<br /... (Below threshold)

Followed JT here from:
And I agree with The Thompson Support. Search around abit on youtube, that's where Fred real effort has gone to, by passing the Press and trying to take his argument right to the people. I'm just afraid he might be a few years ahead of the game here.

The ultimate drive the left... (Below threshold)

The ultimate drive the left insane bumper sticker would require Duncan Hunter to win the nomination and pick Fred for the VP slot. Imagine what it would do to the moonbat brigade to have conservatives driving around with Hunter Thompson stickers

Where are the Thompson/Paul... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Where are the Thompson/Paul stickers?

Now Jay, your assignment, s... (Below threshold)

Now Jay, your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to get NH to go along.

I like the idea of a ruthle... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

I like the idea of a ruthless SOB in the VP slot. Thompson/Giuliani 2008!

Nicely written Mr. T. <br /... (Below threshold)

Nicely written Mr. T.
Hope it plays out.

I will be voting Fred in th... (Below threshold)

I will be voting Fred in the NH primes!

Thompson Romney? That would... (Below threshold)
AZ Disgusted:

Thompson Romney? That would be perfect IMHO. Thompson-Guiliani? That would be great too.

I'd also me willing (though not as happy) to vote for the reverse, too.

I'll tell you what my pet fear is though: Thompson-McCain. I like Thompson but I will never vote for McCain in any capacity (he's the reason for my screen name).

Congrats. Glad to see you m... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Congrats. Glad to see you made the right choice. ;-)

Ya know, the best Veep pick... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ya know, the best Veep pick is McCain, when you think about it.

And it's fun to think about it ...

But Fred? I dunno, Fred hasn't exactly won me over. Problem is, I don't get the feeling he wants to try real hard.

Image? Maybe, but he's gotta work on that.


"I don't get the feeling he... (Below threshold)

"I don't get the feeling he wants to try real hard."

You've been staring at the MSM's swinging watch too long ;)

Huck and Obama winners, Edw... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Huck and Obama winners, Edwards and Clinton tie
Mitt spent a LOT of money for his 2nd place finish.
Rudy at 4%?
Fred did better than some expected.

SC looming large

This is basically the gist ... (Below threshold)

This is basically the gist of Huckabee's immigration plan touchback provision:

He would repeal the multi-year baring of illegals to re-enter the U.S. for illegals who register during a 120-day period with Homeland Security and temporarily exit the country (for only a few days, at most). It is also highly likely that many would not even leave the country but would be allowed to go to their nearest consulate on American soil for paperwork.

They would face no penalty if they apply to immigrate back to U.S. (they'd be back in within just days). He would not utilize the current legal immigration law process for immigration to the U.S. but would set up special processing for these 'special case formerly illegal' immigrants. He also would reward these lawbreakers (and their law-breaking employers) by allowing the aliens to keep the very jobs they broke into the country and took. He wants them back in quick to slide back into the same jobs they had before their quick exit and return (touchback).

Huckabee will utilize every trick in the book to legalize illegal aliens. He's just a bit more deceptive, shifty and crafty in how he hides the fact that he will provide amnesty. By all means, don't take my word on this if you are skeptical. Dig deep on Huckabee and look at the man behing the curtain. I'm betting you won't really care for what you see.

Huckabee has stated that our economy would collapse without the presence of illegal aliens here. Really? My oh my...how did we manage to survive as a nation and grow our economy these past two centuries and well into the 1970's before the accelerated mass entries of illegal aliens? In 1986, our spineless Congressmen and Senators decided instead of dealing with the problem, they'd just give amnesty to the illegals so their incompetence, corruption, greed and dysfunction could be just swept under the rug. Then in 2007, they tried the same thing, but this time an educated, forceful, awake and fed up public citizenry stopped them in their tracks. Now their tookus is in a sling as they don't know what to do, so basically they are doing what they've been doing over the last 30 years...nothing as far as border security and immigration enforcement.

2008 is a pivitol year, likely even a tipping point, in the history of America. Will we continue to be a strong, sovereign nation ruled by law or will we let the invasion continue until America's slide into anarchy is unstoppable?

We need to elect a leader as President who will protect the value of U.S. citizenship, work for the citizens of America, fiercely protect our sovereignty, stop the march to globlism and the formation of the NAU, and solve our illegal immigration problem. That does not involve granting amnesty to illegal aliens. Huckabee is not your man if you care for those issues. Neither is McCain, Ghuliani or any of the Democrats.

Just remember to pick a candidate to support not on what they say they will do but on what they have actually done.

