Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thompson Blunt, Forceful, Impressive say Voters

Fred Thompson, so far the media darkhorse, has caught the attention of that Uber-liberal newspaper, The New York Times. In an article today, the NYT wrote that Fred "was clearly more combative on Thursday night than he had been in past debates." The paper concedes that Senator Thompson "conveys a message that perfectly matches the medium of his slow, well-paced, deep-baritone voice: He says the problems facing the next president “cannot be fixed overnight,” and admonishes voters not to believe candidates who say they can."

Among the voters, the NYT reporter found many who had been supporting McCain, Romney, or Huckabee, but Fred's exposure in the South Carolina debates Thursday showed them a candidate that could be President. “He’s a straight-up shoot-from-the-hip guy, I could see him staring down our enemies,” said Sirita Long, a McCain supporter. Undecided John Berenbeck said, "...all of a sudden it was clear he was the one. The bluntness, the forcefulness. He was really impressive.”

A Combative Thompson Sways Voters
New York Times


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — John and Ann Berenberk dutifully watched the umpteenth Republican presidential debate on television on Thursday night and had an epiphany. It was about the candidate they had previously referred to as the tall, silent one. Fred D. Thompson.

The last of the candidates to enter the race, Mr. Thompson, 65, a former Tennessee senator, has so far seemed to distinguish himself mainly by a laconic style that has made him almost invisible beside the others on the stage in past debates, the Berenberks said.

“But then last night — we hadn’t even been thinking about him — all of a sudden it was clear he was the one,” said Mr. Berenberk, a retired teacher. “The bluntness, the forcefulness. He was really impressive.”

Whether this was a new Fred Thompson, or just a sign of mirage-inducing campaign fatigue among voters, many people attending Mr. Thompson’s campaign rallies here on the day after the debate reported having similar revelations.

Mr. Thompson, who remarked Friday that he had “always been laid back — laid back when I became a U.S. prosecutor at 28, laid back when I became staff counsel to the Watergate committee at 30, laid back when I ran and won election twice to the United States Senate” — was clearly more combative on Thursday night than he had been in past debates.

He attacked former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, accusing him of stealing his tax plan, tagged Senator John McCain of Arizona as soft on illegal immigration and jabbed repeatedly at former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas for taking what he called “liberal” positions. Mr. Thompson scored one of the more crowd-pleasing remarks of the evening when he said about a recent encounter between a Navy ship and several Iranian speedboats: “I think one more step and they would have been introduced to those virgins they’re looking forward to seeing.”

In an official statement, a campaign spokesman, Todd Harris, said Mr. Thompson’s performance showed that he was the only candidate that voters in the Jan. 19 primary here should trust “to be a strong, consistent conservative.”

Mr. Thompson has made all the same points during campaign events throughout the state, aides said. But many voters who flocked to his rallies on Friday had never heard him make them until they heard him in the latest debate on the Fox News Channel.

Jim Sickles, a retired corrections officer; Natalie Bankowski, an office manager; and Maryanne Gasper, who said she was “a waitress, with two other jobs,” were among a dozen people randomly interviewed who said they had been undecided or leaning toward other Republican candidates — mainly Mr. Huckabee — until Thursday night.

In person, Mr. Thompson, who is a television and movie actor in his life outside politics, conveys a message that perfectly matches the medium of his slow, well-paced, deep-baritone voice: He says the problems facing the next president “cannot be fixed overnight,” and admonishes voters not to believe candidates who say they can.

At some events, he prefers to talk sitting down rather than standing up, and has a habit of rocking on the back legs of his chair. In answer to questions, he tends to give long, discursive answers that start with “let’s go back to where this all started.”

In matters of foreign policy, economic policy and military affairs, he usually ends up with an endorsement of the way things have turned out. In answer to questions about Social Security, social programs and morality, he most often draws the conclusion that things need to change.

With a well-worn face atop an angular, 6-foot-4 frame, he looks like the smartest man in town holding forth at the county courthouse.

Chip Felkel, a longtime South Carolina political consultant who is not working for any of the candidates, said Mr. Thompson initially seemed to be a candidate who might appeal to all the major voting groups in the state. “Social conservatives from Huckabee, military votes from McCain, economic conservatives from Romney,” Mr. Felkel said, referring to former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

“But so far he hasn’t done that,” said Mr. Felkel, who added that he had watched Mr. Thompson’s debate performance on Thursday and was skeptical that it had helped him much.

Sirita Long, a construction forewoman from Moncks Corner, disagreed. “He’s a straight-up shoot-from-the-hip guy,” said Ms. Long, who said she had been leaning toward Mr. McCain until the debate. “I could see him staring down our enemies.”
Fred Thompsom is doing exactly what he said he would do from the beginning - come on slow and steady and folks would come around. Well, folks are coming around, and the MSM too, and his message is getting out. Voters are realizing that Fred is the clear conservative choice in this race who has held consistent conservative positions -

Against amnesty and benefits for illegal aliens;
Against socialized medicine;
Favors tax cuts and keep the economy prosperous;
Favors American security against Islamic radicals;
Favors the life of unborn, Fred is 100% pro-life;
Favors American military personnel and their mission.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


dcat said...

I like blunt Indigo.

I can be too however I am still holding out and looking for the best "real" republican.

Huckleberry is a lefty in a right party!!!

Ron Paul is a nut.

I just hope people can see that much about those two!

don said...

I have been in Fred's camp from day one, but I feel I am backing a losing horse because of his slow start.

Tom C said...

My guy was Duncan Hunter. Mike Huckabee took the time to come across the street to the fair tax rally in columbia and speak with us. of them all only him, Hunter and Tancredo took the time. I was surprised at the level of knowledge Huckabee had on trade and jobs. He is going to get in a pissing match with China over out trade deficit. Might be fun.

Indigo Red said...

Dcat, I'm not sure there is a "real" Republcan if we mean conservative. Far too many Republicans are like me - a JFK Democrat. We really don't know much about Conservatism, but we sure as hell don't like Democrat Liberalism.

It certainly feels that way, Don. There is a month left until the majority of Statas vote. I'm hoping there is still time for folks too see and hear Fred. I do think he's the best candidate for the time.

Tom, everytime I do one of those "who to vote for quizzes" Duncan Hunter is usually the first guy on the list. He was the other candiate I was looking a along with Fred. I took a look at Huckabee but there was just something that didn't feel right for me - turned out to be the Elmer Gantry streak in him. The questions on China will be interesting because it so very important, far more than most want to recognize.

Gayle said...

Dcat, I swear I can see that the Huckster is a liberal and Ron Paul is a nut. You'd have to be deaf to not know RP is crazy, and so are a lot of his supporters. Both he and Huckabee should be running for the other side. I think we wound up with them because the Dem's didn't want them. LOL!

Like you, Indigo, I always come up with Duncan Hunter on those tests too.

Anonymous said...

How Can any conservative vote for Romney?

He was listed as one of the top ten Republicans in Name Only by Human Events Magazine.

What will he be after the primary?

And would he be another George Bush if he gets elected?

Indigo Red said...

"How can any conservative vote for Romney?"

Well, back in the old days - 2004 - the Dems were chanting, "Anyone but Bush!" Now consevatives are chanting, "Anyone but Hillary!"

Both are stupid catch phrases and they work. I hear that many women are votng for Romney because he's good looking (same for Obama, not Hillary).

So if it really is "Anyone but Hillary", why not vote for Fred. He most certainly is not Hillary, or Mitt for that matter.