Fred Thompson

It’s official: Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race, and word is that he’s neither interested in a VP slot nor a Cabinet post. On an apolitical note, my prayers go out to him and his mother, who is reportedly ill.

Thompson’s campaign failed because of a couple factors, both within and beyond his control. To start with the latter, several of the early primary states simply were not looking for conservatism, as Mike Huckabee & John McCain’s victories have shown. While I must admit some measure of satisfaction at the ramifications this has for Mitt Romney’s chances, I would much rather have President Thompson than Huck, the Maverick, or Rudy Giuliani in the White House, and stronger support for him would have at least been reassuring that the Republican Party still takes the Reagan coalition seriously.

Second, Thompson is a man with a reasonably conservative voting record, and a knack for articulating conservatism clearly and plainly, but in the run-up to his candidacy, the blogosphere built him up into so much more. He was the second coming of Ronald Reagan, we were told, the knight in shining armor who would ride in and save us from the three-headed RINO known as
Rudy McRomney. No man could have lived up to such fire.

On the flip side, he tried playing with that fire, and got burned in two ways. First, he milked the “consistent conservative” mantra for all he could…even though it wasn’t true. Abortion, immigration, McCain-Feingold, and No Child Left Behind—four separate issues on which he initially took liberal (and, in the case of NCLB, anti-federalism) positions, but later moved rightward. Granted, I welcome his changes of heart, just as I welcome Romney’s. But Thompson’s choice to compound his past errors with fresh lies, while compelling to
the most ardent Fredheads, served instead to dull the man’s shine in the eyes of more critical observers. And even his current platform was found wanting in key areas. While positioning himself as a cultural conservative, he supported neither full legal protection for the unborn nor a national definition of marriage.

Second, whether it was the hero-worship going to his head or natural arrogance, Thompson seemed to think the GOP nomination was his for the asking. I suspect he expected to ride the hype straight to the nomination. Since he’s obviously the base’s only choice, who needs
a well-oiled organization? Fools who couldn’t see the obvious were dismissed as anti-Thompson conspirators.

Now that he’s out, there’s speculation that Fred Thompson, just as his fellow ex-candidate Duncan Hunter
has pledged to do, will take on a more active role for conservatism in other venues. I hope he does, and despite my criticism, I welcome his contributions to the fight for America, and thank him for making the attempt to give our nation a conservative president.

The good news is, we still have
a strong, full-spectrum conservative in the race, and he’s got the skills, organization, and funds necessary to go all the way…if we’re willing to unite behind him. Ladies & gentlemen, it’s never been clearer—Mitt Romney is the man for the job. Let’s give it our all to put him in the White House.

3 thoughts on “Fred Thompson

  1. Interesting post. Although I know we disagree the reason for the non-support of the amendments was from a federalist position.As for the campaign itself word is that many great ideas of the grassroots were dismissed by the higher-ups in the campaign – anyone’s guess on the truth of that. Going with Lacy as CM may have been a huge mistake.The obvious question is why now – considering Huckabee is all but done as Guiliani could be coupled with the fact he seemed to be gaining momentum with SC – among Republicans it was a much closer than the final total. Add to that a number of “closed” primaries were right ahead – where McCain can’t count on independents – the momentum was there for the race becoming him & Romney.I think a great deal of it lies with the fact his mother is gravely ill, which would make committing to a campaign very difficult.On a final note I’d venture that to an extent the media played a huge role with the constant “got in too late” mantra. When people hear it over & over it’s almost prophetic. It’s no secret many voters don’t research & vote on sound bites and that is something that was constantly heard.If anything conservatives need to realize that they need to as Fred said “Stand strong”. There truly is a battle for the heart & soul of the party under way.This is what “open” primaries get you.


  2. Word around Nashville is that Fred’s mother is extremely ill, which is, in part, why he has dropped out now, instead of waiting till after Super Tuesday. There is also a small amount of speculation that he might be a VP choice. Ya might get your wish, Cal. Seems Mitt is the next step for Fred supporters. :/


  3. I understand that Fred would defend his decision to enter when he did by saying the election season started unusually early this year, but right or wrong, that doesn’t change the fact that the fight was on when it was on, and just as in combat, you have to adjust tactics based on the circumstances as they are, not as they’d ideally be.I would be very comfortable with Fred as the veep. Romney-Thompson ’08? Could be interesting….


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