September 6, 2007

Fred Thompson tells Jay Leno he's running for President.



That's the part before the commercial break. Afterwards, he takes a strong stance on... Ack, can't say "stance" anymore. In fact, Leno does a little bit showing Fred bumper stickers, and one's got the slogan "He has a narrow stance." Anyway, Fred takes a strong position on Iraq: He supported the war and he will stay there until we get the job done. He's tough on Iran too, and we get a nice taste of how he's going to talk to us folksy style: "They've got a fella who is not put together well upstairs running the country."

Leno reminisces about the good old days when John Kennedy was President and somehow we did things that made everyone around the world love us. How can we make everybody love us again, Fred? Fred says when you're the strongest country in the world it "goes with the territory" that people aren't going to love you, but "our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other people in this country [sic] than all the other countries put together." This gets big cheers from the audience. "I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America." Jay stammers charmingly in his high-pitched voice about how he wants to be loved, and Fred deeply intones about blood and sacrifice.

ADDED: Here's the transcript. And here's the one thing that made me laugh out loud:
JAY LENO: Now, if you ‑‑ Giuliani, Romney, McCain ‑‑ which of those guys is the toughest opponent? Which do you fear the most?

FRED THOMPSON: I don't know. I know them all to a certain extent. John McCain and I sit side by side on the Senate floor. He's a good friend and will be after this is over with unless, of course, he beats me.

54 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

Obviously Leno is not the place for a wonky discussion of the details on 'how to' do anything.

He's got the right charisma, and seems to take a common sense approach, which is very appealing.

But the devil is always in the details. Let's hear them, Fred.

Ron said...

Me, I'm waiting for Kerry's announcement on Robot Chicken.

ZPS said...

Great...another completely out of touch old white male enters the race. The difference? he was on a TV show. *golf claps*

EnigmatiCore said...

ZPS,

From that one statement, I can tell that you are a racist, sexist, 'age-o-phobe'.

You communicated so much in so few words. Well done.

Peter Palladas said...

Fred Thompson tells Jay Leno he's running for President.

Really? Bit rich of Fred to be telling his host what to do, must have come as quite a shock to the fellow.

But I've no doubt Jay Leno will make a fine President.

No make that, one damn fine President.

Leee-no, Leee-no - as our soccer fans would and will sing.

Pogo said...

To be fair, the Democratic hopefuls also deeply intone about blood and sacrifice.

But then, they're referring to a mandatory DNA database, compulsory preventive healthcare, and taking things away from you for the common good.

bill said...

He announced on Leno? What an unfunny hack. Excuse me while I listen to Bill Hicks talking about Jay blowing his head off--His brain splew out forming an NBC peacock on the wall behind him; because he's a company man to the bitter fcking end. That's funny stuff.

Guess I can cross Fred Thompson off the list.

MadisonMan said...

So now apparently he has something to offer Republicans other than not being one of the people running for President.

The grass was so green around him, too, before he crossed over the fence to the declared candidate side.

hdhouse said...

I'm trying to find the fine line between gravitas and overweight.

MadisonMan said...

Al Gore is overweight. Fred Thompson has gravitas.

Hope this helps.

ZPS said...

Enigmatic: Perceptive as you might be, you forgot SELF HATING "racist, sexist, 'age-o-phobe'"...as I'm a white male myself. As charming as Thompson's folksy twang might be to those of us who haven't ventured outside of a Wal-Mart, an Applebee's, or a town with more than 20,000 people, it's still worth noting that variety is the spice of life.

Feel free to add "east coast elitist educated snob" to your list of fine tuned perceptions as well.

AllenS said...

Fred Thompson has a sense of humor. That's a good thing.

vet66 said...

I remember Fred Thompson in "Die Hard 2" as the airport manager. His famous discription of managing airport operations is applicable to being POTUS: "...juggling chainsaws with one (planes in the air) hand while playing three card monty with the planes on the ground" or something along those lines.

He has my vote! I can only hope is theme song is "The Tennessee Stud"!

Balfegor said...

As charming as Thompson's folksy twang might be to those of us who haven't ventured outside of a Wal-Mart, an Applebee's, or a town with more than 20,000 people, it's still worth noting that variety is the spice of life.

