Fred Decides to Run

Paul Gronke

Fred Thompson has finally ended the months of speculation and has jumped into the GOP nomination fray, and not a moment too soon.

In his announcement on the Jay Leno show, Fred lays down the law, as any good actor/lawyer has to.  Fred believes:

I posted earlier, asking Blue Oregon readers to help me understand the GOP fascination with Mitt Romney.

Thompson is an even bigger puzzle.  His background: he did pretty well in his first Senate race, turning a 20 point deficit into victory, and while not actually coasting, did reasonably well in his next two races.  He was distinguished on Capitol Hill as a strong voice for ethics and reform, drawing on his legacy in the Watergate hearings.  He has a long history as an ultimate insider, a quite successful lobbyist. Then there are the years on Law and Order.

And this is the best the GOP can come up with?

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    And don't forget, his only announced principle so far is the lovely "federalism." Oh, that is if you don't count his slogan of "Security, Unity, Prosperity."

    Gotta love federalism. How are we going to solve our nation's healthcare crisis? Federalism! How about joblessness? Federalism! Infectious diseases? Federalism! That pesky war? Federalism!

    And, of course, he notes in his essay on federalism that, "I’ve been saying it for years, and it bears repeating: what works in Tennessee may not work in Nebraska and may be different from what succeeds in Oregon."

    At least he has our lovely state on his mind.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    I prefer "Fredrick of Hollywood."

  • ElGordo (unverified)

    Thompson scares the crap out of me. I grew up in Georgia, and he reminds me of just about every good ol' boy lawyer and politician in the entire region. He exudes a "fuck you" form of self-confidence that can only come from years of coasting on simply being a person of privilege. Yet that resonates with thousands of wealthy, white, powerful Reaganites all across the South. He's already got the folks down there excited, and lacks the disqualifying red flags that are present in other candidates' bios. If he gets up the momentum to win the nomination, we're all in trouble.

  • josh (unverified)

    As for the thread and being puzzled by Thompson, I actually feel the same way about Edwards. I don't get it. If you really want to come down to qualifications then hands down, in my opinion, it would have to go to Giuliani as a chief executive. For our side, based on qualifications, it should be Richardson followed by Dodd and Biden. This is why the election is also a little bit of a popularity contest.

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    that the recent elections in Iraq ("those people who put ink on their fingers" is how Fred describes them) was the "first time in history in that part of the world"

    That will be news to the Iranian people who, in 1953 legitimately elected Mossadegh who went about trying to end colonialism and secure Iranian oil for the Iranian people on a 50/50 basis with Anglo-Persian Oil Company which became BP (instead of the less than 10 cents on the dollar deal signed off on by their earlier unelected British bought-off stooge) and then tried to nationalize their oil when the British threatened invasion... who WE, the United States overthrew in a CIA planned and executed coup (Operation Ajax) which installed the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, our puppet, whose US trained an armed secret police SAVAK turned the country in a police-state monarchy.

    And we wonder why we are looked at as a joke in the world and in the region when it comes to "spreading democracy"...?

    Of course what is a truly sick joke is that someone as fraudulent and flat-out lying about the facts of the sordid history of our involvement in the region is considered a real candidate for the office of President of the United States. Of course Bush has lowered that bar to the point it is subterranean, so I guess that turd is already floating in the national pool already.

  • Dale Thompson (unverified)

    Scott in Damascus; Read, the more proper title would be "Freddie of Hollywood."

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    BTW, please make sure you close tag any links in your post as it screws up the entire comments section when you don't (looks sternly at Michael up-thread).

  • a rab (unverified)

    Thompson's appeal is similar to Rudy Giuliani's appeal; it is a matter of image over record. Republicans keep rating "strong leader” as top concern in the upcoming election and it is in the nuances of that phrase that Thompson has (thus far) done well. When looking for a “strong leader,” movement conservatives-Republican voters are really talking about the image, not the substance, of a strong leader. What is important is that the candidate projects the idea of strength, resolve, and gravities, not that the candidate has demonstrated good judgment or relevant experience. A full commitment to conservative policies is not even necessary, which is why socially moderate Giuliani is consistently more popular then the doctrinally conservative Romney and McCain. This also ties into the post-Reagan trend of portraying Republicans as manly, brush clearing leaders, and Democrats as effeminate cosmopolitans. Thus, Carter is weak in the face of Iran, Dukakis cannot protect his wife from killers or properly drive a tank, John Edwards likes his hair, and Kerry is indecisive and “French” (ironically, Bill Clinton’s philandering helped him in this regard – Glenn Greenwald has written about this). Fred Thompson fits this image of strength comparatively well. During the “will he run” Kabuki, Thompson was able to keep this image of him as a leader alive, while tapping into the huge dissatisfaction among Republican primary voters. However, now that he is officially running, its not clear that Thompson will be able to sustain the electorate’s interest or overcome his many flaws (lackluster public speaker, poor organizational skills, and questionable conservative credentials).

