T Nation

Fred Thompson?


Can he win? Will he run? I can only hope. I am just tired of these liberal appeasing republicans. He seems like the closest thing to Reagan this country has ever had and he doesn't B.S. I also think he would eat Obama and Hillarys lunch in debate, which I don't know if the other Republican frontrunners could.


Would like to now more about him, Jumper-isn't he an actor, too?


I love to see him in a debate.


He has the look and charisma but I don't know if there is any substance behind him.

That being said his qualifications are similar to Hillary, Obama and Edwards.


Yes, he has been in a few movies, in Days of Thunder he played the head guy of NASCAR. He is also one of the main actors on some lawyer TV sitcom, I don't know the name of it. I don't watch too much TV anymore, except for FOX news, Strongman, MMA, Tucker, Glenn Beck, and South Park. The guy is my pick all day long.


How conservative is he?


PLEASE do not blame the GOP's laughably shitty crop of candidates on "the Libruls". Those are YOUR candidates...

Deal with it!


If Thompson is going to run, he'd better hop to it. He's already way behind in fundraising and name recognition. He's giving the rest of the GOP field a head start.

How many times has he been divorced? That's probably a good baseline question to ask, at this point.


Don't know how thrilled I am with any of the candidates on any side...


I would feel fine voting for any of the Democratic front runners... Clinton, Edwards or Obama. I think that is the general consensus across most of the Democratic party. We feel pretty good about our prospects, at this point. Democrats may grumble about Clinton not being progressive enough, for example, but in a general election, she will not lose Democratic votes to a Republican, and there will be a strong turnout. The Democratic base has been energized over the last 6 years, and that is not going to change any time soon.

Democrats also have two good potential candidates waiting in the wings... Gore and Wes Clark. In my estimation that is five good candidates who could all win the Democratic primary (and a general election). After 8 years of Bush incompetence, cronyism and corruption I think people will want to see the White House change hands, especially with the current gridlock in Congress.

Who do the Republicans have? Lets see...

Multiple-Choice Mitt... will Repubs vote for a serial flip flopper? Can a Mormon win? He certainly does have amazing hair.

Rudy Giuliani- you get a president AND a first lady in one package. Really, this guy's candidacy is a joke. He has as much of a chance of winning as Dennis Kucinich does. If he is the GOP's candidate, the entire election will be about all the skeletons in his closet. If you want a Jerry Springer Show election, nominate Rudy.

I Heart Huckabee!!! He raised taxes. "Nuff said.

Pander Bear John McCain. He's a shape shifter, he's a chameleon, he's got all ten fingers in the wind. He's a floor wax, No he's a desert topping. Relax! He's a floor wax AND a desert topping! (SNL joke). He's currently rustling up votes by finding Jesus. Isn't that special?

Fred Thompson. Who? An actor, you say? Hey, maybe he can act his way to a win. The voters want authenticity, so if he can fake that then he's all set. But he's not running yet.

Sam Brownback- He's a little too Christian-kooky for mass appeal, in my opinion. And if the election is about making abortion illegal, he's going to get his ass kicked pretty bad. Most Americans want abortion to remain legal (just look at South Dakota for proof).

Newt- He stepped down from his position as Speaker. Now he wants a promotion. Will Republicans vote for an adulterer, after browbeating Bill Clinton for his affair(s)?

George W. Bush won by a razor thin margin, by building a coalition between cloth-coat conservatives and Christian fundamentalists. I don't see anyone on the right who is able to bridge those factions, the way that Bush did. Unless both factions on the right turn out in massive numbers, the GOP probably cannot win in 2008. There isn't a Republican candidate who has strong support from both factions, as far as I can tell.

Then there is the Libertarian candidate, good ol' What's His Name. He'll help bleed votes away from the Republicans, maybe a few Democrats but mostly Republicans. I think I'll send him a few bucks, to encourage him.

And about a possible Unity ticket... ditto. More Republicans will vote for a Unity ticket than Democrats will. 8 years of hate speech and crazy talk on the Right about how Democrats hate America didn't exactly build bridges for a Unity ticket. And all signs are that Democrats will pick up even more seats in 2008... Bush will still be the most unpopular president in modern history, and Iraq will still be the Republican's fault. So there is very little incentive for Democrats to vote for a Unity ticket, when they have strong Democratic candidates to vote for. So a Unity ticket would probably bleed more votes away from the GOP, than from Democrats (for proof, look at how many Republicans voted for Lieberman in Connecticut, over their own party's candidate).


