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Monday, July 9, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 10:19 AM | permalink
I want to put the usual disclaimer about Republicans over Democrats, blah, blah, blah…

Fred Thompson seems a very generic Republican. He very much seems in the George Allen, Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore mold, except for one thing: charisma. His booming voice and gentle manners are very engaging. Which brings me to my question: Beyond his personal charisma, what is it that sets Fred Thompson apart? Perhaps that’s enough for some people. They will take his wink-and-nod and feel satisfied that he will fill in the lack of substance somewhere along the way.

Color me unimpressed. Thompson's candidacy very much reminds me of the type of politicking that produced the disaster of an immigration reform bill. The backroom dealers come forward saying they had the solution, but that we shouldn’t ask too many questions or worry about what was actually in the bill. Thompson’s candidacy seems to me the same type of thing. He is broadly proclaimed to be the answer for conservatives who have neither seen his substance nor tested his durability.

I remain skeptical because of his track record also. What is it that Thompson did in his public service that indicates a successful tenure as president? Thompson himself seems unable to answer that question.

Mitt, on the other hand, has been both forthcoming about policy proposals and has a track record of success in governing that can easily translate to success as the President. We can look to Mitt’s success in governing Massachusetts to see how he would govern as President. What can Fred Thompson point to? At this point Fred Thompson’s candidacy is a purely faith-based experience. Could he possibly be a good president? Sure, but there is nothing to support that hope yet.

Update - Jennifer Rubin makes my point describing the speeches at the Young Republican conference:

On Saturday Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney ventured to the Young Republicans (YR) convention in Hollywood, Florida and we got a preview of two different types of candidates.

Thompson offered a “red meat” speech-playing to the emotions of the young crowd and pulling out crowd pleasing lines...He did not however address a single substantive policy issue nor explain a rationale for a potential Thompson campaign. There was no talk of Iraq or the economy or even immigration. As for the Democrats he spent no time addressing Hillary health care or their views on other topics. He did however exhort the crowd, promising that voters would not “turn the keys over to the party of despair and division.” The crowd of youngsters seemed not to mind and cheered enthusiastically.

Romney, by contrast, treated the crowd to vintage Romney: a mix of enthusiasm and optimism with a heavy dose of policy.

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3 Comments:


I do not think FT should be tagged with the description of charismatic. He is a terrible orator. Whenever I watch video of him speaking he sucks the life out of me because of his low drone. Give me Romney or give me death!



Perhaps I shouldn't say this, but I've always seen Fred's "candidacy" as a sham. He's "there" just to sop up the McCain and Guiliani voters until Mitt is ready to take them on board. (I can say no more!)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 9, 2007 at 12:57 PM  


What is it that Thompson did in his public service that indicates a successful tenure as president?
------------------------------

He stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

By Anonymous GeorgiaMom, at July 9, 2007 at 1:21 PM  



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