Skip to comments.What's Next For Thompson?
Posted on 01/20/2008 2:27:30 AM PST by counterpunch
COLUMBIA, S.C.- John McCain was the winner of Saturday's South Carolina primary. Mike Huckabee came in second. Fred Thompson came in third, followed closely by Mitt Romney.
This is a victory that eluded McCain in 2000, and if history is a guide, may have set him on course to become the GOP presidential nominee. No Republican since 1980 has won the party's nod without a win in the first-in-the-South primary.
Saturday's primary loss was clearly a big disappointment for Fred Thompson, but you never would have picked up on that when you heard him speak to his supporters.
"Well, it may be a little early to declare victory, I am not sure," Thompson joked. "We told our folks to vote late, so they'll be trickling in I am sure."
So a lot of folks are now weighing in on Fred Thompson's political future. One political expert from Tennessee weighs in.
"I think he is through if he doesn't do well here, I think he has said so. Even a second place finish won't do," said Jackson Baker, Memphis Flyer.
"This is a gun show he just attended, if he can't get votes from this crowd, in this state which is probably the most conservative state in the union probably, then his message just probably won't play anywhere else," said Baker.
Thompson spent more time campaigning in South Carolina than anyone else. An army of Tennessee Volunteers also came through. They sent out a scripted message to undecided voters.
In South Carolina, apparently, Thompson's message did not catch on. Fred Thompson, however, was far from making any sort of statement about bowing out of the presidential race. Thompson returned home to Virginia Saturday night. His campaign most likely is regrouping, and gearing up for another big fight in the Florida Primary.
“Of course, if Obama beats Hillary, then it all over as no Republican will beat him.”
That is of course nonsense. “Head to head” polls have shown several Republicans can beat Obama.
The more people hear about Obama’s policies, the more afraid they’ll become.
Feh. SC has an open primary.
Slice and dice the exit polls a bit more, you'll find a lot of people who thought McCain was pro-military and anti-illegal immigration.
And that Huckabee is NOT Jimmuh Carter.
This is a case where the media blackout of Thompson is hurting.
NO cheers, unfortunately.
Fred can win the south as soon as the media lets him speak.
The media gave him ample opportunity the last couple months. He has been on every show. Everytime you turn around Fred was trying to get his message across. Not sure what you mean. Do you think he has not been on the news more than other? I believe he has had the same if not more.
“I think their vote of McCain & Huckabee today clearly disspelled that honor (most conservative state in the union).”
I got out there and voted for Fred. Sadly, it looks like not enough other folk did the same.
Fred’s organization was lacking here. I saw FAR fewer Fred Thompson signs than those for McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Paul. I’d say I saw more Ron Paul signs than any other.
Fred did do a good job with last minute radio and TV ads, but they were too little too late I think.
“Im seriously down...how are we going to stop McCain from rolling now? The votes of the american people have disappointed me.”
I think we need to be patient, and Republicans need to start voting on principle rather than voting based on “who we think can win”. That’s the only way we’ll end up with a conservative candidate.
Fred, on the other hand, is head and shoulders above Rudy McRomney, in every aspect that really matters,
except getting votes which trumps everything.
So what your saying is if Fred can’t win, then he should make sure that 1 of the 2 Super RINO’S does?
“Do you think he has not been on the news more than other? I believe he has had the same if not more.”
No, I think the news coverage REALLY hurt Thompson. Many stories lately have been about the “Top Three” candidates (McCain, Huck and Romney) with no mention of Thompson. There were also lots more fluff pieces on those candidates.
Thompson got comparatively little coverage, and a lot of that had a “look how bad he’s doing” slant. If all the media does is say a candidate is losing, it’s hard to change that momentum. Also, the constant trumpeting of polls hurts everyone but the frontrunner.
If McCain loses FL to Giuliani and Fred finishes 2nd, that would be a big boost, and if he finished first there, that would be even better!
How is he to do this? First all the candidates are in Florida now and Fred is not. Yes I totally understand that his mom is in the hospital. I am glad that he puts his mother first...he should and I would too, but how does he get votes in Florida not being there?
Interesting take, but I watch alot of Fox news and other news shows and I saw him on quite a bit. He always got to say what he wanted to say. I still think his biggest mistake was not doing what Romney did and get all the news agencies together and give a major speech on Federalism like Romney did for Religion. That would have gotten Fred noticed big time. If I was his campaign manager I would have done that a week after Romney and put it out there in a way that EVERYONE understood. Occasionally Fred would explain something that the average American did not comprehend and that did not help much.
I think that in this day and age there should be a law against the media deciding who is the frontrunner etc. No one knows who is going to win until the votes are cast. How many people (the apathetic voter)voted for a candidate because they heard on TV he would be the winner? I'm old enough to remember when the election cycle didn't start until after the first of the year that the actual election was held. This time is started almost the day after GW was sworn in for his second term. Disgusting.
