Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fred Thompson apparently in for 2008

At least it looks like it from the Tennessan

Thompson, a former U.S. Senator from Tennessee, has been coy about his intentions with audiences, but made clear in an interview that he plans to run.

"I can't remember exactly the point that I said, 'I'm going to do this,' " Thompson says, his 6-foot, 6-inch frame sprawled comfortably across a couch in a hotel suite. "But when I did, the thing that occurred to me: 'I'm going to tell people that I am thinking about it and see what kind of reaction I get to it.' "

His late start carries some problems but also "certain advantages," he says. "Nobody has maxed out to me" in contributions, he notes, and using the Internet already "has allowed me to be in the hunt, so to speak, without spending a dime."

Thompson could reshape a GOP contest in which each of the three leaders has significant vulnerabilities and none of the seven second-tier contenders has broken through. Without formally joining the race — he's preparing to do that as early as the first week of July — Thompson already is placing third and better among Republican candidates in some national polls.

Dissatisfaction among one-third of Republicans with the 2008 field has opened the door for the candidate whose folksy tone, actor's ease before an audience and conservative credentials drew comparisons to Ronald Reagan at the annual Connecticut GOP dinner here. Thompson addressed the dinner last week to a sold-out audience.

"People listen to him and see someone who's very comfortable with who he is and confident about what he believes in," state Republican chairman Chris Healy says. "That's a skill that, obviously, Ronald Reagan took to great heights."

Thompson, who's left a five-season stint playing Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's Law & Order, says his model will be the untraditional campaign he ran for the Senate in 1994.

I'm not jumping on the bandwagon yet and unless Mike Pence and Mark Sanford jump in, I'm probably waiting till the Mackinac Conference to make a decision on who I support.

That said, Thompson is a candidate I'll be considering. Against him is that he's voted for McCain/Feingold. That's a big negative and I'll have to talk to him or his policy guys about that before backing him. I've heard he has buyers remorse about that law due to the Soros ads, but we'll see. He did have a pro-2a and pro-life record in the senate however, that's more than the other candidates.

Another thing in his favor is that he got out of senate in 2002 and isn't a part of the current class of jokers there.

Before he was an actor, he was a Watergate attorney involved with Nixon's resignation who worked with Senator Howard Baker. Later he exposed a pardon selling scandal leading to then governor Ray Blanton not running for re-election. The Tennessee pardon scandal lead to Thompson's acting career. Hollywood was looking for someone to play Thompson in the movie about the case. Thompson played himself in the movie.

This is going to be interesting as he's part of the debates. There's a lot of conservatives unhappy with the "frontrunners" who are asking him to run. Will he live up to the hype as he's apparently now in? I'm waiting and seeing. How's he going to handle the attacks? Is he consistant on his views? We'll see.

He's won big in his two senate races, once in 94 defeating an appointed incumbent Jim Cooper (replaced Gore in 92), and once in 96, getting 60%+. That was before Tennessee became a Republican leaning (although it's very competitive on the state level) state. Can he do it again?

I'm going to wait and see before joining this bandwagon, but I'll be considering it in September if it shows me something.


keithr said...

I'm also having a tough time making a decision. Personally I really like Duncan Hunter on the issues but Duncan isn't catching on. I was really hoping he would do something in the debate to get him noticed but that didn't happen.

I've looked Fred Thompson over and I do have a few concerns but I could probably live with him.

I've heard Rudy interviewed on the radio several times and I'm just amazed at his charisma. I was also impressed with his debate performance. Unfortunately, I have serious disagreements with Rudy on many issues, most significantly with his stance on the 2nd amendment. I don't like his position on abortion either and that will be a real stumbling block with conservatives. Too bad, as he sure does know how to move an audience when he speaks.

I don't see the McCain candidacy going anywhere. There is a block of devoted McCain supporters out there but it is too small to win and he has burned his bridges with the grass roots so I can't see him getting any more support, especially after this stunt with the illegal immigration amnesty bill. IMHO McCain is out of the race but is too stubborn to admit it.