It's a charming bit of variety to me, precisely because I've never set foot in a Walmart or an Applebee's, and I've never been in a town of less than 20,000, unless you count suburbs immediately adjacent to giant metropolises (or what passes for a metropolis in the US). I don't exactly meet people with that kind of style in my everyday life. To me, that's exotic.

All that said, the concerns I've previously expressed about Thompson (actor, executive experience, thin record) still hold. To those, I can add that while I may agree with him about the President of Persia, it's not something you want your leaders going around and saying outright, I think. That's a John Kerry amateur hour kind of move. True, Iran is not our ally -- they are our enemy -- but the likelihood is that we will need some rapprochement with the people, if not the leadership, and deriding their elected president is not helpful.

NSC said...

I thought he did very well. I'm not sure how anyone gets he was overweight though - he looked thin to me.

He came across as a real person and not fake like the three Democrat contenders - Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. And he is definately more likable than McCain.

I see him doing well and probably the greatest threat to the Dems.

I'm with Fred.

jane said...

"I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America."

Thank you, Fred. We can start apologizing, again, when the UN, EU, DPRK, PRC, Putin, Mahmoud, Hugo, Soros, post-normal scientists, PC fascists, NYT, LAT, all alphabet networks, and most of the DNC beg forgiveness from us.

NSC said...

Perceptive as you might be, you forgot SELF HATING "racist, sexist, 'age-o-phobe'"...as I'm a white male myself.

Perhaps you aren't really "self-hating." Perhaps you just want to impress liberal chicks so you can get laid.

Just a thought.

Wacky Hermit said...

Did anyone else besides me notice his body language? Fred Thompson has a distinctive "I'm in charge here" aura. He wasn't afraid to take control of the interview, and when he was done, he got up and walked off the Leno set while Jay was saying goodbye to him. He acts like a leader, and that has a profound effect on people's perceptions of him. He walks into the race like Daddy coming up the stairs to break up the fighting kids. Whatever you think of him as a candidate, you can't deny that his charisma is going to make him a strong contender.

rightwingprof said...

Except, of course, they didn't love us. European anti-Americanism goes back to before the Revolutionary War, and has continued to the present.

EnigmatiCore said...

ZPS,

I did infer from your comment that you are an elitist, probably from the northeast. However, unlike the other attributes, that was just something that was likely. The others were explicitly spelled out in your comment. You obviously have something against older white males. Ageism, racism, and sexism, all in one short blog comment, and your skin color, age, and gender do not change the substance (or lack thereof) of your comment.

Original Mike said...

I can only hope is theme song is "The Tennessee Stud"!

Love it!

Paddy O. said...

Obviously Leno is not the place for a wonky discussion of the details on 'how to' do anything.

Nor are the many "debates" that the parties keep having that are mostly bones thrown to various political organizations to make them feel important.

Least it had the dignity of showcasing one man, rather than making it all the candidates seem like schoolchildren waiting to be called on by the schoolmarm.

Mark Daniels said...

Interesting that Thompson followed Schwarzenegger's precedent. The Governator announced his candidacy to replace Gray Davis in the recall election on 'The Tonight Show.'

In a way, it makes sense. It gave Thompson maximum solo exposure on a night when the rest of the Republican field was "squabbling" in New Hampshire. It made him, at least momentarily, above the fray.

Mark Daniels

Tim said...

ZPS is hoping to draft Barbara Lee for President.

Because she's everything Thompson isn't - and she'll be first to apologize to the UN, EU, Kyoto signatories, No. Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, New Orleans, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Native Americans, Daily Kos, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Dan Rather, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, Al Sharpton, Jose Padilla, Osama bin Laden, Hans Blix, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, illegal aliens, La Raza, La Costa Nostra, the Crips, the Bloods, Rodney King, the polar bears, Tawanna Brawley, Mike Nifong, Mumia, and the Teletubbies.

jane said...

Tim, how could I have forgotten the Teletubbies?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obviously Leno is not the place for a wonky discussion of the details on 'how to' do anything.

Can we include You Tube debates in that as well? I don’t recall too many people berating Clinton playing the sax on Letterman or doing MTV interviews and answering questions about his underwear.

Of all the candidates, Thompson appeals to me the most, however as with all things, support is contingent on how he progresses in the campaign so we’ll just have to wait and see. I think his message of security and unity is spot on and I think the country needs that more than we need Hillary-care at this point.

