Archive for the ‘Fred Thompson’ Category

WMUR-ABC Republican Debate

January 6, 2008

Thirty minutes into the Republican debate from St. Anselm College, I have the following observations:

• They all look tired. I am surprised by how fatigued Mitt Romney looks.

• The question on whether each candidate would follow President Bush’s foreign policy seemed to put the candidates on their heels. So did the use of video and sound from President Bush. The last things these guys want is to be lumped in with Bush.

• On the substance, I thought the responses of Giuliani, McCain, Thompson and Romney on the danger of terrorism were all solid. It was interesting to see Romney reach for some foreign policy substance by invoking specific Islamist clerics. Politically, however, Huckabee had the best comment, saying he’s “not running for George Bush’s third term.”

• Given the level of scrutiny on Huckabee’s past critiques of Bush’s foreign policy, I have to note that I was the first columnist to examine his statements in this area. I wrote: “Quick to personify nations while talking about international relations, at times he sounds like he is channeling a European member of the Green Party.”

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Republican Debate in Michigan

October 10, 2007

Here’s my take on last night’s debate in Michigan. I saw it as a good night for Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. While Fred Thompson showed up, his performance fell below expectations

Thompson, Romney, Giuliani Will Compete on Economic Policy

October 9, 2007

The big story at tonight’s Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan is not just the first appearance of Fred Thompson in a debate, which seems to be the prevailing story-line. By the time the general election is held in November, 2008, one way or another, the Iraq War will have receded somewhat as a political issue. At this point, the economy, I believe, will be a central issue. The G.O.P candidates will provide their perspectives on the economy tonight.

Mitt Romney needs to have a big night and he can. Not only is Romney the son of a former Michigan governor and c.e.o. of American Motors, he is the only candidate in the race with a record of creating jobs in the private sector. There’s no question that Romney was a disappointment in Massachusetts as far as being a c.e.o. who could recruit other business executives to come to Massachusetts, but it’s also true that he never invested the time necessary to do this. I did see him, along with Mayor Menino, personally lobby representatives of Virgin Airlines to headquarter their new domestic airlines in Boston. Still, economic issues should be Romney’s sweet spot.

John McCain delivered a speech to the Detroit Economic Club. He’s trying to get into the anti-tax act:

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves at a time when the U.S. economy is growing more slowly than anyone would like. As you are well aware, conditions in Michigan are even tougher, with the state suffering through one of the most severe recessions since World War II.

Tough times can breed fear, and Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are using those fears to push an agenda that is tired, dangerous, and will rob us of economic freedom. Once again, they want the government to make our choices for us – not respect our dreams, and trust our decisions on how best to seize our opportunities. ”

As for Rudy Giuliani, I don’t believe you can separate his mayoral leadership from the economic boom New York enjoyed in the 1990s.

Read more here.

Fred Thompson and Ronald Reagan

August 8, 2007

Fred ThompsonThe Gipper

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.

Fairness Doctrine? Rudy Giuliani on the History Channel

June 29, 2007

Crimefighter Giuliani

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about what to do if the syndicated t.v. franchise Law & Order, if Fred Thompson becomes an official candidate for the Republican nomination, which it looks like he’s going to. Law & Order is one of those shows that everyone knows. Where it gets interesting are shows that are somewhat under the radar.

I stumbled onto one tonight on The History Channel, “The Godfathers”. This thing was a two-hour comprehensive history of the Mafia in Sicily and America. Guess who was one of the main talking heads? Rudy Giuliani, who is both a daring former federal prosecutor and the basis for two fictional prosecutors in “Prince of the City” and “Serpico”. I have no idea how it is kosher to portray an active, current, presidential candidate on a television show.

It’s possible that this appearance is just so low visibility that no campaign feels it necessary to challenge. Or, if they are aware of it, perhaps it fills the nefarious need to associate Giuliani with La Cosa Nostra, which I wrote about here. Or maybe it was the other American the documentary kept going to for comment? Bernard Kerik, a liability to Giuliani.

Fred Thompson and Paul Tsongas

April 13, 2007

Deficit Hawk

Fred Thompson’s recent announcement that he had non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma calls to mind Paul Tsongas, who had already contracted that form of cancer, when he ran for president in 1992. I write about Tsongas here. I will have more later.