America’s never had a President named Fred… but it may get a shot at having one according to the Politico’s Mike Allen who reports today that former Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson will jump in the race by the Fourth of July weekend.
The timing for the “Law & Order” star to throw his hat in the ring couldn’t be better considering that Thompson has painted himself as a true conservative candidate and most of the conservative base is up in arms over President Bush’s immigration bill. Look at any conservative blog these days and you see the base’s best example of disillusionment with Bush over the apparent “amnesty” element of the bill.
According to Allen, Thompson’s first step will be to establish a “testing the waters” committee which allows him to start raising money officially and there is evidence that many former big dollar GOP donors are ready to step up to the plate.
The first GOP Presidential debate at the Reagan Library in California proved that no candidate thus far has been able to garner the Reagan legacy as part of their campaign. Yet the desire to return to Reaganesque Republican governance seems to be the golden egg of the early primaries.
I’m not sure anyone has actually defined accurately what a Reagan Republican would be in today’s world, but I imagine it would incorporate elements of small government attitudes, economic freedom and the spread of democracy in age of Islamic fundamentalist terror.
But has the bar been set too to be the conservative savior? Is Thompson the man best fit to pick up the mantle of Reagan? The Myth of Fred may even have grown so large that he’s not really even competing against Giuliani, Romney or McCain, but rather against Reagan himself.
I also think it’s worth noting too that none of us really know where Thompson is on most of the issues. Yet he has remained a solid fourth place in various polls on basically nothing more than good looks, charm, and a sense of having been a successful Senator from Tennessee with an outsider’s view of Washington.
One of the Republican students from the SC Debate Night that Greta and I co-hosted said he would throw his support immediately behind Newt if he got into the race because of what Gingrich has to say about issues like health care, immigration and national defense. Which begs the question – what does a Fred announcement do to or for Newt’s possible entry?
None of the students from that night were willing to get behind a Thompson candidacy just yet, but almost all agreed that America wants a candidate – Republican or Democrat – that has a strong personality and a fair amount of charisma. Thompson proved he can be candid and personable on a recent FOX News Sunday appearance, but ease in front of the camera does not win voters alone.
Only time will tell if the Red Pick Up Truck of Thompson’s successful populist Senate bid will ride again. But Mike Allen says it will and his sources close to Thompson suggest he’s “the conservative candidate to unite all elements of the Republican party.”
In other dark horse news, it appears that Gore is poised to possibly win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming and without much effort the calls on the Left for his candidacy grow louder. Imagine what an election would look like between a Gore v. Thompson general election?
For this Tennessean, it would be like the Subway Series between the Yankees and the Mets in the Volunteer State.
I can be reached for questions or comments at Griffsnotes@foxnews.com.