For further information regarding Huckabee's deception and his true intentions, please visit these links:

Leaders Converge on Iowa to Expose Huckabee

84 Leaders Rebuke Gilchrist Endorsement of Huckabee

Huckabee & Gilchrist Touchback Amnesty Scandal Escalates

Mike Huckabee's Shamnesty for Illegal Aliens

Iowa Republican's Reject Huckabee Immigration 6 to 1!

The Huck-a-Bust is Coming

Will the Real Mike Huckabee Please Stand Up

Huckabee Liberal on Immigration

I dunno, Fred hasn... (Below threshold)
I dunno, Fred hasn't exactly won me over. Problem is, I don't get the feeling he wants to try real hard.

Deej, say it ain't so! The fact that winning the presidency clearly isn't an all-consuming obsession for Fred is one of his big positive differentiators, IMO. As for "not trying": I disagree. I think in true Fred style he's declining to play by some of the establishment's Holy Writ, waiting to announce, going the YouTube route, etc. Whether that will work out for him remains to be seen -- esp. since it looks like poor ol' Iowa has bought the MSM's anointed picks hook, line, & sinker.

I don't understand this "FDT doesn't do it for me because he just doesn't seem like he wants it" position (that I've seen various places) when it seems like such simple, clear logic to me: can you really trust the "vote for me!" pitches of the guys (or girls) who seem like they've been lusting after this prize for most of their adult life? Shouldn't my default read of those clowns be that they're going to tell me any-damn-thing I want to hear just to get my vote? We've been voting for these types for ages and it's gotten us ...Congress.

Frankly, I like the idea of some sort of draft-based House of Reps -- shorten the term to 1 year, and make it mandatory :)

I give you [for the Carter ... (Below threshold)

I give you [for the Carter Administration] the "triple doubles" -- inflation, unemployment, and interest rates all over 10% -- Mr. Tea

The unemployment rate never hit 10 percent during the Carter Administration. Highest it ever got was around 7.8 percent. It did exceed 10 percent for ten straight months of the Reagan Administration, from Sept. 1982 to June 1983. (Why do you think Republicans lost so many congressional seats in the '82 election?). Check the Bureau of Labor Statistics website next time, Mr. Tea.

Well Jay you will provide u... (Below threshold)

Well Jay you will provide us with photos of Mongo tagged with Thompson bumper stickers at some point then, won't you?

Jay Tea:You were E... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:

You were EIGHT when you supported President Carter!? Now I really feel old. I was also involved in (Democratic Party) politics at a young age, but I was an adult working for Carter. For that, I apologize to the country. It was a dreadful mistake that I did not repeat. I did not support him in 1980. I did not vote for President Reagan (either time), but I would not support Carter, a man who is probably the worst President since Hoover and one of the worst of all time.


I believe that you are correct about the unemployment rate, but you are drawing some incorrect conclusions.

First of all, Jay Tea is correct that the economic conditions that Reagan inherited were absolutely terrible. Unless you were living in those days, you cannot appreciate how bad things were. Young people like me got huge pay raises every year that still didn't keep up with inflation and pushed middle class workers into the highest tax brackets. You couldn't borrow money for a house because the interest rates were sky high. People who didn't get great pay raises got squeezed out of existence. And in the midst of all this misery, we had high unemployment. As people lost their ability to buy anything except necessities, of course the economy was slowing down.

Secondly, you don't appreciate that any President is limited by the conditions that he inherits from his predecessor. In particular, the economy was slowing down as Reagan took office, and it's hard to reverse something with that much forward momentum. Your argument seems to be that the unemployment rate was worse under Reagan, but his top priority was beating back the crippling inflation, and he can't change the terrible economy by himself overnight.

The bottom line is simple: Carter was a five-star cluster flop, and Reagan was a great President.


My parents, who are life-long Democrats visited, the Carter Presidential library. They loved it, and they still think highly of him - mostly as an ex-President. My mom said about the library that it was really nice, but it didn't have much in it about his Presidency. I never told her why: a Presidential library is a celebration of a President's achievements.

I would love to see a Thomp... (Below threshold)

I would love to see a Thompson/Romney ticket!!!

I was seven when I started ... (Below threshold)
Al in St. Lou:

I was seven when I started being an active Dem. I urged every adult I could to vote for my hero, Hubert H. Humphrey. I supported Carter when I was fifteen. Thank goodness I'd seen the light by the time I was old enough to vote. It really pissed off my friends when I told them I had voted to bring the hostages home.

So far, I agree with DJ. M... (Below threshold)

So far, I agree with DJ. McCain would make a stable V.P.

JIMMY CARTER was a complete... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

JIMMY CARTER was a complete wash out a incometent idiot i mean THE PEANUT EATER KID was about the worse






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