September 12, 2007

"Unfortunately, Thompson's dialogue so far consists of folksy platitudes and broad pronouncements, unobjectionable yet unenlightening."

Writes Ruth Marcus.

Is Fred a fizzle?

MEANWHILE: McCain moves nearly even with Thompson in this poll. Has Thompson's entering the race boosted McCain? Why would that be? Because Thompson, the reality, doesn't compare with Thompson, the repository of all your hopes and dreams?

77 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

And this is different from other candidates how?

Paddy O. said...

And this is different from other candidates how?

No one else has the folksy.

Bob said...

I think it's lazy reportage, based on an already-written meme, that Fred is both lazy and relying on folksiness. I don't think we're going to see anything different from the MSM unless Fred becomes a real threat, at which point the MSM will go into oppo research mode.

Ron said...

play's not over in the first act.

Ann Althouse said...

This is at least the second act. With all those coy preliminaries, he should have hit the ground running.

Pogo said...

Fawning by WaPo or the NYTimes is reserved for either Hillary or Obama, not any mere Republican contender. They hated Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush41 and Bush43.

They have a Democrat to elect. With Fred, they'll start with "he's boring" or somesuch. When that fails, they'll attack. Same old wine, same old bottles.

Bob said...

McCain is getting a small boost from the last debate, at which he performed credibly. Also, the memory of the immigration fiasco is fading, so more people are inclined to look at McCain's good points.

I think Fred probably made a tactical error going after Romney quite so hard because of the website situation, though; Fred will need a good VP running mate, because if he were to win the election he could very possibly, because of his age and cancer issues, be a one-term President.

MadisonMan said...

Bob (0738), it might be lazy reporting, but it also seems to be lazy campaigning. If he wanted to shock and awe, why wasn't he spending his non-campaign times rehearsing answers to the obvious questions he was going to get?

Hoosier Daddy said...

No one else has the folksy.

I thought more along the lines of broad pronouncements, unobjectionable yet unenlightening

Other than Edwards who is going to push for a home rescue fund for those people who bought Dom Periogn on a Budweiser budget, all I have heard is a lot of platitudes.

Paddy O. said...

hit the ground running

If his previous runs for office are any indication Thompson isn't someone who hits the ground running, but rather is the sort who maintains a steady pace with endurance, picking it up on the last lap. Politics now has emphasized the sprinter, even as the race has gotten longer.

Kerry was nominated because everyone else had burned out and his ponderous steps left him the last one still moving, even though he was a dreary candidate.

There are, seemingly, rules everyone has to be playing and all the other candidates have been playing by these rules. But there's no reason to say these rules are right or the best or anything other than present conventional wisdom. Fred is playing a different game here and as the goal is to win, not just win the first or second acts, I'm still very open to his winning.

Though, admittedly, I'm likely also in the category of seeing Fred as the repository of hopes and dreams.

But is this bad? Wasn't Kennedy elected on exactly that? Isn't the memory of Kennedy for many Baby Boomers still exactly that?

Better than a candidate being the repository of fears and and insecurities.

Lisa said...

He says nothing unobjectionable?

At the gathering of the Seacoast Republican Women last Saturday, he said we in the U.S. must all appear totally united in our views toward Iraq or the terrorists will attack again. When asked how he reconciles this with the First Amendment, he looked annoyed and had no real answer, only saying unconvincingly, "I support the First Amendment."

I found that to be pretty objectionable.

AJ Lynch said...

OK Fred has the folksy part down pat and Ruth has the elitist, liberal MSM role covered. Tell me why I should pay attention to doctrinaire, predictable-thinking pundits like Marcus?

steve simels said...

Pogo said...

Fawning by WaPo or the NYTimes is reserved for either Hillary or Obama, not any mere Republican contender. They hated Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush41 and Bush43, Bill Clinton and -- especially -- Al Gore.


Fixed your typo.

Ann Althouse said...

Simels!

yetanotherjohn said...

Ann,

For a view of the GOP race with a bit more perspective, see realclearpolitics.com

http://time-blog.com/real_clear_politics/2007/09/the_state_of_the_gop_race.html

Rudy is holding steady. Fred has a strong uptick since his announcement. McCain is also seeing an uptick, I suspect because Iraq is front and center. Hucksbee is slowly rising, but he is way behind. Romney is the only one who can't see much to smile about as his Ames, Iowa straw poll bounce dissapates.

Meade said...

"Fixed your typo."

Ooo... masthead-worthy.

Pogo said...

Simel's phalanx again seeks the vortex.

No foot-tapping, Steve!.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Simels!

Professor, I think it is obvious that he harbors secret affections for you. I have not been around here all that long but enough to see him swear off this 'trainwreck of a blog' at least twice now yet keeps coming back. Its more than just a vortex, I think he finds you irresistable.