Your right an actor has no chance:


So Thompson voted for McCain/Feingold, eh?

Is that a deal killer?


Asking for a decent analysis out of Brad61 is like asking for ice cream in hell.

As for Thompson, I think he is an exceptional candidate, and as for substance, I actually think he may be equipped with the most substance of the GOP candidates - even while moving on to acting, he has been active in policy think tanks, etc. And he can go off the cuff on any number of topics - substance is not an issue for him.

CFR may hurt him a little, but I think most people - even if they don't like the particulars of McCain-Feingold - can behind the motive of reducing the influence of special interest in government. I think CFR hurts him less with conservatives now in light of the shameful performance of the GOP in pimping the government out to the highest bidders and profligate spending.

Lateness may hurt him as well, but since there isn't a true standout GOP candidate at this point, I think Thompson can play the angle not of ambitious office seeker, but as the guy who runs because he has surveyed the field and thinks he can serve the public better.



Marc Ambinder, in the National Journal, reports that some Republicans wonder whether Fred Thompson's presidential flirtations are part of a scheme to boost conservative support for John McCain:

"Until the middle of last month, however, [Fred Thompson] was a very informal adviser to close friend John McCain, and he would occasionally telephone donors and potential supporters on the senator's behalf."

"Some Republicans suspect that Thompson is an angler -- that his presidential flirtations will help him serve as a fishnet to scoop up conservatives and then dump them into McCain's basket. They think he'll raise his stature, muse publicly about the presidential race, build up anticipation, and then, presto change-o, announce that he thinks McCain would make the best president. A good many solid conservatives -- House members, donors, activists, and state party elites -- in the Thompson net would follow him to McCain. Or so the thinking goes."


You wouldn't happen to have conservative leanings, would you?

Tucker's bow-tie should run.


Translation: Yes, backing McCain Feingold is going to hurt. It's going to take the issue off the table for some of the voters who previously used it to dismiss McCain, and it's going to mean that some voters will shut Thompson out completely.

Translation: Yes, it's going to hurt him, it's going to hurt him a lot. With 10 (?!!!) GOP primary candidates competing for donations and air time, the candidate who gets out front early with cash and air-time has a definite advantage in the primary. Most voters currently don't know who the hell "Fred Thompson" is, and that won't even begin to change even slightly, until he makes up his mind about what he wants to do. Also, one thing that definitely does not inspire voters is indecision. Every day that goes by, reduces Thompson's chances a little more. If Thompson is going to run for president, he's starting out in a hole that's geting a little bit deeper every day.


Wait - did you just predict that some voters will tune Thompson out? Genius. Where do you get this finely tuned political acumen?

You should be picking up on my sarcasm.

All of which is conventional wisdom - my point was that conservative voters, if unexcited about the field (which they seem to be) can build momentum for the candidate looking in. If he flirts with a candidacy and people love him (and they do know him, despite your weird idea), they will build his inertia for him.

That is politics, especially for someone who isn't dying for the job. If he gets legions to say "please, Fred, run!!!", what better way to get himself going?

He wants to be a people's choice if he runs - he has given that inclination years ago.

And, given your brazen inability to be even mildly objective, perhaps your fear of a Thompson candidacy is what is at issue?


Terrific use of the word "inertia".

You should be picking up on my sarcasm.

By "mildly objective" you mean agree with you.

Hey I would love a Thompson candidacy! Lets make it 11 goofballs in the GOP primary, the more the merrier. You guys really need to add a Hollywood actor into the mix, to round the field out. He can balance out Giuliani, they are both equally viable.


Bradley, you never cease to underwhelm.

Let's try this: who do you think is a good GOP candidate?

Second, trying to minimize Thompson as a "Hollywood actor" demonstrates sniveling partisanship or a conplete lack of knowledge - in your case, probably both.

In addition to being Arthur Branch, he is a former Senator, assistant US attorney, Watergate co-counsel, attacker of state corruption (going after a crooked governor), quarterback to a Supreme Court nomination, radio program host....

...oh, and he is the chair of the International Security Advisory Board and is a visiting fellow at AEI, doing work in foreign policy, national security, and intelligence.

Other than that, he is just an actor.

Or better yet - how does that resume stack up against Barack Obama? Well, Obama does have an exotic name, which make Democracts navel-gaze for days, so he does have that going for him.


Also, for anyone interested, here is an online petition to Draft Fred: