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Cochise
08-18-2007, 07:24 PM
Fred Thompson's Gamble

By David S. Broder
Thursday, August 16, 2007; Page A15

When Fred Thompson makes his long-delayed entrance into the Republican presidential race, he will not tiptoe quietly. Instead, he will try to shake up the establishment candidates of both parties by depicting a nation in peril from fiscal and security threats -- and prescribing tough cures that he says others shrink from offering.

In a two-hour conversation over coffee at a restaurant near his Virginia headquarters, the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future.

After spending most of the past few years on TV's "Law and Order," and starting a new family, with two children under 4, the 65-year-old lawyer says he finds himself motivated for the first time to seek the White House.

"There's no reason for me to run just to be president," he said. "I don't desire the emoluments of the office. I don't want to live a lie and clever my way to the nomination or election. But if you can put your ideas out there -- different, more far-reaching ideas -- that is worth doing."

Thompson, like many of the others running, has caught a strong whiff of the public disillusionment with both parties in Washington -- and the partisanship that has infected Congress, helping to speed his own departure from the Senate.

But he says he thinks the public is looking for a different kind of leadership. "I think a president could go to the American people and say, 'Here's what we need to be doing. And I'm willing to go halfway. Now you have to make them [the opposition] go halfway.' "

The approach Thompson says he's contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says "we're getting a free ride" fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, "wearing out our people and equipment," it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon.

When he says he would have opposed adding the prescription drug benefit to Medicare, "a $17 trillion add-on to a program that's going bankrupt," he is fighting the bipartisan judgment of the last Congress.

When he says the FBI is perhaps incapable of morphing itself into the smart domestic security agency the country needs, he is attacking another sacred cow.

Thompson repeatedly cites two texts as fueling his concern about the country's future. One is "Government at the Brink," a two-volume report he issued as chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee at the start of the Bush administration in 2001 and handed to the new president's budget director as a checklist of urgent management problems.

The difficulties outlined in federal procurement, personnel, finances and information technology remain, Thompson said, and increasingly "threaten national security."

His second sourcebook contains the scary reports from Comptroller General David Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, on the long-term fiscal crisis spawned by the aging of the American population and the runaway costs of health care. Walker labels the current patterns of federal spending "unsustainable" and warns that unless action is taken soon to improve both sides of the government's fiscal ledger -- spending and revenue -- the next generation will suffer.

"Nobody in Congress or on either side in the presidential race wants to deal with it," Thompson said. "So we just rock along and try to maintain the status quo. Republicans say keep the tax cuts; Democrats say keep the entitlements. And we become a less unified country in the process, with a tax code that has become an unholy mess, and all we do is tinker around the edges."

Thompson readily concedes that he does not know "where all those chips are going to fall" when he starts challenging members of various interest groups to look beyond their individual agendas and weigh the sacrifices that could ensure a better future for their children.

But these issues -- national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway heath-care costs -- "are worth a portion of a man's life. If I can't get elected talking that way, I probably don't deserve to be elected."

Thompson says he feels "free to do it" his own way, and that freedom may just be enough to shake up the presidential race.

davidbroder@washpost.com

Hoover
08-18-2007, 07:45 PM
I recently met Fred Thompson and I wasn't impressed at all. What the news media creats, they also destroy. If you are hoping that Fred Thompson is the answer, get ready to be disapointed..

patteeu
08-18-2007, 07:46 PM
That sounds like a pretty bold campaign. I'd love to see any candidate speak candidly about the financial horizon and the impacts of both the war and entitlements. I hope he follows through on this. Thanks for posting it. :thumb:

jAZ
08-18-2007, 09:43 PM
"I don't desire the emoluments of the office. I don't want to live a lie and clever my way to the nomination or election.
Thompson says these things. But I think this is the exact opposite of what's going on. I get the sense that Fred Thompson is the opposite of authentic. Rather he sees value in playing the role of the authentic outsider.

He may not "desire the emoluments of the office", but I think he very much desires the trappings of the office. I think he sees it as the "role of his life".

(And to be clear, it's not because he's an actor. I think it's more a result of him trying to project that machismo, cigar chomping, southern ladies man image.)

CHIEF4EVER
08-18-2007, 09:48 PM
Thompson says these things. But I think this is the exact opposite of what's going on. I get the sense that Fred Thompson is the opposite of authentic. Rather he sees value in playing the role of the authentic outsider.