MadisonMan said...

Simels!

Am I supposed to read that as if Jerry is saying Newman?

Sarah said...

I'm not impressed with how any campaign or candidate has performed in the last 30 days -- I'm the most annoyed with Thompson's campaign for their behavior yesterday, but pretty much everyone is finding ways to frustrate, disappoint, or stall out this month. This campaign should have started two months from now.

Trooper York said...

No you are supposed to read it aa
if Merle Oberon was saying "Heathcliff"

AlphaLiberal said...

The "folksy" is artificial folksy, all manufactured for the hayseeds. Fred Thompson is as genuine as four-dollar bill.

When he drove around in his red pickup, it was just a prop and he would get out of it as soon as they left the crowds to get in his Lincoln Towncar, or whatever.

What a dishonest start to "public service" for the former lobbyist.

rightwingprof said...

Thompson passed Rudy and leads the most recent Rasmussen poll of likely Republican voters. We're more than a year from the election -- that's act one, at the latest.

ricpic said...

Leave out folksy and you've got the Clintons' modus operandi.

Cincinnatus said...

How many days until the election is it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

What a dishonest start to "public service" for the former lobbyist.

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about a former trial lawyer turned public servant?

hdhouse said...

In the words of Ms. South Carolina "I want to wish for world peace".

Toby said...

Fred is to the right what Obama is to the left. People on each side fell in love with the idea and symbolism of the candidate/imagined president without knowing the reality of the politician.

TM Lutas said...

There is exactly one way to fix our ever lengthening election cycles that is consistent with the american tradition, enter later and win. Nothing else will do. Fred Thompson is doing salutory work on that front. If he takes it all the way to the nomination, the pros will see that it's possible to conserve cash and run a different type of campaign in the modern age.

Go Fred!

Figuring out where a candidate stands shouldn't take more than a month or two. Fred's enters in September and by the time Iowa rolls around people will know where he stands. They can make an informed vote on that basis. I hope they pick Fred.

paul a'barge said...

Ruth Marcus is a liberal knob.

Since when did she become an arbiter for how FDT should dialog with the American people?

SteveR said...

Just as Hillary is the inevitable Democratic nominee, Rudy or McCain is the inevitable Republican nominee.

All thats happening now is to give people something to write about or talk about, who would otherwise have to pay attention to real issues.

Editor said...

Gee, Ann, didn't you get the memo about how Fred Thompson should be portrayed in the media?

JBlog said...

[i]AlphaLiberal said...

The "folksy" is artificial folksy, all manufactured for the hayseeds. Fred Thompson is as genuine as four-dollar bill.[i]

If you want a manufactured candidate, you need look no further than Hillary Clinton -- she's simply nothing she claims to be or represent.

If you look in the dictionary under the work "inauthentic" it says "see: Hillary."

Paul Zrimsek said...

Simels!

Am I supposed to read that as if Jerry is saying Newman?


I read it as if everyone at Cheers is saying Norm, but I guess it works either way.

The Drill SGT said...

In Thompson's defense, it is clear he has an overarching, and long-standing, conservative philosophy: for smaller government, limited federal power, less regulation and lower taxes.

So we know where he stands in general

I don't hold it against Fred that he is vague on solutions to tough problems like immigration, Iran and social security. At this stage, what he should say is that" its an immportant issue, that if not resolved will destroy the country, and if elected I'll work to fix it with no alternatives off the table.

Getting specific at this point on any of those loses more votes than it gains. Ruth knows that, she is just hammering on Fred.

Hoosier Daddy said...

In the words of Ms. South Carolina "I want to wish for world peace".

I thought she said 'world maps'?

K T Cat said...

I'm not sure I get this post. I saw that Mitt recently put out a detailed position on eliminating taxes on savings. That's going to go nowhere. It's detailed, precise and useless.

To me, Fred represents someone who will focus the nation's attention on the future we are creating by an every-increasing federal government. Nothing's going to get done until the citizens get a handle on this, no matter how well-reasoned your detailed plans are.

I think his folksy platitudes are the thing we need to frame a national debate around such issues as, "Why are we spending our kids money?"

The Republican congress and Republican senate and Republican president showed that they did not represent smaller government. They represented more goodies for everyone. That's because their consituents did not understand the future price to be paid. I think Fred's whole campaign is built around informing people of the future cost we're building up.

As for his laziness, good for him. I've had quite enough of the 24/7/365 polticial campaigning the Clintons unleashed on us years ago.

Trooper York said...

Perhaps you can read it as Stanley calling Stella...when the respective degrees of testosterone are in play.