M. Simon said...

I remember when Reagan Called the USSR the Evil Empire.

Thompson just made the same kind of mistake with Iran.

Reagan should have been negotiating not blustering.

Just look at how it all turned out.

Wade Garrett said...

Jane,

Just so you know, that comment was probably the dumbest thing I have ever read on this blog. FYI.

Wade Garrett said...

Can somebody tell me why the Republicans elect so many actors?

jane said...

Don't know which That comment you're referencing, Wade, but Tim's was a pretty good comprehensive list. We do far too much manufacturing of and then feeling grievance groups' pain. Imo.

And most pols are actors. Some just put it on their resume, that's all.

Freeman Hunt said...

Can somebody tell me why the Republicans elect so many actors?

Because even our actors are smarter than the Democrats' best policy wonks.

Paddy O. said...

Just so you know, that comment was probably the dumbest thing I have ever read on this blog. FYI.

This was the dumbest thing I've read on this blog. How ironic! It's like performance art.

The lack of grace and style presents itself immediately. The use of mundane, vague words "dumb" and "thing" coupled with the cliche "FYI" make me look for the link to an unsavory site, because I've run into such banal comments only when deleting comment spam.

Yet, the purpose is to diminish another comment.

It says, "I am even more of that which I criticize."

A potent lesson indeed, for us all.

Bravo, Wade.

Justin said...

His charisma can be seen from space.

jane said...

Group hug to Paddy O!

Simon said...

Ann, out of curiosity, did you watch the announcement video on his website? If so, what did you think?

hdhouse said...

ol Fred first came on my radar when he was counsel in the Watergate hearings and back channeling investigative information to the White House. I lost track of him until his undistinguished senate career then lobbyist and lawyer and actor.

I've seen him in movies and Law and Order.

That certainly seems like a ton of credentials to me. I'm very very very impressed with that presidential resume to be sure. my oh my.

NSC said...

I remember when Reagan Called the USSR the Evil Empire.

Thompson just made the same kind of mistake with Iran.

Reagan should have been negotiating not blustering.

Just look at how it all turned out.


I assume this is sarcasm, because it turned out pretty damn well, asssuming you weren't a communist that is.

NSC said...

That certainly seems like a ton of credentials to me. I'm very very very impressed with that presidential resume to be sure. my oh my.

Compared to the credentials of the three big Dem candidates his aren't so bad.

Pogo said...

Yes, house, compared to Hillary's years as governor's wife and then first lady and then stellar, though single, Senate term, what have any of the front-runners to compare with her?

And Edwards? Lawsuits and a minor senate seat. Obama? Even less. Rather thin gruel on your side of the aisle, too.

Naked Lunch said...

He's tough on Iran too, and we get a nice taste of how he's going to talk to us folksy style: "They've got a fella who is not put together well upstairs running the country."

Good God, please no. Just what we need, another fucking bass fisherman in the WH with wingnut thinktanks running our foreign policy. Again.

Tim said...

"Good God, please no. Just what we need, another fucking bass fisherman in the WH with wingnut thinktanks running our foreign policy. Again."

Indeed. Because EVERYONE wants Cyrus Vance and Christopher Warren running our foreign policy.

And by EVERYONE I mean America's enemies, just to be clear.

Naked Lunch said...

Tim, I'm thinking Bill Dance for FEMA, and maybe Roland Martin at Homeland Security. Whatya think.

MadisonMan said...

NSC, you definitely need to tune your sarcasm meter :)

XWL said...

Have you watched the video of his view of Federalism?

He's not just running for President, he's running to be James Madison.

He already has the much younger buxom wife.

(Dolley was 17 years younger than old James, and the buxomness of Mrs. Madison has already been discussed hereabouts)

The idea that he might be truly serious about Federalism, while maintaining an engaged and agressive foreign policy, makes my heart skip a beat.

We'll see as he gets more specific if he really means it about reducing the federal role, restoring some meaning to the 10th amendment, and returning to a '50 laboratories of democracy' more (small r) republican union. My two suggestions would be to promise to dismantle and consolidate most of the Cabinet, as well as promise to rein in the Vice Presidency (VP Gore started the co-presidency crap, VP Cheney took it to an even more disturbing and constitutionally questionable level).

