October 10, 2007

Fred, the Debate Debutant.

How do you think Fred Thompson did last night?

Here's the transcript. I've got some comments in last night's post, but I'll just say he didn't do anything to create excitement or even fulfill expectations. He had his big chance to make a first impression, and since everyone else was an old impression, he should have made the difference work for him. Instead, Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee took advantage of their experience with the debate format. (I'm leaving McCain off that list intentionally.)

Thompson was asked about his performance at the end of the debate:
Ms. Bartiromo: Senator Thompson? Senator Thompson, this was your first debate. How did it feel?

Mr. Thompson: Just like home.

(LAUGHTER)

I didn't say which kind of home.
That's a joke that didn't happen.
Ms. Bartiromo: Do you regret waiting so long?

Mr. Thompson: No. I don't think I waited too long. It seems about right to me.

(LAUGHTER)
Why that gets laughter... you can't tell from the transcript.
I've enjoyed...

Mr. Matthews: Do we have any questions?
What's with Matthews?
Mr. Thompson: I've enjoyed watching these fellas. I've got to admit, it was getting a little boring without me, but...

(LAUGHTER)

.. I'm glad to be here now.
It was getting a little boring without me... That's a good line. A line prepared in advance and delivered well. But... didn't he bring the boring? It was getting a little more boring with him.

IN THE COMMENTS: A recurrent defense of Fred: We like boring, we want boring, boring is good...

55 comments:

hdhouse said...
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hdhouse said...

hdhouse said...
I thought he looked embalmed or at least like part of a beenie-weenie, but then he spoke...sentences with all the wit of Andy of Mayberry delivered with the panache of an actor-admiral.

I found nothing funny about straight questions answered with folksy bon-bons of hillbilly wit.

Sorry but this dog doesn't hunt.

Jennifer said...

He's bringing boring back. Them other boys don't know how to act.

Donald Douglas said...

This is the best:

Romney:

"I've come to know these people now over these debates. Is this our sixth debate, I think -- something like that? And this has a lot -- this is a lot like "Law & Order....and Fred Thompson...shows up at the end."

(LAUGHTER)

Thompson:

"Mr. Thompson: And to think I thought I was going to be the best actor on the stage."

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't know what is more boring.

The Republican debate.

Fred Thompson in the Republican debate.

hdhouse predictably engaging in humorless, childish insults at any and all Republicans.

We get it, hdhouse. You are a partisan Democrat who hates Republicans. Same shit, different thread. Now that is boring.

AllenS said...

hdhouse said...
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Pogo said...

Re: "I found nothing funny about straight questions answered with folksy bon-bons of hillbilly wit."

Oddly, that's nearly verbatim the criticism made of Reagan.
Back in the day.

I don't watch the debates. Nothing useful is learned that isn't winnowed for me by the next day; gaffes, surprise policies, and goofball beliefs.

Me? I want a boring President. Give me Ike, not Bill.
Adults are boring, but excellent executives. The immature are fascinating, but lousy leaders.

Pogo said...

Where's Trooper?

Eminem Fred:
I said this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me
Cuz we need a little controversy,
Cuz it feels so empty without me."

EnigmatiCore said...

I read through the transcript to see what Fred said (I've pretty much eliminated all other Republicans but Giuliani from consideration at this point).

This might be a boring answer, but I think it might be interesting to discuss:

"I would add that under the War Powers Act there's always a conflict between the Congress and the president as to the exact applicability of that when an engagement lasts for a particular period of time and when they must come before Congress. I don't think anybody running for president should diminish the powers of the office before he gets there and take side in a hypothetical dispute. But I would say that in any close call, you should go to Congress, whether it's legally required or not, because you're going to need the American people, and Congress will help you. If they are voting for it or they support it, or leaders, especially in the opposite party, are convinced in looking at the evidence that this is the right thing to do, that will help you with the American people. And we have learned that over the long term, in any conflict, we've got to have the strong support of the American people over a protracted period of time."

When I first read it, it seemed to be folksy common sense. But then I thought about what transpired with Iraq. Granted, the Democrats were not in the majority at the time, but many Congressional Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, did vote for the war. Perhaps it did help with the American people, but not for long. Very quickly it turned into an attack-- 'he lied to us.'