Luckyoldson said...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Days after he officially jumped into the Republican race for the White House, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson finds himself in a statistical dead heat with Rudy Giuliani, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday.

But the really good news is that Law & Order was picked up for a new season.

Thank God...

Luckyoldson said...

Maybe if Freddie was to marry into an established political family?

That would help.

Daryl said...

This criticism of Thompson is ridiculous.

Just have a look at all of the articles he wrote for Pajamas Media, Redstate, etc.

Fred has taken specific stands on all sorts of issues.

Bob is right, this is lazy reporting. They already have their stereotype of Thompson and now they're going to apply it mercilessly. That's just how the dumb media is. Thompson will have to overcome it head-on.

Ann: you say Thompson should have hit the ground running, but he is in 1st or 2nd place already.

M. Simon said...

A good looking wife is worth half a political family.

It might be enough.

Luckyoldson said...

Freddie's base is and will always will be the far right wing, especially the Christian right.

I don't think it will carry the nation.

Trooper York said...

Maybe we could look it as Archie calling Edith...Simels, stifle.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe we could look it as Archie calling Edith...Simels, stifle.

I prefer Dr. Evil saying zip it!When a problem comes along, you must zip it

LarsPorsena said...

LOS:
"Maybe if Freddie was to marry into an established political family?

That would help."

I don't think there are any loose Kennedy or Rockefeller girls left and Chelsea is way too young.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
In the words of Ms. South Carolina "I want to wish for world peace".I thought she said 'world maps'?"

Quite right Hoosier...and with the same gravitas as Fred gave to the line.

Luckyoldson said...

LarsPorsena,
Kennedy married into the Kennedy family?

Duh.

LarsPorsena said...

Luckyoldson said...

Maybe if Freddie was to marry into an established political family?

That would help.

LarsPorsena said...

LOS:

I don't think there are any loose Kennedy or Rockefeller girls left and Chelsea is way too young.

Luckyoldson said...

LarsPorsena,
Kennedy married into the Kennedy family?

Duh.

Another razor-sharp takedown LOS.
I should have known not to tangle with you.

Joe said...

The headline pretty much sums up my reaction to Thompson; I find him to be much like Al Gore in that he thinks he's being so much more profound than he really is and comes off as somewhat of a arrogant windbag.

(Whatever interest I still retained was completely lost yesterday when they threw a tantrum over nothing. So, someone called Fred names, GROW UP. Seriously, if he's this thin skinned, he's going to crash and burn before the primaries even start.)

Dewave said...

Freddie's base is and will always will be the far right wing, especially the Christian right.

I don't think it will carry the nation.


Gee, that sounds familiar. '04 anyone?

Anyway, naturally no republican candidate is going to excite the reliably liberal NYT or WAPO. But Thompson hasn't been any great shakes yet, in my opinion. Not that he's worse than any of the other guys.

Anyway we still have over a year, so who is really paying all that close attention at this point?

Frankly there are several republicans I would find exceptable (none of them really excite me) a democrat I would find exceptable, and then a whole mass of democrats and republicans that would be intolerable.

Luckyoldson said...

LarsPorsena,
"Another razor-sharp takedown LOS.
I should have known not to tangle with you."

Good idea.

And remember...you're the idiot who compared Freddie's first marriage circumstances with the Kennedy family. (Do you people EVER get tired of whining about the Kennedy's or the Clinton's...or is this a lifelong obsession??)

*And can I assume you're not familiar with Freddie's biography?

Luckyoldson said...

Dewave said..."Gee, that sounds familiar. '04 anyone?"

It sure does...and look what it's gotten us.

Freddie is too lazy to be President...and we've already seen what a lazy President means to the nation.

titus20 said...

Good afternoon fellow patriotic republicans and conservatives.

To those liberal traitors who come here to disrupt us go to hell.

What liberal publication, person, organization, blogger, politician are we outraged about today?

I am ready to be absolutely enraged. Give me my orders.

Luckyoldson said...

titus,
I'd tell you to blow somebody but I don't want to create a frenzy.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Let's not diss Ms. South Carolina. I thought she gave an excellent liberal answer to a question that raised all kinds of ambiguities.

hdhouse said...

titus20...i propose you change your blogname to tituscanbe

Luckyoldson said...

mtrobertsattorney,
So you're against Americans having maps?

Maybe just the red states?

hdhouse said...

mtrobertsattorney....yes she did didn't she. something that made absolute sense to all the go-p-ers on this blog i am sure....

curmudgeoninchief said...

What was the Newsweak headline? Lazy Like a Fox? I should be so lazy. The meme is out, all hail the meme. With commentators already backing "declared" candidates, most of the commentators/bloggers have to downplay the Fred candidacy to back their man. Well, time will tell, and Fred strikes me as lazy enough to win.

