Skip to comments.When Fred Met Tim: Evaluating Thompson on Meet The Press
Posted on 11/04/2007 6:37:35 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
I had said Fred Thompson could do him a lot of good if he passed the Russert primary with flying colors.
His campaign had been dismissing the Washington press corps, and implicitly running against the media, refusing to do the things candidates traditionally do (enter early, do five events a day, appear at the New Hampshire debate instead of the Tonight Show). But every once in a while a Washington media institution really does matter, and Meet the Press is one of them. Simply because Tim Russert, without commercial interruption, will throw hardballs and curveballs for a solid half hour, and standard delaying tactics wont work. Also, his research staff can find every awkward quote from 1974 that every candidate dreads. Generally, a candidate who can handle Meet the Press well can handle just about any other live interview.
This morning I had caught a brief snippet his discussion of Iraq - and thought he was striking out. I thought the reference to generals we respect was so odd, I wondered if he had forgotten David Petraeuss name.
Having just watched it on the DVR, I thought it was a very, very solid performance. Ground rule double.
My initial shallow thought was that Thompson still looks a bit on the gaunt side. Then, during the interview:
Youve lost a lot of weight. Is it health related?
Coming from you, Tim, Ill take that as a compliment. Ouch. Thompson says no, its not health related, its just that his wife has him on a diet to watch his cholesterol. He says he had additional tests for his Lymphoma in September and was the results were all clear.
Every once in a while Thompson slipped up - I think he suggested that oil was selling at nah-eight hundred dollars a barrel, and Im wary of his quoted statistic that car bombs in Iraq are down 80 percent but overall, Thompson was measured, modest, serious, and completely at ease. After a couple of debates, its odd to watch a man not trying to squeeze his talking points into an answer, and instead speaking in paragraphs, conversational and informed.
Jen Rubin wrote, He does not answer questions linearly with a direct answer to the question but rather talks about the subject matter. Some find this thoughtful and other think he is vamping and unfocused. His talk on Iran was a perfect example, in that Thompsons position isnt terribly different from the rest of the field he doesnt want to use force, but hell keep that option open - but as he talks at length about the risks and benefits and factors that would go into a military strike, the audience, I think, will feel reassuring that if Thompson needs to face that decision, he will have weighed each option carefully.
That voice is fatherly, reassuring, calm. The contrast to Hillary couldnt be sharper.
Im going to say well-briefed, but I know that will just spur one of the Thompson Associates to call me to tell me thats not a sign of others briefing him, thats a sign of Thompsons own reading and study of the issues.
I was about to say that he was almost too conversational, that he could have used one quip or pithy summation at his views, and then, finally, at the tail end of his question on Schiavo, he summed up, the less government, the better.
Im hearing that David Brody listened to the section on abortion and Thompsons expression of federalism in this area, and has concluded, all he needs now is to buy the gun that shoots him in the foot. Look, if Fred Thompson isnt pro-life enough for social conservatives, then nobody short of Mike Huckabee is. If Huckabee gets the nomination, great, Id love to see Hillary Clinton go up against the Republican mirror-image of her husbands rhetorical skills. But it feels like the past few months have been an escalating series of vetoes from various factions within the GOP. Ive seen more amiable compromises on the United Nations Security Council.
Let me lay it out for every Republican primary voter. You support the guy you want, you rally for him, you write some checks, you vote in the primaries
and maybe your guy wins, maybe he loses. If the guy who beats your guy is half a loaf, you shrug your shoulders, hope your guy is his running mate, and get ready for the general. Life goes on.
Fred will be “evaluated” in the primaries. I don’t give a hoot in heck what Tim Russert thinks. He’s just one vote, if he bothers. My subdivision has about 600 votes!
I love this statement:
“Let me lay it out for every Republican primary voter. You support the guy you want, you rally for him, you write some checks, you vote in the primaries and maybe your guy wins, maybe he loses. If the guy who beats your guy is half a loaf, you shrug your shoulders, hope your guy is his running mate, and get ready for the general. Life goes on.”
Would that all FReepers who love their country would adopt this common-sense approach this election year.
While that is technically true; that’s like saying that Rush Limbaugh “has a little radio show” or that Mitt and Rudy are “slightly” to the left of Hillary Clinton.
No. Reagan vs Carter.
“If the guy who beats your guy is half a loaf, you shrug your shoulders, hope your guy is his running mate, and get ready for the general. Life goes on.