What is even more disgusting is the ignorance of the American public...they are too busy playing with their Xboxes to find out what the candidates believe in and actually go and vote. I guess we get what we deserve.
And McCain is 71. He’s hardly the fresh face the GOP needs in the fall election against Billary.
I don’t think so. Fred waited much too long to enter the nomination race. I just don’t think many voters know who the man is. He should have entered the race early in ‘07, and he would probably be doing much better today.
If McCain isn’t a conservative then Reagan isn’t a conservative.
Reagan passed an amnesty bill.
Reagan raised taxes to lower the budget deficit.
Reagan raised social security taxes.
Reagan bugged out of Lebanon.
McCain has been the only candidate to be right about Iraq and the WoT. Heck, if the president followed his lead and did the surge six months earlier we would have kept both the house and Senate.
He opposed the tax cuts because they were fiscally irresponsible, nobody was proposing spending cuts to go along with it. McCain is the closest thing to a fiscally responsible Republican in this race.
“The news coverage REALLY hurt Thompson.”
Yup. That sort of unfair media coverage doomed Bill Richardson, too. /s
Let's get real. Fred is done.
Yes, because Romney and Guiliani want nothing more than Fred to be president. LOL!
I heard Thompsons mom is in the hospital and that is why he went home.
I’ve got to agree that Fred didn’t do as good a job as he should have in getting in early and vigorously, and in setting up a good organization nationwide. With the media—including Fox!—so against him, that apparently has been too much to recover from.
What a shame, because I believe he’s by far the best candidate we’ve had and the most likely to have been able to defeat the Dems. He may have done us a favor in turning back Huckabee (though Huckabee only surged due to Fred’s giving him an opening earlier), but he did SC a disservice by not exposing McCain’s hypocrisy (e.g., on immigration) more forcefully.
I’d like to see him hang in and come out tougher, but I am discouraged.
A concern I have is Fred appearst to be helping McCain by staying in the race. Does it make sense for me to support Fred, when it appears he has no chance?
Now thats just funny
Uh, it was the American people that stopped amnesty not the congress.Had we not blistered their collective asses with phone calls and emails that sorry group of elitist swine would have passed the amnesty bill.John mcnutts cant wait to start this all over again if he gets in.
Nicely put and dead on with regards to mitman.
Just from my personal observation of the Mega evangelical churches in SC, the answer is yes, the members are susceptable to a herd mentality on one issue, that being abortion.
It is an issue that evokes passion and commitment. And in a state like SC, a few thousand votes for Huckabee on this issue seperates him from being a contender rather than a pretender.
One more passing thought, the absence of Jerry Fallwell.
I always saw him as being the glue that kept evangelicals
in tow with the conservative wing of the GOP. Does any one think his passing has allowed the evangelicals to follow their own narrow path?
Thompson did make a stong surge in the two weeks leading up to the election. I agree too little, too late. McCain
has been campaiging in SC since 2000. Even when he disappeared from the polital map last summer and fall, he was still making regular appearences through out the state.
Winning elections is about organization, boots on the ground, and name recognition. I thinks the powers that drafted Thompson felt he could charge in like the cavalry
and save the day at the last minute. That only works in
I agree that Fred needs to keep up the fight! This race is still wide open and most folks are just now looking at the candidates because they don’t vot until Super Tuesday. I know Guiliani has his hopes set here in Florida, but he just might not pull it off. I also believe that McCain’s win in South Carolina will fade away soon. I am with Fred all the way, and hope he is going all the way too! GO FRED!
Hes a better speaker than Fred.
Everybody is entitled to an opinion, my opinion is that your opinion is absurd.
Nope. Dobson is the big cheese now.
You could not be more wrong. Romney matches up very well with either Hillary or Obama in the South and West, and will win enough in the North to take the presidency.
He should suspend his campaign, wait for Huckabee to get knocked out of the race, then re-enter as the great conservative hope.
It’s not as weird as it seems at first glance.
(1) SC is strong evidence that the Republican party is not particularly conservative anymore. True conservatives are probably < 15% of the population.
(2) SC is strong evidence that most primary voters still form their impression of candidates from the MSM. The number that go to conservatives websites and blogs is tiny. So — when the MSM “blacks out” coverage of candidates like Fred — and portray him negatively — that has an effect.
“Everybody is entitled to an opinion, my opinion is that your opinion is absurd.”
Eye of the beholder I guess. Apparently I’m not the only one who had trouble with Freds Speaking style though.
The more people hear about Obamas policies, the more afraid theyll become.
I hope so! The mere fact that he has won a Senate seat is proof enough that we have a lot of retarded voters in this country, the fact that he is taken seriously as a candidate for the top job is enough to make a thinking person curl up into a fetal position or pack up everything and go look for a cave in the hills. The fact that the best choice the Democrats can offer us is coffee, she or E. is beyond satire.
“Change” is going to win the presidency. Hillary would beat McCain as a long time insider. Only Romney can out-debate and beat Hillary when it comes to change. He is more of an outsider than Hillary and many of Hillary’s supporters would turn into mittens.