I think going to Congress is the right approach, but I think Fred oversells the case for it being an instrument to get the public behind the effort. Elected politicians are showing themselves not to be leaders, but to be followers. The anti-war movement gained traction at the grassroots level, some candidates (like Ned Lamont) got on board, and then finally the elected politicians decided it was in their best interests (if not the country's) to follow.

I think the Iraq war has proven that going to Congress does not mean that there will be American support for an extended period of time. What causes American support for an extended period of time is the case being made repeatedly, the administration showing clear measures showing progress, and victory in the PR battle. Bush failed on all three of these. Once Baghdad fell, he stopped making the case for the war (or, at least, decreased his efforts in this regard). We went nearly 2 years with there being no visible signs of progress. And the administration proved ineffective at battling the heckling chorus claiming that it lied us into war.

MadisonMan said...

Most of the press I've seen/heard about the debate discussed the interactions between Romney and Giuliani. In that sense, then, the debut of F. Thompson was a bust. His presence is remarked upon, but not much more than that.

hdhouse said...

EnigmaticBore

Personal insults aside, your observation: "But then I thought about what transpired with Iraq. Granted, the Democrats were not in the majority at the time, but many Congressional Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, did vote for the war...." is incorrect.

NO ONE voted to authorize this war. Have you ever read Iraq Resolution? It permits mr. Bush to use force but it dictates that mr. Bush had to follow the War Powers Act guidelines (clear evidence of an imminent threat to the United States) which he did not do.

Not to hijack the thread but you really really really need a lesson in accuracy.

Mark Daniels said...

What I know about economics, I learned poorly from two Econ classes in my undergraduate days. And yet, to my surprise, I thought that last night's debate was the most interesting one so far. And I thought that Thompson was, at times, interesting.

Mark Daniels

Bob said...

I'm with Pogo. I want another boring president. Maybe one that will be a bit better at public speaking than Bush, and won't indulge in Bush's cronyism.

I don't want Clintons in the White House again: Bill groping the female staff, Hillary throwing lamps, the Lincoln Bedroom rented out again.

Roger said...

Someone wake me when each party is down to two candidates. This crap is interminable and there are still 13 months to go! I am hoping for a HRC-Guiliani contest--that would be something to see.

David53 said...

Rudy was by far the sharpest. He worked Hillary in as often as he could. He's telling us, "I've already won the prelims."

Mitt was OK.

Fred stumbled trying to articulate how a weak dollar hurts our economy. I expected more from him.

Huckabee sounded good but he doesn't stand a chance.

Ron Paul is from another planet.

jane said...

Boring's good enough, in fact almost preferable, to good Repubs. But it won't sell to the big Middle that's less committed to party and principle than it is to the TV, pictures, and sound bit interest factor, absent a really compelling, dire or uplifting political case made. This election is Hillary's to lose. She's offering the "middle class" $ and perks and the opportunity to be hip, fair and sensitive by electing the first woman President. Gaia save us.

The best cam and press sexy candidate the Repubs can offer is Guiliani, but the social cons are balking at the thought of him. Thompson's coming off too laid back and old. Huckabee has his good points but seems too much of a background kind of guy- more VP potential if he can actually pull in critical southern and centrist votes. These debates end up being laundry list-like when the participants can't or don't launch into the brilliant vision thing.

So far, Rudy sounds personally the strongest (and idiosyncratic), but the GOP needs a strong party message to grab the large squishy center and also savvier media and personal coaching consultants for its nominee. They also could use an anti-Soros to organize and fund the shaping of message and policy...

paul a'barge said...

Boring?

Ah yes.

Well, geez, if it's boring that now defines the line then why on G-d's Green Earth is HDHouse here?

Good lord, every thing this mutt says makes you want to pull up a blanket, suck on a pacifier and take a nap.

AllenS said...

hd--

I Googled "Iraq Resolution" and came up with this thru wiki:

"The resolution cited many factors to justify the use of military force against Iraq:

...

It authorized the United States to use military force to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."

This was voted on and it passed the House 296-133 and by the Senate 77-23.

Where didn't he follow the War Powers Act guidelines?

MadisonMan said...

I don't want boring. I want competent. If they're boring as well, that's okay, but to choose a person because they're boring is testimony to the lack of a clear best choice.

Roger said...
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George said...

It's not so much that he's good because he's boring, it's that his opponents underestimate him.

His life story is incredible and will be wildly appealing to male voters, particularly the all-important Homer Simpson-type regular Joes...

