Sunday, December 30, 2007

Presidential fire

Does Fred Thompson need some in the ole belly? Is it even necessary?

The fair and balanced media hoisted another misrepresentation against the big guy the other day. A few more of those coupled with a poor showing in Iowa and a loss in South Carolina and we can say a toasty fare-the-well to Fred 08. The media surely smells that blood.

Here's his reply:
If a candidate succumbs to this he will be reduced to nothing more than a sound bite machine. As for me I am going to continue to say exactly what is in my heart and is on my mind and give straight and honest answers to those who ask straight and honest questions.

Incidentally, the audience in Burlington broke into applause in the middle of my answer. The reporter wouldn’t know that because she wasn’t even there
That's why I like Fred. And I like the way he's handled himself so far. I still think he's the most well-rounded conservative candidate. But it's no surprise he's not doing well.

Before his announcement he allowed himself to be built into a near rock star, so naturally people expected a rock star when he finally arrived. What they got was a laid-back southern gentleman running an "it's not about me" campaign. That doesn't compare well with Mitt, Rudy, Hillary or Obama, but as he says, neither would Washington or Teddy Roosevelt. Still, rock stars are what people have come to expect anymore. Thank Bill Clinton for changing that paradigm (who's basically running again).

Thompson's plan to use the alternative media to make quick end-runs around the blood sport crowd was clever but it doesn't appear to be reaching the people who change the polls. Even this morning had the "not interested" headline in its top stories page, only to later add a question mark on the end. At last check was still part of the internets. It's a sure guess more people visit them than they do blogs or

Not only that, but many people today still get their news from sound bites amassed from hither and yon, whether it be radio, TV or friendly conversation. That's not intended to be a slam on individuals, just a statement of fact. Aside from political junkies and bloggers, there's only so much news that an average person can cram into a work day along with other commitments, including entertainment/relaxation. That means a large number of people only get one side of the story, and it ain't necessarily his side.

But what about presidential ambition? My jury is still out. On one hand I agree with Fred that too much ambition is a bad thing. Besides, once in the Oval Office ambition doesn't count for squat, it's coolness under fire and leadership that are needed. We should be closely watching the candidates for such qualities. But that doesn't mean ambition can be dismissed.

The POTUS is the most demanding job on the planet. There are no real days off. People blame the president for nearly everything--magnified in spades by the Katrina disaster and as we've seen, even a terrorist attack. It's not easy being the Decider or the Commander Guy. My feeling is it takes a man of at least some faith--it's a pretty massive burden to bear alone. Perhaps that little intangible partially explains Huckabee's viability. At the same time Huck possesses a near missionary level of ambition to reach the top. Is that good?

Which is precisely what Fred was trying to say. In comparison he might be the most sane candidate of all based on that alone. But the American people are not idiots. We know how easy it might be for someone without driving ambition to at some point open their eyes and say, "what the hell did I do"? Nobody dares reach that decision point with everything facing America in the next decade. In other words, Freddie would be well-served by showing more fire from here out, however he chooses to do it.

FIRE. BELLY. 12/31/07

Fred lays it out (via Hot Air/Fred08). He's making an appeal to common sense, leadership for the good of America rather than for power-seeking, and the future sans a nanny state (that comes in part through a depleted military). And at the end he appeals to the Almighty, as only Fred can. It was necessary based on Huck and Mitt's perceptions so it was a tad on the pandering side, but at the same time well done and very much like you'd expect from Fred.

He's no Reagan. He's no Clinton. He's not even as charismatic as Huckabee. But he's not lying about his background, about the other candidates, about the Democrats, or about the future.

Thing is, will this video be seen by more than 1 percent of the voters?

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