Monday, June 11, 2007

The Fred Thompson Effect

What is it, exactly, that many conservatives find so appealing about Fred Thompson? Please don't assume that because I am asking this question, I am somehow anti-Fred. I'm not. But even if I wanted to opine about the guy, I couldn't. I just don't know a whole lot about him. So my question really means, does anyone know much about him?

I know he was in a lot of the movies I enjoy. He was a senator, too. But I was working on the Hill when he decided not to seek reelection. Where were the conservatives then? I don't remember anyone begging him to stay. So why is it that now he's seen as the "next Reagan"? What's wrong with Giuliani, McCain or Romney? Are they that bad (conservatively speaking)? OK, maybe the first two...

George Will has a few thoughts on this that I find to be very enlightening. He asks, where's the beef? - more or less. Here's a sample:

Some say he is the Republicans' Rorschach test: They all see in him what they crave. Or he might be the Republicans' dot-com bubble, the result of restless political investors seeking value that the untutored eye might not discern and that might be difficult to quantify but which the investors are sure must be there, somewhere, somehow.

One does not want to be unfair to Thompson, who may have hidden depths. But ask yourself this: If he did not look like a basset hound who had just read a sad story—say, "Old Yeller"—and if he did not talk like central casting's idea of the god Sincerity, would anyone think he ought to be entrusted with the nation's nuclear arsenal? He is an actor, and, as a Hollywood axiom says, the key to acting is sincerity—if you can fake that, you've got it made.

This is, of course, all about another actor. Republicans have scrutinized the current crop of presidential candidates and succumbed to the psychosomatic disease Reagan Deprivation. It is, however, odd that many Republicans who advertise their admiration for Reagan are so ready to describe Thompson as Reaganesque because he ... what?
I couldn't agree with this analysis more. And, I'm worried we may be throwing away a good, yet underrated candidate because we want someone "just 'cause he sounds cool." I guess time will tell...


blogger said...

Interesting political commentary with this post.

As you know, Fred is surging in the polls!

Today, we have posted a new article, poll numbers and a review of "The Fred Factor."

Fred Thompson 2008

Anonymous said...

I quite want to like Mitt Romney. However, he reminds me (apperance wise) of a movie Senator that's selling secrets to North Korea and sleeping with the wife of the Majority Leader. Quite a silly, silly reason not to like a guy, yes, and I'm sure I'll get over it.

Ah well, I'm sure it will not matter much by the time the primary hits my state. After that, I'll throw myself fully behind the candidate in the early primary states have chosen.