Skip to comments.Bill Frist for President?
Posted on 08/30/2006 8:08:21 AM PDT by yoe
I spent part of the day today with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He is, of course, a very impressive guy: a physician, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, an upstart politician, a hands-on doctor in places like Sudan and New Orleans, and one of the most powerful people in our government. Despite those obvious accomplishments and Frist's skills as a legislator, I've always felt that he lacks the executive persona necessary to be a strong Presidential candidate.
Maybe. But I was impressed by the close-up contact I had today. Frist is deadly serious about the war on terror, the pre-eminent issue of our era. He tells a chilling story of receiving a call from President Bush a week before the recent British airline bomb plot was disrupted. The message at that time, communicated to less than a handful of top federal officials, was that a terrorist plan was known to be in progress which could kill several thousand Americans, but there was no assurance that it could be stopped. It was stopped, thankfully, and news accounts suggest that the very terrorist surveillance programs now under attack by the Democrats were instrumental in saving thousands of American lives. Senator Frist is fully committed to using all of the appropriate tools at our command to win the war against Islamic terror, and September will see a series of legislative initiatives designed to strengthen our defenses against the terrorists.
Frist is also acutely aware of the relationship between petroleum prices and the funding of Islamic terror. Energy independence is not just a desirable economic goal, it is a national security mandate. Hundreds of millions of dollars are needlessly being poured into the coffers of terror-supporting states because the Democratic Party blocks every effort to develop our own energy resources.
The Majority Leader also made a point on taxes that surprised nearly all of his listeners. If you take a family of four, with an average American income of $64,000 per year, and assume that the Democrats regain control of either the House or the Senate and block the extension of the Bush tax cuts, as they are committed to doing, what would be the impact on that average family? A federal tax increase of 58%. That's what the Democratic Party stands for.
Based on my observations today, Senator Frist is a highly viable Presidential candidate. His intelligence, competence, judgment and reliability cannot be questioned. His views are compatible with those of the Republican base across a broad range of issues. He needs to beef up his Presidential persona, by, for example, learning what to do with his legs when he is addressing a group. (Then again, President Bush never mastered that particular skill.) But such cosmetic issues are minor.
When Republican voters start thinking seriously about a candidate for 2008, if they are concerned by the quirkiness of both John McCain--whom, by the way, Frist was careful to praise today--and Rudy Giuliani, should he run, and if they look for a more mainstream conservative candidate, Frist should be at the top of the heap. With all due respect to Senator George Allen, it would seem that Senator Frist has a more powerful claim on the loyalties of the party's faithful.
Consider me impressed.
Frist could be president, but it would require him reaching a compromise with Senator Reid.
Now the reality. When you have a stellar ACU rating but somehow the party base views you as weak and ineffective, you can't get there from here.
Further, in a year where he's not only not running for re-election but is retiring, there's no excuse for him not to give 100% to the President NO MATTER WHAT. There's no need to demonstrate "independence" from the president when you're retiring.
Finally, if his seat goes over to the Dems and/or the senate changes hands this cycle there is no future for Mr. Frist in Washington unless he decides to practice medicine there.
Not just 'no,' but HELL NO.
The author cannot discern the difference between a handwringer and a leader.
Frist is the main reason the republicans, who have a majority in the Senate, can't get squat done. Good riddance!
He has no spine to stand up for our country. He is a failure as a leader.
He needs to go back to doing what he does best - being a great surgeon.
He doesn't get my vote.
His personal beliefs notwithstanding, he's got the same problems that all the other legislators who want to make the leap into the executive do: he proposes to govern by compromises. His first thought when developing a plan is to decide which parts of it he's most willing to bargain away for some kind of promise later. No real decision gets made this way - it's only the recipe for mediocrity.
Why are we constantly treated to these articles every election cycle, about all the various legislators with Presidential ambitions? It's so very rare to find a career legislator with the personal approach that gets results in the executive. Yet the ever-imaginative press, every year, goes back to that nasty poisoned well for another great big drink.
Helluva screen name... ;)
Do you agree he has no BALLS ?
The Iranian president, Kim Jong-Il of North Korea, and Vladimir Putin would probably ride roughshod over a President Frist.
Sorry but I look at the growth in federal spending over the last 6 years and color me unimpressed.
It is unfortunate for Republicans, now they will run a really good candidate, like Rudy. Which would ensure a liberal in the White House.
No spine on Frist. No thank you.
Alas, what rules in American politics is celebrity, above all.
In light of that, the GOP nominee is going to be Giuliani, cause he's got the celebrity, which will bring the $, which will bring the ads., etc., etc......
I am not for it, but, it's a bit late to start thinking that there is any realistic alternative to Giuliani.
The good news, I guess, though, is that he will beat Hillary.
He seems pretty wimpy to me. It would be challenging to see him in the big chair.
Cannot control the Senate from within - will not be able to persuade the Senate from another body of Government.
Instead he is a Wimpish SOB.
Reminds me too much of Mr. Rogers....