Luckyoldson said...

curmudgeoninchief said.."Fred strikes me as lazy enough to win."

Well, based on what we have now you could be right.

Drooch said...

"The meme is out, all hail the meme."

Politics is about nothing if not memes. Folksy platitudes frequently work (see Reagan, Bush). The most discouraging thing about this election: one of the candidates will win.

Luckyoldson said...

Drooch said..."The most discouraging thing about this election: one of the candidates will win."

You're hoping for a tie?

Jim C. said...

"This is at least the second act. With all those coy preliminaries, he should have hit the ground running."

Exactly. What got it for me was that he said somewhere (Leno?) he didn't know about the exact positions of his opponents. He's had plenty of time to figure things out. Really disappointing. That just won't fly.

Revenant said...

When asked how he reconciles this with the First Amendment, he looked annoyed and had no real answer, only saying unconvincingly, "I support the First Amendment." I found that to be pretty objectionable.

Maybe his lack of a convincing answer was simply shock over the stupidity of the question. His statement raised no First Amendment questions -- he didn't say a thing about making such speech illegal.

Some anti-war types consider it a violation of their freedom of speech to *ask* them to stop undermining morale during wartime. This is because the anti-war types in question are idiots, and equate circumspection with censorship.

Revenant said...

This criticism of Thompson is ridiculous. Just have a look at all of the articles he wrote for Pajamas Media, Redstate, etc. Fred has taken specific stands on all sorts of issues. Bob is right, this is lazy reporting.

The sad truth of the matter is that the average political reporter doesn't pay much more attention to politics than the average American citizen does. They report a mix of the conventional wisdom (i.e., whatever talking points are currently popular) and insider gossip (i.e., whatever talking points insiders are trying to popularize). Actually reporting solid facts about politicians would take work, or at least a few minutes on Google.

This is why, for example, so many people were left with the impression that John McCain was a "moderate" Republican, simply because he was so hostile to Bush for so long. In reality there's never been much difference in their politics. But reporting that McCain is the sensible alternative to the dangerously right-wing Bush is just plain *easier* than actually investigating the reasons (most of them ego-based or left over from the bitter 2000 primary) why the two men didn't get along.

Luckyoldson said...

Rev says: "The sad truth of the matter is that the average political reporter doesn't pay much more attention to politics than the average American citizen does."

Where do you come up with this insanity??

Political reporters don't pay attention...to politics??

What? Do they spend most of their time handicapping horses? Hockey?
Knitting sweaters?

Why not be honest for a change?

What you're really saying is that if YOU don't AGREE with what a political reporter writes...they aren't paying attention.

Roger said...

approx 14 more months to the general and I am already sick of the campaign that never ends--it seems to me the newbie always gets an initial bump in the polls but the question is what happens in six months--anyone remember that guy, whats his name: Oh yeah Obama--Hillary is steamrollering him right now. Where was Obama 4 months ago? Yeah--right

Trooper York said...

I think I finally got it...it should read as if Brandon De Wilde was calling...Simels, come back Simels!

Luckyoldson said...

roger,
Notice how 14 months happens to hit right around November of 2008?

Bush is going to leave this mess to whoever wins the White House, then bicycle off to "replenish his coffers."

What a guy.

Revenant said...

anyone remember that guy, whats his name: Oh yeah Obama--Hillary is steamrollering him right now. Where was Obama 4 months ago?

Where was he four months ago, you ask? Being steamrollered by Hillary, that's where. Four months ago, in early May, he was trailing her by 14 points. Now he's trailing her by 19 points. He's been behind her for the entire race. Back in April he managed to only be losing to her by a handful of points, but that proved to be an anomaly.

wayne said...

Politics = Hurlage.

Political reporters
= documenters of hurlage.

Who really enjoys writing forever about puke?

Roger said...

rev--OK you got me--I was being rhetorical and didnt want to waste the time to look up the democratic primary polls--except for the brief period when, as the irrepresible C4 calls him, the "magic negro," entered the race, he got an initial boost, and now HRC is kicking his butt.

Luckyoldson said...

wayne,
Do you read?

Revenant said...

Roger,

I figured. Didn't mean to pick on you.

I think the Republican campaign is a much different ballgame from the Democratic one, though. Hillary is the clear Democratic leader and always has been; unless something dramatic happens, she'll be the party's pick.

On the Republican side I just don't get the same sense of inevitability from any of the candidates, although I have always expected Rudy to win it. The majority of Republicans are, I think, unhappy with their choices, which I don't think is true of the Democrats. That gives Fred some room to move, I think.

rsb said...

Fred the Freak is bad actor.

Ann Althouse said...

MadisonMan: yes (re Jerry and "Newman!")