September 13, 2007

Fred: "smoother, rounder yet bolder."

I've yet to experience the appeal of Fred Thompson. I'm open to the suggestion that he can appeal to the common man in a way Mit or Rudy can't. But that's far from making him Reaganesque, as some have suggested he is. Remember, Reagan had been working tirelessly, long before he became a political candidate, writing and speaking and broadcasting, to spread his faith in America and her true ideals. I've yet to hear of anything similar about Fred Thompson.

(Leftists, by the way, labored then and now to portray Reagan as an amiable dunce, but recent publications of his work long before he had speechwriters show this to be a horrid lie.)

This column by George Will is a powerful attack on ol' Fred...

...So he believes, as zealous regulators of political speech do, that political contributions are incipient bribes -- but that bribery begins with contributions larger than $2,300. Which brings us to the financial implausibility of his late-starting campaign.

Suppose he does something unprecedented -- gets 100 people a day, from now until Jan. 1, to contribute the permitted maximum of $2,300. After subtracting normal fundraising costs and campaign overhead, he would still enter 2008 vulnerable to being outspent at least three-to-one by his major rivals.

Is there, however, a huge cash value in the role for which he is auditioning -- darling of religious conservatives? Perhaps. But their aspiring darling recently said in South Carolina, "I attend church when I'm in Tennessee. I'm in McLean right now. I don't attend regularly when I'm up there."

"Right now"? He has been living "up there" in that upscale inside-the-Beltway Washington suburb, honing his "Aw, shucks, I'm just an ol' Washington outsider" act, for years. Long enough to have noticed that McLean is planted thick with churches. Going to church is, of course, optional -- unless you are aiming to fill some supposed piety void in the Republican field.

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985, with the company's president piling on adjectives usually reserved for Lafite Rothschild -- "smoother, rounder yet bolder." Almost 80 days later, the public having sampled it, the company pulled the product from stores. Perhaps Thompson's candidacy will last longer than New Coke did.

Posted by John Weidner at September 13, 2007 8:15 AM
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