I’m unimpressed with Fred Thompson’s campaign/non-campaign. The next four years is not the time for a slacker president. Thompson’s defender’s like to liken him to Ronald Reagan on a number of counts, especially with regard to his laid-back style. That is spin, however, and not reality. It should be remembered that Reagan challenged Gerald Ford rigorously in 1976 and wasted no time seeking the 1980 nomination. ” Reagan also had moved quickly after Ford’s defeat in 1976 by establishing in February 1977 a valuable campaign resource for conservative Republican office-seekers,” Jack Germond and Jules Witcover recorded in their account of the 1980 presidential race, “Blue Smoke and Mirrors.”
Reagan established Citizens for the Republic, which enabled him to cement his relations with local politicians and grassroots activists who are so important in Iowa and New Hampshire. While Reagan did not attend every small event, Republican voters were very much aware that he had been an outspoken national proponent for conservatism since Barry Goldwater’s candidacy in 1964 and a presence in Iowa since 1967 when he started making speeches there. Although Mr. Thompson worked as an actor like Reagan, the former had spent the preceding decade and a half focused on remaking the GOP and America, not on catching fictional crooks on television. Read more here.