High school class clown star athlete gets girlfriend pregnant...does the right thing...marries her...puts himself through law school working motel night shift...graduates at the top of his class...from Vanderbilt Law School (not bad)...becomes federal prosecutor...phew.

Plus, all voters over the age of 45 or so know him not so much from his recent acting gigs but because we saw him stand up for what was right during the Watergate hearings....also something that will appeal to swing Democrat voters.

Finally, there's no way Guiliani or Romney will carry the South...not happening.

Roger said...

HD--please tell us where the language "imminent threat" appears in either the sections 8(a)(1) and 5b of the war powers resolution or in section 2 of the AUMF--methinks you are making stuff up again, but by all means prove me wrong by citing the language.

MadisonMan said...

we saw him stand up for what was right during the Watergate hearings.

This is tempered by his working as a mole for the White House, funneling information to Nixon et al. -- for example about Butterfield's testimony, if I remember things correctly.

btw -- 45 is too young to remember Watergate as a defining moment, IMO (I'm a little beyond that age) -- that's 11 in 1973; The majority of tweens are not interested in the political goings-on of DC.

hdhouse said...

Two things...

1. is paul a'barge really cedarford? comeon paul...you can fess up.

2. the Iraq resolution invoked the war powers act which is quite specific. although the iraq resolution laid out a litany, include such falsehoods as the the iraq connection to the 9-11 terrorists and WMDs it in no way demonstrated that iraq was a clear and imminent threat to the US but rather to US "interests". big differnce. but in the end it gave bush authority to go to war "but only if" provisions were met. it did not, as you state, authorize war and hillary voted for the former and the later was not on the table.

Trooper York said...

Jim McAllister: Larry, we're not electing the fucking Pope here. Just tell me who won.
(Election 1999)

Trooper York said...

He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He's as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don't worry
Take your time, don't hurry
Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He's a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
(Lennon/McCartney)

Roger said...

HD: the AUMF invoked only two sections of the war powers act, 8a1 and 5 b, neither of which mention immenint force; the aumf, in section 2, authorizes the president to use force as he determines necessary to deal with iraq and its non-compliance. Again, imminent force isnt mention. Nice try, though--you can still convince me imminent force is in there by providing a cite.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The format of 30 second sound bites isn't Fred Thompson's forte and shouldn't be anybody else's either. Fred is much better when he has a chance to build his statements to a point and explain his reasoning.

I thought that his answers on the business questions regarding the flucuation of foreign currency against the dollar, free trade, protectionism and the historical ramifications of those issues was right on. Of course, that's because this is my field and I was able to extrapolate into knowledge that I already had. For people who are ignorant or at best slightly educated in economics, the answers probably seemed vague. BUT to me they were very profound.

I want a boring candidate who takes his time to analyze situations and has a depth of knowledge, not some one who can tap dance better in the 30 second spotlight.

ricpic said...

Thompson doesn't take himself seriously enough? What a relief.

Trooper York said...

Deke Slayton: [at press conference] We're not saying anything new here. We're just saying the same things that need to be said again and again with fierce conviction.
(The Right Stuff 1983)

AllenS said...

hd--

Two things...

1. are you really Steve Simels? ...you can fess up trademark dave.

2. VC, Iraq resolution, ARVN's, War Powers Act guidelines, NVA. It's all confusing to you, isn't it?

Cedarford said...

George - Finally, there's no way Guiliani or Romney will carry the South...not happening.

Yeah, right.....In the Republican Primaries down there, polls show Giuliani and McCain have substantial strength in SC, Florida...with Romney still waging his Mormon skirmish with the Evangelical extremists that, at the end of the day, will see him as more acceptable than untrustworthy McCain or Mr NYC.

At the end of the day, maybe the South will have a few states locked up by a Southern Son - but Rudy or Mitt announces they will pick the highly likeable Mike Huckabee as VP and that's that.

Because in the election that follows, the one that counts, no way will a Southern State outside of Florida conceivably, vote for Ms. Cornpone Wisdom, not even Arkansas. Especially Arkansas, when you think of it...

Ah ain't tired, noah way no howww. Cackle, cackle.. Ah gots me miles and miles to go..convincing them ill-edjumicated rednecks that abortion and more taxes is good for Us Southners... Cackle, cackle....

Give a leg up to Hillary in any case because the country is sick of the inept Bush and the Corrupticans. And see Dems as better able to fight the war the wealthy globalists are fighting against the poor and middle class.

