April 17, 2007


Run, Fred, Run (Cal Thomas, 4/17/07, Real Clear Politics)

I have no idea whether Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee, will run for the Republican nomination for president, but he should.

He has Ronald Reagan's communication skills and speaks plainly in ways most people can understand. Anyone who has listened to him substitute for Paul Harvey on ABC News Radio senses that, in this, he follows in Reagan's footsteps. Radio is an intimate medium. People who are able to connect with a radio audience often can connect on TV and in person. Thompson, the actor, plays other people. On radio and in news interviews, he "plays" himself.

Thompson conveys Middle American, common sense values. When he is asked a question, he doesn't sound as if he's giving a poll-tested pabulum answer. Agree or not, his statements spring from conviction.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 17, 2007 10:05 AM

Mr. Judd: What a pleasant surprise to see your blog sited on the Manolo. Super-fantastic!

Posted by: Buttercup at April 17, 2007 10:54 AM

The cancer is worrisome. OJ, I am sure you remember if this had any effect on the 1992 candidacy of Paul Tsongas? I do remember he won your primary but not the dynamics that caused Clinton to win the nomination later on.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out and, if he is nominated, how the Democrats handle this potential issue. I would assume hypocritically.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 17, 2007 11:20 AM

I agree with rick. Because of McCain's age, Thompson's cancer and Obama's inexperience the next president is coming from the state of NY.

Since the Bush administration has soured all but the most devout members of the Religious Right on the GOP, we won't elect a Republican president.

That leaves us with President Hillary Clinton (who like Indira Gandhi, Golda Meyer, and Margaret Thatcher will probably have to fight another war just to show that she has the stones for the job).

Posted by: And Yet at April 17, 2007 11:32 AM

It's really, really difficult to see how Hillary gets the electoral votes she needs to be President. She'll pick Wes Clark or some other former military guy as her VP in an attempt to counter her catastrophically low appeal to men, but she just has such immense hurdles to overcome. Not the least of which is that even independents opposed to the war are not going to want to go Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. In a year and a half we'll all be looking back and laughing with president-elect McCain about "those dark days of March 2007" (and holding our breath about what a horrible president he's going to be)...

Posted by: b at April 17, 2007 12:45 PM

Bill Richardson is Hillary's lapdog and if she's nominated, and that's a big if, will be her choice for VP. As for her pre-ordained ascension to the White House, I doubt it very much.

Just as the Swiftboaters kept quiet about Kerry's disgraceful "military" career until he wanted to be president, so will those who know about the Billary's and their life long trolling for dollars, will come forward to put the kibosh on her campaign.

Mostly likely all this blather about her fund raising prowess is merely setting the stage for a lot of money laundering.

Posted by: erp at April 17, 2007 2:04 PM

erp: By all accounts, Richardson is the one politician who you'd trust with your daughter even less than Bill. Hillary needs a military guy, which mean Clark's the best bet, especially since he goes way back with the Clintons. Webb's too much of a loose cannon, and after that the cupboard is pretty bare on the D side.

Posted by: b at April 17, 2007 2:26 PM

I refreshed my memory from this in wiki. I don't think Tsongas' cancer was a dramatic issue. Both Iowa and NH were taken by candidates who were going nowhere. Clinton took off after the 60 minutes interview going into Super Tuesday on his home turf in the South.

We elected Reagan twice and GHWB once after 8 years as VP, so McCain isn't in any way too old. Both Dean and Kerry showed that Dems don't care about a thin resume so don't count Obama out, either, especially if the Dem primary voters start trying to read tea leaves about which liberal can do the best soft shoe around their views. They'll guess wrong again.

Posted by: Chris B at April 17, 2007 4:35 PM

The Democrats winning control of Congress cut their chances of winning the Presidency in half. People just aren't going to trust them with unfettered power. Also, Hillary gives a lot of people the heebie-jeebies. I think an unobjectionable Republican like Fred Thompson has to be the favorite.

Posted by: pj at April 17, 2007 6:56 PM

Dick Morris [caution - take with a hand-full of salt] pointed out another difficulty for Hillary this weekend. With her negatives so high among independents and Repugs, and 40+ states with open primaries where party affiliation can be changed on election day, he expects many to change registration simply to vote against Hillary. I have no doubt that Morris (and others) will mount such a campaign.

Posted by: jd watson at April 17, 2007 8:16 PM

No, that's how Obama and Rudy help the frontrunners in the opposite party. The folk who would cross to vote for one will stay in party to vote instead. If Rudy does decide not to run the GOP can wreak havoc on Hillary.

Posted by: oj at April 17, 2007 11:01 PM

Tsongas didn't lose because of the cancer, but because Clinton savvily portrayed him as an enemy of Social Security. Deadly in Democratic primaries.

Posted by: oj at April 17, 2007 11:04 PM

PJ: You hit it on the nose. Then there's Obama, who's too inexperienced and, when the truth gets past the PR blather, too purely liberal. As for Edwards, the idea that the country will vote for a slick trial lawyer with a $400 haircut is laughable. The Dem lineup is actually rather weak.

On the Rep side, yes, Fred Thompson looks best at the moment. He seems to appeal to conservatives and moderates and hasn't done much to tick off libertarians, unlike McCain and Rudy.

Posted by: PapayaSF at April 18, 2007 12:29 AM

Please don't laugh at me.

I hear that John Kerry might get back into it.

Ok, go ahead and laugh.

Posted by: AllenS at April 18, 2007 8:07 AM

AllenS ... keep saying it, I'll keep laughing.

Posted by: Chris B at April 18, 2007 8:56 AM

Thanks Allen, it's nice to start the day with a laugh.

Hillary's VP -- Wesley Clark wouldn't appeal to either men or women as a military man. IIRC, didn't her husband fire him for insubordination and extreme nutsoness.

I didn't know about Richardson's womanizing, but perhaps she's comfortable with him because he's the kind of man she's used to. Just think, he does what he's told, he's pudgy, his name is Bill, and he chases women -- what's not to like.

Posted by: erp at April 18, 2007 9:14 AM