Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Fred Thompson will be our next president

It is pretty clear to me that Fred is on his way to the Republican nomination. The reasons are clear.

- He is a conservative without too much baggage. In fact, I don't think anyone has tagged him with anything that would cause a conservative primary voter problems. So far four criticisms have been rendered: Thompson has flip-flopped on abortion, he voted for McCain-Feingold, he only voted for one of two impeachment counts, and he worked as a lobbyist. Let me take these in order.

1) Thompson's campaign turned in a questionnaire saying that he would not criminalize abortion. As someone who is pro-life I would have to say I am against criminalizing abortion and I would not support a national right to life constitutional amendment. This is, in part, a federalism consideration and for a lot of people a dancing on the head of a pin position. The key being we are all for reversing Roe v. Wade and for turning the issue over to the states. We are all for much stricter regulation of abortion than is current policy. But we differ on the laws to prevent abortion. I would say this criticism is pretty weak especially considering Giuliani and Romney's overtly pro-choice positions.

2) He admitted his support for McVain-Feingold was a mistake. I give him points for candor. Again, every other contender has changed positions on other issues some with much more tortured explanations.

3) Umm, so what.

4) Umm, so what. Who did he lobby for that would cause conservatives any consternation?

There are people who think Thompson is a weak flash in the pan candidate.

A very experienced businessman once told me, “Managers don’t always hire the most qualified person; they hire the candidate that they are most comfortable with.” I’ve seen that happen over and over again. People hire people like themselves –– job candidates with whom they are comfortable. I think the same principle applies in the voting booth. People vote for the candidate they “like” and Fred Thompson is very likeable. People vote for the candidate that they feel they can trust, and Fred Thompson seems trustworthy. Voters go for the person who makes them feel comfortable, and Fred Thompson has the gift of making people feel like he is one of them. At the same time, he combines natural authority and a certain down-home dignity; no wonder his name comes to mind when producers are looking for someone to play an authoritative official for a movie or television program.

I don't know if this is a criticism or a compliment. Yes, he is popular with conservatives but that is because he is the most conservative candidate. Thompson is also the very well liked outside of the movement because of his friendly manner. What I think this means is that conservatives have a candidate who represents us and who has the personality to attract independents who lean conservative on some issues due to the likability factor. IOW, a winner.

Which leaves the general election. Hillary will win the nomination. I have no doubt about this. But she is not going to win the general election. She has way too high negatives and there is no way she can overcome them.

I am going to read that list of names again. This time, I want you to assume that person is the 2008 presidential nominee of their political party. Please tell me if, today, you would or would not consider voting for them as the next President of the United States.

"Would" means that you would at least consider voting for that candidate depending upon circumstances, while "Would not" means that you would not vote for them under any circumstances.

The results were as follows:

Would/Would Not Giuliani 64/36 (+28) Thompson 62/38 (+24) Bloomberg 61/39 (+22) Obama 60/40 (+20) Edwards 59/41 (+18) McCain 58/42 (+16) Biden 57/43 (+14) Richardson 57/43 (+14) Huckabee 56/44 (+12) Romney 54/46 (+8) Clinton 48/52 (-4)

Again, Hillary finishes last - this time by a mile.

There are two ways to handle this. Make yourself look better and make your opponent look worse. I just don't see she could outfox a sophisticated user of our modern media to move her negatives lower or Fred's negatives higher. Fred would have to be as passive as the Bush campaign of '92 and I don't see that happening.

Let me know what you think. And, of course, this is all subject to any really awful revelations about Fred.

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