But Ms. Cornpone, the transplanted Northerner who found her true self after being stuck in Arkansas 14 years? Her secret love of New York, Yankees baseball, who surrounded herself with a "posse" of northern liberal women once she was "liberated" and in the White House?

Yeah, Southerners will embrace her...Or be so upset with a Mormon that lives as their Megachurch preachers say a good Christian should...that they vote for Hillary instead. Or be so upset that a Court-loving, gay-happy "Mr. NYC" is the candidate that they go for "Mrs. NYC"...

hdhouse said...

Please don't confuse the War Powers Act with the War Powers Resolution of 1993.

Roger said...
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Roger said...

What war powers resolution of 1993? there is only a congressional issue brief. The only war powers act (also called war powers resolution) is PL 93-148 in 1973 ammended a couple of times in the 1980s. And it is that document referred to in the AUMF. As always, I can be convinced otherwise with evidence, but so far, HD, your cheese is pretty damn bad.

B said...

hdhouse,

I must say that I believe your comments have become among the more thoughtful on this blog. You obviously take the time to inform yourself, something that is becoming more rare in overall commenting. I rarely agree with your points overall, but I also find your defense of your views becoming a must-read before I step out and enter the daily water cooler back-and-forths.

Of course, the sharp wit certainly makes you even more readable.

OK, enough compliments (do keep it up).

nick danger said...

Please don't confuse the War Powers Act with the War Powers Resolution of 1993.

Please don't confuse the War Powers Act with a Tom Clancy novel.

B said...

Ann,

It is becoming apparent over the last several weeks of your postings on Giuliani and Hillary that my previous comments regarding Hillary's fitness for the office have given you permission to seriously consider her for President. Let me be clear:

Hillary has the "capacity" for leadership and administration. Her time as an active (some would say activist)First Lady and the consensus-building she has demonstrated in the Senate are not just fluffy resume fillers. She is a unique person in our culture and no doubt could, with the aid of her
husband's advice, learn the job a little faster than most, the exceptions being governors. The remaining sheriff's line -up that's running for the Democratic nomination has no one more qualified - except Richardson* (* = no chance).

That said, the problem is not "learnability". It's her lack of knowing how she really views American might and military. She has been all over the board, and is there anyone - anywhere - who truly believes that a President Hillary would have the respect of our nation's warriors and respond in a crisis as quickly and rightly as a President Giuliani.

Think about it, long and hard, because there is nothing - NOTHING - in Hillary's resume that shows a rock hard belief in the overall worth and dignity of the United States military. To make a case for Hillary on this point, a person has to dissemble and obfuscate to a ridiculous point.

I actually thought I could make peace in my mind with a Hillary Administration, wiping away the dichotomy that is her National Defense rhetoric. But when she questioned the veracity of General Petraeus in the hearings - she showed herself to be without an inner core of understanding what it is to respect the military men and women of this country. She doesn't "get it" militarily. And all of the parsing in the world won't give her that understanding.


Ann, the bottom line is that she doesn't have what it takes to protect this nation. And if Bill has a heart attack and becomes unavailable, what Democrat can she look to in a military crisis?

You now have permission to give up this ridiculous idea of Hillary as Commander-in -Chief.

Gedaliya said...

hdhouse says:

...but in the end it gave bush authority to go to war "but only if" provisions were met.

The "only if" provisions were given to the president and the president alone to determine. To wit:

In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that—
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.


The AUMF of 2002

Trooper York said...

There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

(Won't Get Fooled Again, The Who)

AllenS said...

At 7:49 AM hd said...

"NO ONE voted to authorize this war. Have you ever read Iraq Resolution? It permits mr. Bush to use force but it dictates that mr. Bush had to follow the War Powers Act guidelines (clear evidence of an imminent threat to the United States) which he did not do."

At 11:08 AM hd said...

"Please don't confuse the War Powers Act with the War Powers Resolution of 1993."

Who's confused here?

Trooper York said...

Austin Powers: Shall we shag now, or shall we shag later? How do you like to do it? Do you like to wash up first? You know, top and tails... whore's bath? Personally, before I'm on the job, I like to give my undercarriage a bit of a 'how's your father'!
(Austin Powers Act of 1997)

Roger said...

