Fred’s Address to Iowa

Byline: | Category: 2008 Presidential Election | Posted at: Tuesday, 1 January 2008

For years we’ve heard the lament that what voters really want is an opportunity to hear candidates’ extended thoughts instead of soundbite “debates” and 30-second ads. This year one candidate is offering the voters exactly what they say they want.

As Jim Geraghty says:

Television ads, radio ads, and soundbites on the evening news are supposed to be influencial only among mere plebes; elites wrinkle their noses at the thought that they might be influenced by such superficial and glib forms of political communication.

And as Geraghty notes, Iowans pride themselves a “smarter, more discerning, [and] more spin-resistant” political elite.

I hope so. Thompson’s ad allows voters to peer far more deeply into the mind of a a man who wants to be President than any other candidate has allowed.

Truthfully, I’m skeptical that a 17-minute web address is going to get to enough undecideds (or decided but still changeables) to make the case for Fred. This past year in Nashville one candidate moved way up from the second tier in a crowded mayoral race to finish barely out of second place and a spot in the runoff. He made his move in part through the help of 15-second advertising spots. His successful example runs counter to Fred’s tactic. I hope I’m wrong.

This is a test for Iowa and America. Do we want what we say we want: fewer negative ads and more substance? Will we choose the candidates of glib, glamour and glitz, or the one with gravitas? Will we let money trump one-on-one retail politics? We’ll know in just a few days.

Check out the address for yourself:

UPDATE:

Flopping Aces has another question: “Do the American people want a man who desires to serve this country or do they want a man who wants to be President?”

The Jammie Wearing Fool likes what he saw.

2nd UPDATE:

Paul Marks said many of the same things in a post accurately entitled “Fred Thompson: too sane to be President?”

. . . someone has to enjoy the prospect for office for its own sake, not to reduce the size and scope of government and restore a Federal Republic. One must enjoy the whole process of politics – i.e. be crazy. Or one must pretend to enjoy it – i.e. be a liar.

And then people complain that politicians are either crazy or corrupt. When they shoo away anyone who comes along who is neither crazy or corrupt.

Fred is what Americans say they want, but do they really?

If you haven’t noticed by now I have great respect for the thoughts of Glenn Reynolds. An example of why is in this post here where Reynolds was exactly correct about the dichotomy of the Presidential selection process . . . six years ago:

our system actually selects for people who love the job. And since, as most people . . . would agree, being President is a job no sane person could really love for eight years then what does that say about our Presidential selection system? Is it selecting for kooks?

Fred is what Republicans say they want; he is right on almost all the issues of importance to almost all Republicans. He is what Americans say they want; he is honest about who he is instead of faking to hide a thirst for power.

In 2008 there is one candidate who is exactly what Americans say they want, but do they really?

ALSO:

Patterico agrees:

[The media] are full of it. The next time they tell you they care about the issues and matters of substance, remind them how they treated Fred Thompson. They won’t show any shame. But that doesn’t mean you can’t show them that you know better.

Share this post:

9 Responses to “Fred’s Address to Iowa”

  1. Fautor Says:

    Evidence accumulates that Fred is the only constitutional conservative running for the Republican nomination!

    In contrast, on Hogmanay in Massachusetts, citizens confronted the ultimate arrival of MittCare, increased penalties for not spending their money as the STATE dictates.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8TSLG1O0.htm

  2. PoliGazette » Is Fred Thompson Too Normal? Says:

    […] Bob Krumm: “This is a test for Iowa and America. Do we want what we say we want: fewer negative ads and more substance? Will we choose the candidates of glib, glamour and glitz, or the one with gravitas? Will we let money trump one-on-one retail politics? We’ll know in just a few days.” […]

  3. Sean Braisted Says:

    Howard Gentry also had 5 and 6 minute youtube issue statements…perhaps that is why he moved ahead ;-)

    Why he couldn’t have fit his message, “Big Government is bad unless its related to the military,” into a 30 second sound bite, or even the two-minute Hillary/Obama commercials, is beyond me.

    I’ll say this…it is one thing to do a 15 or 20 minute inspiring speech which engages people, its yet another thing to sit down to an hour long interview and give unscripted answers; but its another thing entirely to give a rambling 15 minute scripted monologue that rehashes the election up to this point and gives dull, predictable talking points about the ACLU and Michael Moore, etc, etc…

    As for the substance, the notion that bashing Democrats and being further to the right of Bush will win Democratic and Independent votes is just laughably absurd.

    Ed: It isn’t about winning Democratic votes. It’s about winning. A Republican doesn’t need a single Democratic vote to do that. But he does need every Republican vote.

  4. Sean Braisted Says:

    It isn’t about winning Democratic votes. It’s about winning. A Republican doesn’t need a single Democratic vote to do that. But he does need every Republican vote.

    Really? What map are you looking at?

  5. bob Says:

    The one that shows neither party over 40%. Or even 35%.

  6. Sean Braisted Says:

    Right, so Thompson is going to have to get 11% to 16% of his votes from independents in order to eke out a victory…and your theory is that you do this by being the most partisan, conservative in the race?

  7. bob Says:

    Isn’t that what Edwards and Obama are trying to do: get to the left of the more centrist Hillary? And it seems to be working for both . . . at least among Iowa Democrats.

  8. Sean Braisted Says:

    Not really Bob, actually Obama is being attacked by the “netroots” as running to the right of Hillary Clinton because he wants to work with Republicans and Independents to produce results. Edwards is running a more divisive campaign, and I have said numerous times that I don’t think this is a very good strategy; if not for winning the election, especially not for governing.

    I’m not saying that Thompson couldn’t win a general election running on somewhat conservative principles, but to just keep bashing Liberals and Democrats and the ACLU as he did in his little infomercial, seems a bit 2004.

  9. bob Says:

    Actually, what Obama is doing is running like he already has the nomination sewn up and is angling for the middle. Not a bad move if he can get away with it.