December 13, 2007


Fred Thompson: The Stand-Up Guy Who Stood Up Too Late?: In Iowa, the former senator gives us a highlight of the campaign. (Byron York, 12/13/07, National Review)

[I]n the last month or so Thompson has acted like a man who has been liberated from something. And that is what voters saw on stage Wednesday: a presidential candidate who has declared himself fully free of the stupid stuff one has to do to become president of the United States.

If you’re going to ask Fred Thompson to participate in a grade-school show of hands, or demand that he sign a pledge, or insist that he speak emotionally and at length about how much his religious faith means to him, well, you can just forget it. He’s not gonna do it.

The moment of final liberation came when Des Moines Register editor Carolyn Washburn, the schoolmarmish moderator whom commentator Fred Barnes would later refer to as “Nurse Ratched,” asked the candidates to raise their hands if they believed that “global climate change is a serious threat and caused by human activity.” Before anyone could say anything, Thompson interrupted.

“I’m not doing hand shows today,” he said. “No hand shows.”

“Is that yes or no for you?” Washburn asked. “Do you believe that global climate change is — “

“Well, do you want to give me a minute?” Thompson responded.


“Then I’m not going to answer it.”

“How about thirty seconds?”

“No. You know — you want a show of hands. I’m not giving it to you.”

The audience loved it. Thompson, and Thompson alone, had stood up to the silliness that can characterize even self-styled serious-minded debates like the one conducted by the Register. Thompson scored again when he made effective points about entitlement reform, about the role of the National Education Association in blocking education reform, and about presidential leadership.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 13, 2007 8:37 PM

Like it or not, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Posted by: erp at December 13, 2007 9:28 PM

The question is whether he can pull off one of these a day before the caucuses, and not step in it while doing it.

He really should have been doing this about 4 weeks ago. I can only hope he times this perfectly.

Thompson Huckabee 08
McCain SecDef
Guiliani SecState
Romney Sec Commerce

The dream team

I'd even throw Ron Paul in at the OMB just for the sake of entertainment

Posted by: Bruno at December 13, 2007 10:13 PM

It might be too little, too late; though I hope not. I'll support Romney or Rudy if they win the nomination....but I won't like it.

Posted by: wyocwby at December 13, 2007 11:14 PM

My Dream Team:
McCain Thompson.
First year Thompson resigns; McCain appoints Jeb Bush as Veep, one month later McCain resigns due to failing health.
Of course I also purchase Lotto/Lottery tickets twice a week.

Posted by: Mike at December 14, 2007 12:18 AM


For too long I've had to daydream about what I would tell the press if I were running for president and they asked me these ridiculous questions. It's great to see Thompson living my dream.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 14, 2007 7:24 AM

Thompson/Steele '08!

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 14, 2007 8:55 AM

Lieberman for Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. Scoop Jackson lives!

Posted by: LC at December 14, 2007 1:36 PM