Would that all FReepers who love their country would adopt this common-sense approach this election year.
I haven’t heard anyone disputing this philosophy. If the eventually nominee is, as the quote says, worth half a loaf, I’m sure Freepers will rally behind him.
C'est la vie! (Or is it "c'est le mort"?)
I thought the reference to generals we respect was so odd, I wondered if he had forgotten David Petraeuss name.I watched the whole interview and I thought "generals we respect" was completely in context with Fred's train of thought. Petraeus isn't the only general in Iraq and the left has been telling us that they are all untrustworthy. I think the writer is laboring a minor point to prove he can be as "incisive" as the liberals.
I thought Fred was excellent in the interview, thoughtful and in control.
I fear that sometimes "conservative" writers have to show their "credentials" to their drinking pals in the DC bars... and this might be a case in point.
“If the guy who beats your guy is half a loaf, you shrug your shoulders, hope your guy is his running mate, and get ready for the general.”
So true. This talk of third party stuff is crazy.
That’s a great analogy! Clinton vs. Thompson looks like Mondale vs. Reagan.
How much interaction did Hillary and Fred have during the Watergate investigation? Anybody know? Are they old adversaries?
Actually Fred’s postion on this issue is the one I have held for years. Naturally, I think it is logical, sensible, and defensible.
I really like the way Fred put it; something to the effect that people are free to enact laws that even Fred Thompson doesn’t like. Speaking for myself, there are PLENTY of laws that legislatures have enacted that I don’t like.
What you and folks like you need to reconcile yourselves to is that we Americans don’t live in a dictatorship, and what’s more, we don’t want to. All an individual can do is to be just and well-considered in his own time. Fred has complied a 100% pro-life voting record. Fred has clearly described his own views on abortion, and pre-natal life.
He also believes in the power of state legislatures to act on behalf of the people of their states to enact laws that he does not approve of.
Or that you don’t approve of. That seems to be your big beef. I’d suggest that you might consider that you are only one of 200 million plus. You don’t get to decide things all by yourself.
Neither does a President, even one that might be named Fred Thompson.
There will possibly be 2 or even 3 more vacancies on the Supreme Court within the next 8 years. This is the opportunity Conservatives have been waiting for. Our Country is in great peril if the moral decay continues downhill. The Court did this to our country with Roe vs. Wade and the Court can reverse their decision just as easily by overturning this horrid ruling.
The one thing no Court or President can do is bring back the 50 million babies taken under the banner of "Choice." Live with that number in your head when you remember which of these candidates has always been for "Life." Rudy, certainly not, Mitt, today, but what about tomorrow? Huckabee, yes, but a social Conservative he is NOT! He, like Hillary, would turn our Country into a nanny state.
It would require a "willing suspension of disbelief" to conclude that any democRAT would be in any way beneficial to our Country.
Fred Thompson looked very presidential today. He set the pace from the beginning, and Russert did not bully him. It will be a very good day when we get to see Fred vs. Hillary at a one on one debate.
You missed the relevance of the thread. I don’t think you read it.
FRed looked fine, from the snippets I saw.
Fred Thompson was the Minority Counsel, Hillary was a glorified intern.
This coming from a Slick Willard supporter??
Thanks for the info. I understand she is not an effective attorney and assume Fred can think on his feet while she cannot.
The Democrats [Sam Dash] were in charge of the Democrat staff [Hillary].
The Republicans [Fred] was in charge of the Republican staff.
Fred worked mostly with Sam Dash and a few others at the top of the Dem staff. Hillary was a bottom feeder. Fred was at the top on the other side.
Fred was aware of what was going on with the Dem staff and had uncomplimentary things to say about them. He thought there was unprofessional conduct with the Dem staffers although he never named names. However, he liked Sam Dash and thought he had integrity.
Fred thought the staffers [including Hillary] were a tail end that was wagging the rest of the dog.
There may be issues between Fred and Hillary because of that, but he doesn’t get specific in his book and never named her, but he sure was not impressed with the Dem staff.
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“Fred vs. Hillary will look like Reagan vs. Mondale.”
I disagree. Hillary is no Ronald Reagan.
After the interview, did anyone from the Thompson camp suggest that Timmy boy be shot on sight like Hildabitch’s cronies said???
