Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Right Said Fred (Thompson)

I finally finished watching the Easter Sunday edition of Meet the Press. (Thank goodness for my DVR.) Aside from my general dislike for Judy Woodruff and my rejection of any analysis she might offer pertaining to how Republican voters think, I find myself stuck on a statement made by Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director.

Todd compared the potential Fred Thompson candidacy to that of General Wes Clark's 2004 Dem candidacy. According to Chuck Todd, Wes Clark was supposed to be the "savior" of the crowded and unappealing Democratic field of candidates. Likewise, Thompson is thought to be the potential savior of the 2008 Republican slate, and that Thompson more than possibly will share Clark's fate as a false messiah.

Kate O'Beirne rightly pointed out that Thompson had actually been elected to office. Whether his landslide victory in Tennessee counts as a good thing or points to his lack of experience in tough races is open to debate as far as this blog is concerned. Thompson offers, as O'Beirne (I think) pointed out, a chance to unify the coalitions that have elected so many Republican Presidents, that coalition being conservatives of cultural, economic, and military flavors.

I agree with O'Beirne as far as she takes it, but it goes much further. The difference rests upon what the particular candidate offers the party. Clark was supposed to offer Democrats a candidate with military gravitas - the rest of everything else was just supposed to fall into place.

Put more simply, Thompson potentially offers everything that many believe are the best parts of being a Republican. Clark offered something that was distinctly against the grain of a typical Democrat, and he did it without any particularly interesting domestic platform.

Thompson = uber-Republican who can communicate well
Clark = atypical Democrat who couldn't communicate to save his life

(Aside: Romney is now the only major Republican candidate who hasn't had cancer. Add that to his status as the only R married just once. Oh yeah, and that pile of money too.)

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