He may not "desire the emoluments of the office", but I think he very much desires the trappings of the office. I think he sees it as the "role of his life".

(And to be clear, it's not because he's an actor. I think it's more a result of him trying to project that machismo, cigar chomping, southern ladies man image.)

I think you try to devalue his position because you view it as a threat to the Democraps.

jAZ
08-18-2007, 09:50 PM
I think you try to devalue his position because you view it as a threat to the Democraps.
It's my assessment of what I've seen and read about him. What he says here... having a good conversation about the issues... I agree with that.

Have you seen his video response to some flap with Michael Moore?

It's funny, but it's exactly the thing I'm talking about.

Taco John
08-18-2007, 09:54 PM
What's he been afraid of? I can't figure out why the guy has been on the fence so long. Why has it taken so long for him to "find himself motivated."

CHIEF4EVER
08-18-2007, 09:55 PM
It's my assessment of what I've seen and read about him. What he says here... having a good conversation about the issues... I agree with that.

Have you seen his video response to some flap with Michael Moore?

It's funny, but it's exactly the thing I'm talking about.

Brother, ANYONE who disagrees with Michael Moore's dumb ass has to be a decent individual. :)

Taco John
08-18-2007, 09:59 PM
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/DdAm6UY4xOE" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed>

Cochise
08-19-2007, 01:22 AM
That sounds like a pretty bold campaign. I'd love to see any candidate speak candidly about the financial horizon and the impacts of both the war and entitlements. I hope he follows through on this. Thanks for posting it. :thumb:

I like the fact that he is talking about the entitlement situation, I mean, if you're for reducing the size and role of government in our lives, you can't ignore that. It's a huge part of the federal budget, I've heard more than half - probably 10 times what we spend in Iraq in a year. The cost of Iraq is a drop in the bucket compared to that. But few people seem to want to take it on. If he wants to reduce government intake AND spending, and he's got a real chance, hey, count me in.

ChiefaRoo
08-19-2007, 02:01 AM
I recently met Fred Thompson and I wasn't impressed at all. What the news media creats, they also destroy. If you are hoping that Fred Thompson is the answer, get ready to be disapointed..

Explain? Did you meet him and have the chance to speak and ask questions of him or did you hear him speak in public? Why do you think he is unimpressive?

BucEyedPea
08-19-2007, 03:59 PM
What's he been afraid of? I can't figure out why the guy has been on the fence so long. Why has it taken so long for him to "find himself motivated."
Well I read that he's lazy. Maybe that's it?

BucEyedPea
08-19-2007, 04:04 PM
I like the fact that he is talking about the entitlement situation, I mean, if you're for reducing the size and role of government in our lives, you can't ignore that. It's a huge part of the federal budget, I've heard more than half - probably 10 times what we spend in Iraq in a year. The cost of Iraq is a drop in the bucket compared to that. But few people seem to want to take it on. If he wants to reduce government intake AND spending, and he's got a real chance, hey, count me in.
He's pandering...to sound like Paul because the Establishment is afraid of that message. He's an inside-the-beltway guy. He's saying he's endorsing compassionate conservativism too because I saw him say it. Talkin' outta both sides of his mouth! Ya' can't have it both ways. So he's gotta be pandering. NjMO.

Cochise
08-19-2007, 04:29 PM
He's pandering...to sound like Paul because the Establishment is afraid of that message. He's an inside-the-beltway guy. He's saying he's endorsing compassionate conservativism too because I saw him say it. Talkin' outta both sides of his mouth! Ya' can't have it both ways. So he's gotta be pandering. NjMO.


I think Thompson scares you, because he is starting to sound like Paul on limited government, which is the pitch Paulians are trying to give conservatives to support him. But Thompson won't have the foreign policy wart that Paul has. Conservatives like myself could have a limited government candidate without having to beg for defeat in Iraq.

alanm
08-19-2007, 04:31 PM
What's he been afraid of? I can't figure out why the guy has been on the fence so long. Why has it taken so long for him to "find himself motivated."
At least he's not out there deceiving people with his brand of lies like the rest of the candidates are.

BucEyedPea
08-19-2007, 05:05 PM
I think Thompson scares you, because he is starting to sound like Paul on limited government, which is the pitch Paulians are trying to give conservatives to support him. But Thompson won't have the foreign policy wart that Paul has. Conservatives like myself could have a limited government candidate without having to beg for defeat in Iraq.
Spin how you want. Has nothing to do with the actual people who support him it has to do with him as another politician. Fact is, I saw him endorsing compassionate conservativism.