I would have liked that statement six weeks ago but I’m much more angry now than I was then. Reading from the purists around here and their tantrums/pouting, I am disturbingly eager for the big split to occur so that the purists go their way and the non-statists go ours
I used to media-train people for a living. Russert was relatively nice to Thompson because as you said, Thompson controlled the interview (i.e., it wasn't for lack of trying to savage him). One of the advantages to talking slowly and deliberately, and verbally examining an issue in response to a reporter's question, is that the reporter subsequently has less time to run the interview his way. You'll notice Thompson didn't even let Russert interrupt him -- he kept talking when Russert tried to machine-gun him, and even told Russert "now, let me finish" several times.
Great job by Thompson.
Another freeper peddling a Planned Parenthood anti-Romney advertisement with a forged signature.
The enemy of your enemy is still evil, if it’s Planned Parenthood. Anybody who quotes from attack ads of an abortion mill should have to go to stand in the corner and let the adults have a conversation.
Hahahaha! You Hunterites and your poor guy’s 1% poll numbers. I guess I’d be bitter, too, if my hero couldn’t get any traction. So, will you be voting for Hillary in the general? Or Ron Paul on a third party ticket?
The chutzpah of the Mittheads is astounding, they really outdid themselves tonight.
It’s a classic Clintonian tactic to attack other candidates on the exact issues where your own candidate is weak. It’s good chess-playing, but it’s intellectually dishonest.
The whole thing is readily available online, at the MtP website, at the Fred site linked in Reply #13 above, etc. For those on the fence or otherwise concerned about Fred's abilities as a campaigner it is worth watching the whole thing. I've been a FredHead from the get-go but I've also felt and expressed concern about his public appearances so far. Today's performance has boosted my confidence in Fred quite a bit!
I watched the whole thing.
Fred handled himself beautifully.
I think you are right on the mark about Hillary. She’s a snake, even more dangerous than her husband. I think a President Hillary would remind us why it’s not in our interests to have a president with the power to spy on us and lock up enemies with no trial etc..., powers that we felt comfortable giving to Bush.
Indeed, Fred is a formidable opponent. Russert appeared as a tousle haired schoolboy in comparison.
Fred, Fred, Fred.
If the guy who beats my guy is RINO-rudy, he's not even CLOSE to being "HALF a loaf" (read that, HALF CONSERVATIVE).
He's NINETY PERCENT LIBERAL TURD, and not worth my vote.
95 - 99 percent LIBERAL TURD.
In fact, he did Sen. Thompson a lot of favors by bringing up various press reports that misquoted Fred or mis-analyzed what he said during this past week. This gave Fred the opportunity to set the record straight.
Fred did a very statesmanlike interview this morning.
Russert is the one that needs an extreme makeover. He looked over-tired and under-coiffed. Fred looked rested, alert and at ease. All in all, I thought it was a good interview.
One-on-one interviews are much better for Thompson's laid-back style than being one of the stick-figures all lined up in a row in the Republican debates.
Russert also did not approach Social Security, almost questioning his desire to nail Fred on something. I find these points disturbing. Fred has solid solutions to these problems in contrast to Hillary, the DemocRATs, or even to his Republican rivalries. I feel Russert could not find anything to nail Fred on, and just couldnt pin him down with the usual spin he has.
I thought Fred did okay on MTP.
Somehow, the republican gay community Log Cabin Republicans seems to differ with your opinion about Mitt and gays, as they too are running ads about what they say Mitt used to say because they are upset that he hasn’t lived up to their interpretation of what they heard him say.
Your characterization of Mitt is so totally off that it is hard to imagine you actually could believe what you are writing.
It’s not like Fred Thompson has been working in the pro-life movement his entire life. Or even an entire day.
Seriously, I know he’s voted right, and I admire that, but point to ONE paragraph he wrote or said before he started talking about running for President that demonstrates he was “at one with” the pro-life, anti-abortion movement.
Even now he can’t bring himself to grant to the unborn the same inalienable right to life that we grant, at the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT level, to every other human being. No, for this ONE class of humans, Fred believes that life should be defined by the states, an argument that generally is great for a federalist, but not when it comes to basic human rights, like say abortion, or slavery.
Nobody thinks now that slavery should have been left to individual states. But Fred thinks killing babies should be left to the states.
I’ll support him anyway, because from a federal government perspective, at THIS time, it’s about all we need to get the ball rolling.
But eventually we need a president and a congress that will act on abortion like we once acted on slavery. And Fred Thompson is NOT at that point.
I’m not saying Romney is, or any other candidate is (although some certainly are). I’m just saying that people who support glass candidates should not throw stones.
He did not say that.
You said that.