HD: follow me closely. The war powers act and the war powers resolution are both PL93-148 dated 1973. There IS NO war powers act or resolution of 1993. The only phrase with respect to imminent concerns imminent hostilities which is one of three conditions under which the President may go to war without prior congressional approval, or seek an authorization to use force--which course of action he followed in 2003.

There is NOTHING--repeat NOTHING--in the AUMF nor the War Powers act that talks about imminent threat.

former law student said...

Until he threatened to run for President, Fred was the heir-apparent to Paul Harvey, and that's good enough for me.

Good-Day!

George said...

Cedarford--

re: polls.

It's very early in the game. The only people paying attention are political junkies.

Saw a piece on the Today Show this morning, reporter went out in Manhattan with a book containing 8x10 photos of the various candidates. Most people couldn't identify most of the candidates, but they knew who Martin Sheen was!

Revenant said...

I found nothing funny about straight questions answered with folksy bon-bons of hillbilly wit. Sorry but this dog doesn't hunt.

Gosh, HD, and we all expected you to be an enthusiastic supporter of this particular Republican candidate, what with your reputation for being willing to support members of both parties.

hdhouse said...

Oh Revenant I AM a support of Folksy Fred. I want him to run in the worst possible way....Frankly aside from Alan Keyes there may be no one in your field of flybynights who we can beat by a wider margin.

He is our dream nominee. He'll probably pick Senator Craig as his VP choice and then someone will tell him something and he'll say "gosh, when did that happen".

Luckyoldson said...

paul a'barge,
Why not pull up that little blankie of yours and suck on Bush.

You're good at it.

Luckyoldson said...

Rev,
You actually want Thompson as the Republican candidate?

Even you're not that dumb.

Luckyoldson said...

Freddie รจ un moron.

EnigmatiCore said...

hdhouse, the enigmatibore line was as juvenile and lacking in wit as we have come to expect from you. Truly, you can't help yourself, can you?

But on to your attempt at substance, apparently the Democrats in Congress do not agree with your read of things, because they have continued to fund the war. Apparently no judge has been found who will slap an injunction on the administration preventing them from spending the authorized money because they have not been following the laws which provided the funds. Apparently, the Democrats in Congress do not agree with you (other than in their speech rhetoric to liberal audiences) that Bush has broken the law, otherwise they would have a duty and a responsibility to impeach. And apparently, you know this because you spend your time attacking Republicans other than Bush rather than Democrats for failing to uphold the rule of law.

And on top of that, your entire point missed the entire point about my comment, and went off on a meaningless tangent. My point was that if Thompson believes that going to Congress will buy long-term support from the American people, than he is naive about the degree of partisanship in the country (hey! Thanks for providing yet another example of this disease, hdhouse!).

Roost on the Moon said...

A while back Althouse had a thread about words "owned" by songs.


And I said "Aw, C'mon now/
You know about my debutante..."

hdhouse said...

frankly I thought the EnigmaticBore line was pretty good...didn't you? no?

Its pretty early to go chapter and verse with you, particularly inre the holes you dug above, but "fund the war"...NO. not pull the legs out from under the troops in place. they don't have the votes to defund the war anyway and you know it so why fight a battle that they can't win...bush is doing that now so the democrats have watched and learned...something you neo-poopies would do well to try.

i know you know better than the judge/injuction sentence so i'll just let that pass as hysteria.

there is plenty of evidence that bush has broken a lot of laws. one issue that prevents impeachment is the gop history of it with clinton and the turmoil it causes. second of course is the matter of time...bush will be a gone goose in 14 months and there is no way to get an impeachment through it time...but you know that so there is no sense in telling you what you know...its the other side of the story that you ignore...

and to partisanship...you act like the democrats invented it...but after 7 years of this administration and the congress it controlled....remember the one that wouldn't allow democrats to bring up amendments or hold hearings or attempt oversight? that one? the congress of Tom DeLay? that one?

frankly you should be ashamed that you brought such weak shit into these pages.

hdhouse said...

EnigmatiCore said...
"hdhouse, the enigmatibore line was as juvenile and lacking in wit as we have come to expect from you. Truly, you can't help yourself, can you?"

Naw...I really can't help myself. tee 'em up and swing away i always say.

Revenant said...

Frankly aside from Alan Keyes there may be no one in your field of flybynights

Well, you earned a chuckle for calling Giuliani and McCain -- who, taken individually, have more experience in government than Hillary, Obama, and Edwards do combined -- "flybynights".