He's talking the walk; not gonna walk it though. He's with AEI!
Paul doesn't have your vote anyway....sooooooooooooooooooooooo! :p

recxjake
08-19-2007, 05:38 PM
He's old... he was the only Rep or Dem canddiate to visit the Iowa State Fair that had to be driven around on a Golf Cart.... He doesn't have the energy for a long campaign... thats why he hasn't gotten in yet.... how in the heck can he beat Hillary if he has no energy?

Fishpicker
08-19-2007, 05:44 PM
He's old... he was the only Rep or Dem canddiate to visit the Iowa State Fair that had to be driven around on a Golf Cart.... He doesn't have the energy for a long campaign... thats why he hasn't gotten in yet.... how in the heck can he beat Hillary if he has no energy?

an actual golf cart? or was it a hoveround type vehicle for geriatrics?

orange
08-19-2007, 05:53 PM
"The approach Thompson says he's contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says "we're getting a free ride" fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, "wearing out our people and equipment," it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon."

Sounds like a Draft to me. But why doesn't Mr. Authentic come out and say so?

recxjake
08-19-2007, 05:58 PM
an actual golf cart? or was it a hoveround type vehicle for geriatrics?

A real golf cart... fox news had a piece on him and they were talking about that.... also how he wore gucci shoes and didn't spend a dollar at the fair... all first's for candidates at the fair.

He has cancer as well, that doesn't help him much.

I like the guy... but I just feel the media has made him to be a candidate that he is not. He didn't do much as a Senator... he was 20 year lobbyist, he has a hot ass wife, he lobbyied for a abortion right group.

I don't see how the Republican party can send up a lobbyist to try to keep the WH.

Fred Thompson... good guy.... bad choice for president.

1st choice... Giuliani/Huckabee, 2nd Giuliani/Thompson

Fishpicker
08-19-2007, 06:17 PM
<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/7Oni7nd0SJI"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/7Oni7nd0SJI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

there might be something to the rumor that Fred Thompson is lazy.

patteeu
08-19-2007, 08:45 PM
"The approach Thompson says he's contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says "we're getting a free ride" fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, "wearing out our people and equipment," it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon."

Sounds like a Draft to me. But why doesn't Mr. Authentic come out and say so?

Sounds more like an increase in the defense budget to cover more volunteer personnel to me.

Ultra Peanut
08-19-2007, 09:29 PM
You know who Fred Thompson reminds me of? Hillary Clinton.

Seriously. Either one will say or do anything if they think it will increase their chances of being elected. It's just that Thompson's apparently not even motivated enough to bother campaigning.

Deberg_1990
08-19-2007, 09:31 PM
I cant get over this guy and his trifecta of performances in:

Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2 and Days of Thunder.

Unforgettable...

Fishpicker
08-21-2007, 03:11 AM
Sounds more like an increase in the defense budget to cover more volunteer personnel to me.

so, the defense budget needs to be increased because we cannot accommodate the abundance of volunteers?

patteeu
08-21-2007, 06:12 AM
so, the defense budget needs to be increased because we cannot accommodate the abundance of volunteers?

The defense budget needs to be increased to pay more people. If you own a business that employs 10 people and you decide to expand your workforce to 12 people, you're going to need to expand your payroll budget. Depending on how tight the labor market is, you might even need to increase your salary structure to remain competitive.

BigMeatballDave
08-21-2007, 09:20 AM
A real golf cart... fox news had a piece on him and they were talking about that.... also how he wore gucci shoes and didn't spend a dollar at the fair... all first's for candidates at the fair.

He has cancer as well, that doesn't help him much.

I like the guy... but I just feel the media has made him to be a candidate that he is not. He didn't do much as a Senator... he was 20 year lobbyist, he has a hot ass wife, he lobbyied for a abortion right group.

I don't see how the Republican party can send up a lobbyist to try to keep the WH.

Fred Thompson... good guy.... bad choice for president.

1st choice... Giuliani/Huckabee, 2nd Giuliani/ThompsonRudy is WAAAY worse than Fred.

Logical
08-21-2007, 10:08 AM
I think Thompson scares you, because he is starting to sound like Paul on limited government, which is the pitch Paulians are trying to give conservatives to support him. But Thompson won't have the foreign policy wart that Paul has. Conservatives like myself could have a limited government candidate without having to beg for defeat in Iraq.

