October 22, 2007


Fred Thompson and the value of 'easy does it': Many politicians are workaholics. Smart leaders take time off to reflect (Ralph Keyes, October 23, 2007, CS Monitor)

Pundits and Democrats are making the same mistake with Fred Thompson that they did with Ronald Reagan and Dwight Eisenhower: underestimating him because he's not a workaholic. Mr. Reagan liked to joke that "They say hard work never killed anyone, but I figure, why take the chance?" Reagan also once observed of himself, "I've really been burning the midday oil." The same could be said of Mr. Thompson. To detractors, this is clear evidence of his limitations. It isn't.

Any wise manager knows that long hours are not synonymous with added productivity. It could be the other way around. Working too hard usually indicates that an executive is disorganized, can't manage time, and has problems delegating authority. That person stays up late and brings work home on weekends because he has to. But working overtime is hardly the same as working effectively. Typically, it's just the opposite.

Every active president was a bad one: TR, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon & Carter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 22, 2007 7:45 PM

I'm surprised Mr. Bush wasn't included in the authors list. I recal at the start of his presidency he was derided by the media for calling it a day at 6 every evening. Not to mention the August vacations to to Crawford. They always hated that one.

Posted by: mc at October 22, 2007 9:42 PM

Reagan and Eisenhower's administrations both petered out in the last two years, probably because they were aging and lacked energy. I don't know how well Thompson would bear up to eight years of one of the most stressful jobs in the world.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at October 23, 2007 4:02 AM

Administration's peter out after 6 because of the 2nd midterm, not because of the president.

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2007 6:20 AM

And don't forget how Clinton spent most of his second term coasting to a stop. Take out the impeachment, and his signing legislation offered up by the oppositon party, and there's nothing left but Slick Willy playing Crown Prince and the Chambermaids.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 23, 2007 10:35 AM

Every active president was a bad one: TR, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Nixon & Carter

You left out Hoover.

Posted by: Brandon at October 23, 2007 11:19 AM

Reagan actually had a good 1988. And Clinton had a pretty good 1999 (as the year went on).

W looks like he will have a good '07, and maybe it will carryover into next year. He was moribund for most of 2005/06, however, which is why the midterm went the way it did.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 23, 2007 3:13 PM

Get a load of Fred's immigration plan? He's gone wackjob on us.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 23, 2007 5:41 PM

Good primary politics, bad policy, as his Senate record suggests he recognizes.

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2007 7:58 PM