Fred announces he will announce
0 comment Friday, July 25, 2014 |
It looks as though Fred Thompson, after months of coy manipulation of the media, has decided to announce his much-hyped candidacy for the Presidency -- or at least, to announce that he will announce his candidacy:
Thompson finally takes the plunge
Finally, the Fredheads can breathe. After months of waiting, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) will announce his entry into the presidential race next week.
Thompson is set to announce his candidacy by video on his website Sept. 6, and then head out on a five-day tour of early voting states.
"I believe that there are millions of Americans who know that our security and prosperity are at risk if we don�t address the challenges of our time; the global threat of terrorism; taxes and spending that will bankrupt future generations, and a government that can�t seem to get the most basic responsibilities right for its citizens," Thompson said in a statement Thursday.
He added: "The response that we�ve received makes me confident that we have an opportunity to change politics in Washington and across the country, and take on these challenges the way every generation of Americans has faced the challenges of their time � with unity, hard work and a belief that we will come out on the winning side."
Excuse my cynicism, but this sounds like so much hot air, a lot of focus-group clichés and buzzphrases and platitudes.
Imagine my surprise when the Economist's take on Thompson's announcement was little more enthusiastic than mine:
The Fred Factor
...A former senator from Tennessee who had earned national fame as an actor, particularly on the wildly popular "Law and Order", an imposing man with a six-foot-six frame and deep bass voice, Mr Thompson was the sort of non-scary conservative who could rally the base without alienating the middle ground.
The not-quite candidate did a brilliant job of playing on the right's expectations. He produced pieces for conservative outlets sounding familiar themes: global-warming alarmists were flat-earthers, the Virginia Tech massacre proved that students should be allowed to carry guns on campus, and so on. He went on radio and television. He attracted enthusiastic crowds as he strutted around at various political functions. Some conservatives even began to pay him the ultimate compliment�comparing him to the sainted Ronald Reagan.
But Mr Thompson's chances depend on the weakness of the field rather than any outstanding qualities of his own. The comparison with Reagan is instructive. Reagan was a conservative ideologue who spent decades working for "the movement", acting as Barry Goldwater's champion and running for the Republican nomination on a conservative ticket in both 1976 and 1980. Mr Thompson was a pragmatic senator�a centrist by the standards of the Tennessee Republican Party�who voted for Mr McCain's campaign-finance reform. His enthusiasm for the pure milk of conservative dogma is a recent development. Reagan distilled his conservative philosophy into a stump speech that had Republican donors instantly opening their wallets. So far Mr Thompson's speeches have been a succession of conservative clichés interspersed with long pauses.
In the mid-1970s, when Ronald Reagan burst onto the national scene, the Republican Party was desperate for a new direction: not just because it had been discredited by Watergate, but also because it lacked a distinctive ideology. Reagan provided that new direction. Today the Republican Party is in dire straits again, but none of the candidates has even begun to chart a new path. That is unlikely to change when and if the Republican Party's newest actor-politician joins the race. ''
'A succession of conservative clichés interspersed with long pauses.' That about sums up my reaction to what he has been saying.
I do disagree with the Economist's statement that 'none of the candidates has even begun to chart a new path." Again, it seems as if the media and the establishment are treating Ron Paul as the Invisible Man.
No bias there -- is there?

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