He is going to to the opposite way and propose that we need to increase troops in Iraq and propose a draft. 10 seconds after he announces this bold new strategy for Iraq his campaign will be as dead as Barry Goldwaters, 15 seconds later after he proposed cuts in medicare/medicaid the seniors will rise up against and he will be facing the most massive election loss in the history of campaigning.

Logical
08-21-2007, 10:11 AM
"The approach Thompson says he's contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says "we're getting a free ride" fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, "wearing out our people and equipment," it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon."

Sounds like a Draft to me. But why doesn't Mr. Authentic come out and say so?:clap:

Mr. Kotter
08-21-2007, 07:09 PM
What's he been afraid of? I can't figure out why the guy has been on the fence so long. Why has it taken so long for him to "find himself motivated."

Eh, maybe he's noticed the polling that says.....most Americans don't REALLY give two shits about the Presidential race yet. Some may be paying attention; but the vast majority aren't even really tuned-in yet.

13-14 months, in politics, is an eternity.

Two year Presidential campaigns are a joke.

Labor day of the year prior elections has been the historical start to campaigns; several have been successful with even shorter campaigns....most recently, Clinton. The political parties, arbitrarily and in cohort with the media, deciding we need to extend the already ridiculously long American election process are the ones behind this silliness.

Talk to me about this once he's been actively campaigning for 6-8 weeks. We'll see just how meaningless this summer's "debates" by the two parties have really been.

ChiefaRoo
08-21-2007, 07:34 PM
Eh, maybe he's noticed the polling that says.....most Americans don't REALLY give two shits about the Presidential race yet. Some may be paying attention; but the vast majority aren't even really tuned-in yet.

13-14 months, in politics, is an eternity.

Two year Presidential campaigns are a joke.

Labor day of the year prior elections has been the historical start to campaigns; several have been successful with even shorter campaigns....most recently, Clinton. The political parties, arbitrarily and in cohort with the media, deciding we need to extend the already ridiculously long American election process are the ones behind this silliness.

Talk to me about this once he's been actively campaigning for 6-8 weeks. We'll see just how meaningless this summer's "debates" by the two parties have really been.

I agree. The only ones talking about these debates are the talking heads. I consider myself a political junkie and I've only watched 1/2 of one of the Dem. debates. I'd also add that the formats for these debates suck and don't allow for any real discourse. Feh on all of it. I'll tune in later.

Logical
08-21-2007, 07:52 PM
Eh, maybe he's noticed the polling that says.....most Americans don't REALLY give two shits about the Presidential race yet. Some may be paying attention; but the vast majority aren't even really tuned-in yet.

13-14 months, in politics, is an eternity.

Two year Presidential campaigns are a joke.

Labor day of the year prior elections has been the historical start to campaigns; several have been successful with even shorter campaigns....most recently, Clinton. The political parties, arbitrarily and in cohort with the media, deciding we need to extend the already ridiculously long American election process are the ones behind this silliness.

Talk to me about this once he's been actively campaigning for 6-8 weeks. We'll see just how meaningless this summer's "debates" by the two parties have really been.We agree on this, I wish we could get it down to a 6 month election campaign cycle.

HonestChieffan
08-22-2007, 08:48 AM
Fred needs to get a staff together and stop changing his campaign leadership. The good ship Hillary is moving far to smooth and too fast...he needs to get in the game.

Calcountry
08-22-2007, 03:45 PM
What's he been afraid of? I can't figure out why the guy has been on the fence so long. Why has it taken so long for him to "find himself motivated."Ummm, maybe because it simply isn't necessary to be "chatting" and having a "dialogue" for 2 whole BLEEPING years like the 747 jumbo jet with boobs does.

Calcountry
08-22-2007, 03:49 PM
Eh, maybe he's noticed the polling that says.....most Americans don't REALLY give two shits about the Presidential race yet. Some may be paying attention; but the vast majority aren't even really tuned-in yet.

13-14 months, in politics, is an eternity.

Two year Presidential campaigns are a joke.

Labor day of the year prior elections has been the historical start to campaigns; several have been successful with even shorter campaigns....most recently, Clinton. The political parties, arbitrarily and in cohort with the media, deciding we need to extend the already ridiculously long American election process are the ones behind this silliness.

Talk to me about this once he's been actively campaigning for 6-8 weeks. We'll see just how meaningless this summer's "debates" by the two parties have really been.:clap: Apparently it isn't long enough for moveon.org and the like minded LWnutjobs.