Skip to comments.Fred Thompson's "mistake" (Kathleen Parker)
Posted on 09/07/2007 1:38:39 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In a stunning move that caught no one by surprise, Fred Thompson announced that ... he's ... running ... for ... president.
Time to step up to the plate, he said.
And everybody hit their snooze buttons.
That Thompson is running for the highest office was a foregone anti-climax after months of testing, consulting, pondering, considering and, most important, letting the other candidates spend their money and exhaust Americans' interest with endless debates in which little new is said or learned.
The debates have become so boilerplate, in fact, that Thompson himself became one of the topics at Wednesday's forum in New Hampshire. Where was Fred?
Fred was chatting it up with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" set, where he made his formal announcement. The other Republican candidates, doubtless weary from the previous 200 debates, took turns taking shots at Thompson.
Rudy Giuliani got off the best line, saying that he likes Thompson and thinks he's done a "pretty good job of playing my part on 'Law & Order.' I personally prefer the real thing."
The unflappable Thompson was in character when Leno asked him what he thought of the criticism. "It's a lot more difficult to get on 'The Tonight Show' than it is to get into a presidential debate," he deadpanned.
Despite criticism that Thompson played the Hollywood card by going on Leno's show, he was able to make some serious points about Iraq (stay until the country is stable), and complete his thoughts in paragraphs without interruption.
On important matters, Thompson is as serious as the DA he plays on television. And just as direct, as when he described Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as "a fellow who is not put together well upstairs running the country." As president, Thompson might have to be more diplomatic, but such frank talk is refreshing when most public figures are measuring their words with espresso spoons.
Thompson prompted applause when he answered Leno's question about why the U.S. isn't more popular with other countries. "What are we doing wrong?" Leno asked.
Powerful countries tend to attract envy and resentment, Thompson began. That's the price of being the biggest, strongest nation in the world. A 6-foot-6 man like Thompson might know something about that. But then he shifted focus from what we've done wrong to what we've done right:
"Our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples ... than all the other countries put together. (Applause.) And I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America."
There's still much to know about this latest addition to the White House race, but as first impressions go, Thompson has at least two things going for him: He's utterly lacking in hubris -- or so it seems -- and he can communicate. If presidents are elected in reaction to the previous officeholder, that's a strong hand.
It is also impossible to picture Thompson as a cheerleader.
Whether he can get nominated is another question, but he already holds the No. 2 slot in the polls behind Giuliani. On the Internet, Thompson's Web site (ImWithFred) had the most unique visitors in July among the Republican candidates, according to a new Nielsen report. Barack Obama leads all the candidates in Web traffic.
Whatever happens next, Thompson at least gave commentators something new to talk about. Was it a mistake to go on Leno instead of the debate, they wondered? And, did he sign on too late, they speculated? Is he a team player?
Thompson must have chuckled all the way to Iowa. Too late for what? Most Americans still don't know who's running and don't share the punditry's obsession with quantifying who's up and who's down every 24-hour cycle. If they're watching television, they're more likely watching Leno, who averaged 5.9 million viewers in 2006, instead of the presidential debates, which tend to draw between 1 million and 2 million viewers, according to Variety.
By setting himself apart from the gaggle and having a one-on-one chat with 6 million Americans, Thompson messed up the political ecosystem. In a single well-timed appearance, he made up for a late start and got exposure and buzz. And it didn't cost him a dime.
I loved Fred's line: "Our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples ... than all the other countries put together. (Applause.) And I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America." Needs to be repeated again and again!!
Fred has some good qualities, but he does get a few questions he needs to answer. McCain-Feingold being one of them.
Already answered, months ago.
If we have any chance in 2008, it's because of this sentiment.
Democrats DO NOT GET IT--Americans don't want to vote for someone who doesn't make them feel good about BEING an American. The Dems live in an echo chamber created by their fellow liberals in the media--all they hear 24-7 is "Yes, you're right!" from their handlers, staff and media folks whose job SHOULD be to hold their feet to the fire.
Democrats despise this country for what it IS but love what in their minds they think it COULD be--"Compassionate Socialism" or "Socialism with a human face."
They simply don't understand that when Americans sense you're not telling us what you REALLY think, there's something there they can't put their fingers on but they don't like you.
When they see Thompson they don't see a "My country right or wrong" type of robot, they see someone who says "Of course we haven't always gotten it right--who does?--but damnit, we do pretty damn good, and I LOVE this country for always trying, no matter what everyone else may think of us."
That attitude may give us the edge.
but nobody was paying attention, according to this article =o)
The first sends you to the second
Fred’s already explained his vote on McCain/Feingold, said it was a mistake he regretted and apologized. Read his essays on Townhall.com, go way back. He’s very candid on a lot of subjects. One thing you don’t get from Fred is nuance. He’s a federalist at heart.
Oh, that was the best—one weekend they had nothing but Mexican flags, and then a couple weeks later they had some US ones. Real cute. I don’t think anyone was fooled, though.
I love that line too. I believe I heard it here first though:
Including, apparently, you.
Of all the candidates, every single one of them allowed himself to be buffaloed into declaring way before he intended to, except for Fred Thompson. Which is one good reason for supporting Fred Thompson.
Could you imagine how differntly things would have turned out if Rudy, McCain, Romney et al had the guts to tell Hillary!
Rodham (Clinton) to go to Hell, and that they were going to announce their candidacies in the Fall of 2007, as Thompson just did? We would have had the spectacle of the Democrats all tearing each other apart on a daily basis, spending money and driving each other's numbers down, and the 'Pubbies would have been sitting pretty on a pile of money, tanned, rested and ready.
Instead, because of their own weakness, Rudy, McCain, Romney, et al allowed themselves to be bullied into abandoning all their plans and pulled into this extended primary season, and have given up the GOP's great advantage.
Rudy can pretend to be strong, but in the first big decision of his campaign, when to announce, he allowed himself to be backed into a corner by Hillary!.
McCain can pretend to be a great military thinker, but has allowed himself to be drawn into a fight he didn't have to fight, and is standing in the middle of the fray, instead of backing off and letting our enemies destroy each other.
Romney can pretend to be a great tactician and political mind, but he failed to see the possibilities of sticking to his plan and standing up for the traditional electoral process.
“Democrats despise this country for what it IS but love what in their minds they think it COULD be—”Compassionate Socialism” or “Socialism with a human face.” “
Democrats couldn’t care any less about passionate socialism. They don’t care about minorities, retirement, healthcare, AIDS prevention, hunger, homelessness or any other social issue.
Democrats care about one and one thing only. Having power. They have turned into Stalinists who are trying to create a two class society and they are doing it by trying to wipe out the middle class. This has been their MO for years.
Remember the template. If they say they care about something deeply, they will do everything in their power to first destroy it, then blame their opponents, then legislate it to bankruptcy, with their attorneys getting all the proceeds.
So, what’s your point—if you had one?
The Dims didn't get it in 1980 or 1984, either....
“They have turned into Stalinists who are trying to create a two class society and they are doing it by trying to wipe out the middle class.”
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. If they assume power look for the ruling elite to exempt themselves from universal health care just like they’re exempt from the soon to be bankrupt Social Security.