November 12, 2007


An unconventional idea for Fred's unconventional campaign (Bruce Walker, November 5, 2007, Enter Stage Right)

Thompson, by contrast, is the real deal. He has taken genuinely courageous stands, like telling President Bush that he should pardon Scooter Libby and raising money for his legal defense or like tackling Social Security – the program that seems to make all Republicans into sheep – and actually calling for a limitation on benefits. Moreover, Thompson is perceived as conservative more than any of the top tier Republicans.

Things actually are working out pretty well for Fred now. Led by state senator McClintock, a leading conservative, many California Republican state legislators have endorsed Fred and while that might not help Thompson carry California in the general election, it could prove very important in the California primary, which Rudy must win. Nationally, Fred continues to run just about even with Rudy in the Rasmussen Poll, and it is logical that the support which went to men like Tancredo and Brownback will probably end up with Thompson.

Fred has run an unconventional campaign, which has driven the inside the beltway crowd nuts. But it has worked. And Fred is a "finisher." In his race for the Senate in Tennessee, he came from nowhere against a very popular Democrat to win easily. Underestimating Fred Thompson is one of the easiest – and most dangerous – mistakes to make.

For his unconventional campaign, I have an unconventional suggestion: normally the presidential nominee, after winning the nomination, picks his running mate and announces it to the world. No one has voted to this guy (or gal) and so the running mate is up to whomever happens to win the nomination. Fred, why not announce right now who your nominee will be? That would immediately focus attention back on the Thompson campaign and catch all the pundits and journalists off balance.

I would pick John Kasich as my running mate, if I were Thompson. He is well known, well liked, rightly considered decent and down to earth. The name of his Fox News program, "Heartland," conveys exactly the sort of values and persona that those of us in Flyover Country, who will election Thompson as president a year from now, want.

...and the only reason he isn't the #1 is because of the campaign. Try and get him onboard immediately after the nomination is wrapped up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2007 7:22 AM

These guys must be reading comments on your blog OJ.

Better than this suggestion would have been Kasich/Gingrich running as a 3rd party. Dems would win the presidency, but Repubs would take back both houses, with a lock on the presidency in 2012.

Alas, none of these bozos can think creatively.

Posted by: Bruno at November 12, 2007 11:03 AM

The winning slogan for '008: "Twenty years of Bush-Clinton is Enough". Sorry Jeb.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 12, 2007 12:28 PM

dittos Raoul,

However, if Hillary wins, Jeb is a lock.

Posted by: Bruno at November 12, 2007 1:01 PM

Wait now, has Oj dumped big Mac?

Posted by: Perry at November 12, 2007 2:28 PM

Looks like even Orrin has given up on McCain. Oh well, Condi never replaced Cheney, either.

Posted by: Casey Abell at November 12, 2007 2:49 PM

Casey, It's not over yet for Condi or McCain.

Posted by: erp at November 12, 2007 4:46 PM

If the upcoming Annapolis meeting is a dud (or, if it cancelled), Condi's problems will be visible for all to see. She has been a very big disappointment at State.

And, given that the Israeli police raided Olmert's private offices today, he may be gone very soon - making a "summit" a difficulty. If Barak replaces him as PM, one doubts Ehud would be led into another American dog and pony show (like Sept. 2000).

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 13, 2007 12:39 AM

They Said It: Thompson Social Security Plan Applauded as ‘Courageous,’ ‘Honest,’ and ‘Substantive’

Courage & Honesty

Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson’s plan to save Social Security and protect seniors, which he introduced Friday afternoon in a Washington, D.C., hotel, differs starkly from standard election year pablum on the subject in one key way: He’s actually treating voters like adults. (ABC, 11/9) seeking to show he is willing to take on tough issues if elected in November 2008, telling a news conference in Washington he was the only candidate to offer an extensive Social Security plan. (Reuters, 11/10)

“You certainly have to admire his courage for putting this out,” said Alan Viard with the American Enterprise Institute. (Tennessean, 11/10)

Supporters contend that Thompson’s willingness to take on the so-called third rail of politics will impress voters. (Bloomberg, 11/10)

Conservative economic experts applauded Thompson for offering specifics on an issue considered to be politically dangerous. (Tennessean, 11/10)

“He’s not afraid to be brutally honest with the American people about the challenges that lie ahead,” said Representative Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican who is working to recruit supporters for Thompson. “People can tell the difference between a strong leader telling the truth and a weak leader talking politics.” (Bloomberg, 11/10)


[Thompson is] the first candidate of either party to offer a detailed proposal to fix the nation’s retirement system. (WP, 11/10)

The Republican candidate laid out a detailed, four-page proposal (WSJ, 11/10)

Mr. Thompson’s plan...was more specific than what the Bush White House put on the table when it sought to overhaul the system. It also varied substantially from the traditional conservative approach of focusing primarily on personal investment accounts. (NYT, 11/10)

Economist Jason Furman said Thompson deserves credit for offering a detailed plan to address the projected Social Security shortfall...(Bloomberg, 11/10)

In discussing policy, Thompson was in his element. (Politico, 11/9)

He’d prefer to talk about substance. (Politico, 11/9)

Thompson’s plan draws on ideas favored by conservatives: a reduction in benefits, rather than an increase in payroll taxes; and a shift toward private accounts, rather than government-provided payments. (WP, 11/10)


[Thompson] ventured Friday into an area few rivals have tread: advocacy of a fundamental overhaul of Social Security. (WSJ, 11/10)

Although all of the presidential candidates have spoken, when asked, about the need to fix the Social Security system, none has offered such a detailed plan nor talked so eagerly and often about the issue. (WSJ, 11/10)

Among Republicans, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have talked in general terms ... but none has offered a specific plan. (WP, 11/10)

Mr. Thompson is the only one of the Republicans running for the White House who has made Social Security a central theme of his campaign. (NYT, 11/10)

He is the only presidential candidate so far to make Social Security an anchor of his campaign. (WSJ, 11/10)

But with less than two months before the 2008 voting begins, candidates have generally been reluctant to confront the Social Security issue. (WP, 11/10)


Saving and Protecting Social Security
A Plan to Ensure Retirement Security for All Americans

Posted by: Alan at November 13, 2007 5:38 AM