And just to correct the record, it was on the Arsenio Hall show that candidate Clinton played the sax.

Kev said...

I don’t recall too many people berating Clinton playing the sax on Letterman or doing MTV interviews and answering questions about his underwear.

As noted above, it was Arsenio, not Letterman. And I was one of those berating him for playing sax, because his playing was awful! (I'm a player and teacher of saxophone, so I suppose that I'm allowed some bias in that direction.)

blake said...

He needs to have all his comments begin with the gavel sound...

Simon said...

XWL said...
"Have you watched the video of his view of Federalism? ... The idea that he might be truly serious about Federalism, while maintaining an engaged and agressive foreign policy, makes my heart skip a beat."

Yep yep.

Revenant said...

I'm really hoping for a Thompson/Giuliani ticket. I don't particularly care which one is the actual Presidential candidate.

I don't know if they win (although my gut says they would), but it will be a pleasure to listen to them speachify for the next 14 months.

Revenant said...

I lost track of him until his undistinguished senate career then lobbyist and lawyer and actor. I've seen him in movies and Law and Order. That certainly seems like a ton of credentials to me.

You do realize the absurdity of mocking Thompson's credentials when he has more experience -- in government, in the law, and the in media -- than Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, right?

Obviously a person who really cares about a candidate with solid credentials has no choice but to vote Republican this time around, because the most experienced of the leading Democrats doesn't even match the *least* experienced of the leading Republicans in that regard. Anyone considering a Democratic vote must necessarily have decided that credentials aren't a major cosideration.

So pretending like you care about Thompson's credentials is just silly, HD -- unless you've been a secret McCain supporter all this time, anyway.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That certainly seems like a ton of credentials to me. I'm very very very impressed with that presidential resume to be sure. my oh my.

But a former trial lawyer with great hair is in your eyes?

I know anyone with GOP behind their name would never pass muster with you but considering what your side of the aisle has to offer, critiquing Thompson's credentials is a tad rich.

Trumpit said...

Amazing what a little makeup can do to Reagan's corpse. Hollywood makeup artists can work wonders.

America loves sequels; Bedtime for Bonzo II.

P.S. I say no more old senile daddy figures for a good while. It's just too campy & gay.

Charles said...

Don't sell him short too fast. He appreciates that value of good international relations and he calls his shots as he sees them from his neo-federalist perspective. Which of the other candidates has his experience in foreign and security matters? He had been serving (with little fan fare, BTW)as Chair of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board, a bipartisan advisory panel that reports to the Secretary of State and focuses on emerging strategic threats. In that capacity, he advised the State Department about all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy.

If we care about our perception in the world, we need someone like Fred Thompson to build up bridges that have been blown down by the current Bush and the Clinton administrations. He might not check off everyone's boxes on the far right (thank God), but he does resonate with those of us who think about what America needs right now. No one can touch his knowledge of foreign affairs -- McCain comes the closest -- and a relatively conservative president with an open mind on the international front is what we need.

Additionally, Fred is arguably the brightest candle in this pack, on either side of the Red/Blue divide. He can take complicated issues and break them down into pieces that non-intellectuals can digest (no doubt his prosecutor days taught him this) or he can play the high brow games with policy wonks.

There will be inevitable comparisons with Ronald Reagan. For better and for worse, he is not Ronald Reagan. His brain is bigger and his heart may not be as big, but like Reagan, he is a man for this time in our country.

IMHO

Revenant said...

Amazing what a little makeup can do to Reagan's corpse. Hollywood makeup artists can work wonders.

How is it a smart move to imply that Thompson is a copy of Reagan? Reagan was, and is, popular with a large majority of Americans. Even historians -- a generally left-leaning academic bunch -- generally rank him as better than any President since the 60s.

Peter Palladas said...

Perhaps you just want to impress liberal chicks so you can get laid.

Can't say one ever really gets 'laid' by liberal chicks as such. It's more a kind of mind-meld with added bodily goo.

They just keep smiling in that "We're really in this together" way that is so off-putting. And that's when they stop talking for a moment.

No, 'laid' as in "Get your coat you've pulled, just don't expect breakfast" hot, hard, humping only ever happens with a woman of solid right-wings views.

Any libchicks who read this blog and wish to prove me wrong may form a disorderly queue.