The other Republican candidate currently getting a lot of attention is Romney. Romney also has charisma but is not in the same league with Rudy. Romney sounds pretty good on the issues these days but like many other Republicans I'm worried about his recent conversion to the conservative side of the party. We won't know how sincere he is until he is elected president, but by then it will be too late to do anything if he backslides. I'd take Romney over Rudy on the issues but I'm still looking for someone better.

If it sounds like I'm hanging tough on the issues, I am. I'm disgusted with Bush for many reasons: McCain-Feingold, the Dubai ports deal, his current push to grant amnesty to illegals, and his decision to convert to Al Gore's global warming religion. Bush has also refused to build political relationships with other powerful leaders both in the U.S. and abroad which is now causing both him and our country serious problems. Other problems with Bush: in spite of his being an oilman he won't take the lead in pushing for new energy development in the U.S. We need to take serious action to get the energy situation under control before a crisis develops yet we see virtually no action in Washington.

And then there is the Bush push for record federal spending and expansion of the federal government: Education (no child left behind, which everyone on both sides of the isle hates), and prescription drugs (the biggest expansion of social spending since LBJ)

I keep looking at Bush and thinking about how he was sold to voters as a conservative, yet he keeps abandoning conservative principles time after time. President Bush is a good example of what happens when we elect someone without a strong commitment to conservative principles and I'm going to do my best to keep from falling into that trap again. THIS is what I worry about when looking at Romney.

If Fred Thompson can gain a lot of steam I may support him. Although this will require compromising on a few issues he does have a lot of good points, and most importantly he knows how to connect with an audience. This is vital if we want to win, and as we discovered with DeVos, it is not an easy skill to teach.

I'm also worried about the way the conservative base is fractured between so many candidates. We really need one solid conservative
candidate who can unite the grass roots under one banner. If we remain fractured in the primaries and spread our votes around we could give the nomination to Rudy by default.

If F. Thompson can unite the grass roots it would be good for the party, and if it looks like he might pull it off I won't fight it.

Looking forward to the general election, I'm thinking that F. Thompson for president and Rudy for V.P. (although I'm not sure he would consider the lesser post) would be a very powerful team. I'm not selling out on this. Disagreements over policy are less important with the v.p. candidate, and while there is some risk that Rudy could become president should something happen to Fred, with modern medical technology this is a much smaller risk than it used to be. On the other hand, Rudy has tremendous strength in places where Republicans normally don't do well. He appeals strongly to independent voters and is very powerful when campaigning. He could bring in a lot of votes. 2008 is going to be a tough year for Republicans and if we seriously want to win we need to put together the strongest team possible. I think that Thompson-Giuliani could be just such a team. It may not be ideal, but putting together a 'perfect' team in terms of issues does no good if it loses in November.

1flpete said...

I've looked at Fred Thompson, and he seemed interesting at first. There are some things I don't care for.
I don't trust Big Money lobbyists.
The CFR is a non-starter.
I hate the patriot Act, it is Un-American.
I am afraid a vote for Fred would be just more of the same.
The rest of the "Top Tier" are even worse.
Rudy=Democratwith an (R)
McCain talks out of both sides of his face.
Romney=Anti 2nd+ flip-flop
The only one I can support at this point is Dr. Ron Paul.
If he does not make it I will have to hold my nose and pick whoever is left.

keithr said...

I don't like the Patriot act in principle. However:

"Recently, FBI Director Robert Mueller, in an interview with NewsMax, confirmed Williams' main claim. Mueller said al-Qaida's paramount goal is clear: to detonate a nuclear device that would kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Mueller told NewsMax that at times, the threat feels so real he lies awake at night thinking about the prospect.

Williams maintains that al-Qaida is not content on blowing up one nuclear device or even simply a "dirty" nuke — but wants to explode real nuclear devices in seven U.S. cities simultaneously.

Williams says these cities are New York, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Miami, Boston, Houston, and Los Angeles."

We are in a war situation. I'm not talking about Iraq, I'm talking about the war al-Qaida is waging against the U.S. It is absolutely essential for law enforcement to be able to spy on foriegn terrorists located inside the U.S., even when the foriegn terrorists talk on the phone with American citizens.