Which is why so many of us are excited about Mitt Romney, his fresh face... his
fresh newly minted approach to conservative ideas and promotion.
There, fixed it for you
That was to be expected, but when the most powerful & influential Conservative in the country (Rush Limbaugh) effectively "blacks out" FT and doesn't actively promote him, then the jig is up..
If SC is the "most conservative" state in the union, how in the heck did McLame get so many votes?
I see from your profile you're probusiness. But the biz community liked the tax cuts, no? You don't agree that lower marginal rates are stimulative, and thus revenue-producing? I thought supply siders dont believe in spending offsets for tax cuts?
McCain has run such a vague campaign, you’re right about pounding him hard. Going at him from all sides will force him into some positions, the same way Fred has had to move wholesale into the NRA camp.
The Feb Super automatically favors the frontrunner and the fact McCain has somehow remained the least-defined guy in the race so far .. not good. The other gentlemen need to lock McCain into some stuff they can use as ammo.
Im banking on Fred having a lot more mass appeal from the film career than pundits are considering. The Feb Super might toss him back into contention if we’re heading for a brokered convention.
Northern States? Are you delusional?
He cannot even win his own state, for crap’s sake.
And hillary may very well even take Florida.
Being in Florida, I never thought that such a thing could come to pass, but I am seeing the signs here every day that the base will not crawl over broken glass for Mitt, and that is what it takes to win Florida.
From another post; another thread:
If Romney is the nominee, imagine the debate with Hillary.
Hillary: I am pro-choice and in fact my opponent was also at one time.
Hillary: I opposed the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and in fact, my opponent was also against them at one time.
On healthcare for all:
Hillary: I support and will fight for healthcare for all, just like my opponent did in Massachusetts.
In fact, he said the biggest difference between his plan and mine is that his became law!
I welcome his support for my plan.
On gays serving openly in the military:
Hillary: It is time to end dont ask, dont tell.
In fact, you Mr. Romney, were all for ending that plan even before me and my husband.
You were ahead of the curve and supported gays being allowed to serve openly way back in 1994.
On a huge stimulus package:
Hillary: I want to spend 100 billion in an effort to bring the economy back from this recession!
My opponent wants to spend 100 billion over 5 years just on the automobile industry, so my plan is, in fact, a lot more fiscally responsible than his!
I agree. This is ridiculous. The Fred supporters are so gung ho while the candidate himself acts like he really doesn’t care. He seems to be just playing at this. It’s an insult to the people who have gotten all fired up over his candidacy.
Fred Thompson bungled his campaign, just like he bungled the ChinaGate investigation. But that was no surprise, as everyone can see right now. Thompson has always been a bungler.
It’s as if he gets some sort of twisted kick toying with his supporters and then refusing to step it up for them. It’s disgraceful.
Fred needs to get out now and apologize to supporters for leading them on and wasting their time and enthusiasm.
I still believe McCain cannot succeed without the independent/dem voter voting in OUR primary! ...Gang of 14, Amnesty, McCain-Feingold, global warming......need I go on?
Here in the right blogosphere we must realize, there is no conservative base in the Republican party, the party is not much of anything identifiable.
Most people (even the majority voting) are not informed and not that interested. The what little information they bother to attain has been delivered through the liberal prism of MSM (including Fox).
For sure, there will be no Thompson candidacy.
I’ve voted for the lesser candidate in the GOP for years. I’ll NOT vote for McCain, Huckabee or Ron Paul (don’t really think I’ll have to worry about Huckabee or Paul). I could hold my nose and vote for Romney or Giuliani, but MSM has chosen McCain for us, and that’s who it will be, unless he explodes, as he has the tendency to do.
Let the nation elect him, Clinton or Obama. If that’s what America’s wants, so be it.
The GOP better wake up fast. There is going to be a massive no turn out on voting day if McCain or the likes gets in.
Are you nuts? Romney would kill Hillary in a debate.
He’s pro-life, she’s pro-choice.
He’s for tax cuts, she’s against tax cuts.
He is obviously more conservative than she is.
Hillary can’t beat Romney in the South or the West. She also can’t beat him in states like Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and several others
Does Fred have any delegates, and if so, how many?
Response: Based upon his showing so far the operative word is retirement.
“The strange part is that when he officially entered the race he was in 2nd place nationally, and was polling pretty well. I think the problem was that he started pretty casually, and didnt seem to ramp up till a couple of weeks before IA. when the polls showed him slipping. It went downhill fast from there.”
No, what happened is the media started pushing Huckabee, and once that happened, Fred’s numbers started dropping and Huckster’s started rising. I think that definitely hurt Fred.
“In spite of what a lot of people around here think, I do believe that only McCain will be able to get enough independent and swing votes to BEAT HILLARY.”
Are those swing and indies enough to make up for the the conservatives that will sit home in DROVES and watch your party go down in flames?