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    Thanks, Dale. That's awesome!

    It's been a family secret for many, many years, uncovered only by the most diligent reporting. Few people know this. But Fred Thompson's actual first name isn't Fred. It's really Freddie... Official marriage, birth and divorce records in Alabama and Tennessee show that the newest Republican presidential contender was born Freddie Dalton Thompson.

    Of course, John Edwards is legally by birth - Johnny Reid Edwards.

    Bring it on... Johnny vs. Freddie!

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Yep cradle-robbing Fred - the family values guy who divorced his wife after nearly 40 years of marriage. And then, 10 years later, married someone 25 years his junior after a long list of romantic entanglements. He's known as an actor, but in real life he made his big bucks as a corporate lobbyist in Washington DC.

    Frankly there is something creepy about 65 year old men who marry 40 somethings. But the Republicans seem to love them. Just look at Strom Thurmond. Must be those family values at work.

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    I've read that Jeri Thompson is very smart, with years of experience as a Republican operative, and may be more into this Presidential run than Fred is. But she does look about 30 years younger than he does. And, yes, that does squick me out a little bit. OTOH, it squicks me out a lot less than everything else I already know about Fred Thompson.

  • Fred Heutte (unverified)

    Scared me for a moment, Paul! I just couldn't remember taking out those filing papers. And "quite frankly" (the phrase politicians use when they are clearing their throat and preparing to say something obvious), I have no intention of running. And Fred Thompson ought to feel the same way, but I have a feeling he is addicted to seeing that little red TV camera light pointing at him.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)

    I think the 'aw shucks' I'm just good old Fred thing will appeal to some southern voters but for me personally, I have found every 'aw shucks' southern-fried politician a disaster from Lyndon Johnson to the present.

    Please give me a President with a brain and a lack of accent Santa Claus.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)

    Hard to see how a dithering, babbling old Grandpa like Fred could project a "strong leader" image.

    Reagan pulled it off because he was lean and had a full head of hair and a twinkle in his eye. Fred, by contrast, looks like a cross between Edward Arnold and a gassy, aging bulldog without the teeth.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)

    Paul Gronke:

    Fred believes.....

    Bob T:

    You left out: "...that McCain-Fiengold didn't violate the 1st Amendment of the Constitution".

    Bob Tiernan

  • paul (unverified)

    lestadelc, thanks for the correction. I did a bit of Internet research, but not enough. I knew that the claim was wildly off base.

    Fred has a tendency (at least on leno and on his campaign website) to talk about "for the first time in the history of mankind" and "the greatest nation ever on the face of the earth" and the "most bodies sacrificed for the freedom of other nations in the history of mankind."

  • Larry K (unverified)

    "Frankly there is something creepy about 65 year old men who marry 40 somethings."

    Are you kidding me? What is wrong with that?

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    Larry K, I can't answer for "Anonymous" above, who said that, but from my own point of view I can observe that often a significant age difference between spouses signals an imbalance in the relationship in other ways -- typically power, money, etc.

    While it is not necessary for a marriage of equals to be made up of spouses of roughly equal age (ever see "Harold and Maude?"), and while plenty of spouses of roughly equal age enter into unequal partnerships, it can be a marker for a lack of equality in a relationship.

    You may not think that that's a bad thing. But some people do.

  • Shawnie (unverified)
    <h2>Thompson is a clown. After a few telling episodes from the Thom and Jeri show, Thompson will fade out. He is ruled by his caustic, over-reaching victimhood wife Jeri. After that hasty, nuclear blast on Romney, and Romney's classy reaction, he toasted himself. He takes Romney to task for smearing a fellow campaign candidate, and then proceeds to SMEAR big time. We now call Fred and Jeri "JED".</h2>

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