What might have been . . . and what was

Byline: | Category: 2008 Presidential Election | Posted at: Monday, 21 January 2008

NEW UPDATE: It’s over.

SEE BELOW UPDATE: “IF YOU WANT FRED TO WIN; IF YOU REALLY WANT CONSERVATISM TO CARRY THE DAY IN 2008. DONATE NOW!

In the presidential straw poll at the 2006 Southern Republican Leadership Conference held in Memphis I cast a write-in vote for Fred Thompson. That might make me the first person in America to have voted for Fred for President. So you can imagine my disappointment Saturday when it became quite apparent that absent a chaotic convention where the nomination comes from the floor (still a remote possibility), Fred Thompson will not be the Republican standard bearer this year.

Even without a win, Fred’s presence was important to this contest. Before this summer the GOP contest pitted the social conservative, the fiscal conservative, and the military conservative against each other. Fred entered the race and effectively told Republican voters, that they didn’t have to settle for just one. Since his entry, rhetorically at least, the other candidates have echoed his across-the-board conservatism.

Fred’s loss doesn’t mean that he will no longer be a significant part of what happens in Minneapolis. In a divided field his delegates may make a difference; that’s why I’m voting for him in the Tennessee primary in two weeks. And Fred will almost certainly be on the short list of potential running mates no matter which of the remaining candidates is the nominee. Still, “What might have been?” is what millions of Americans wondered as they learned the results of South Carolina’s primary.

We can only wonder what might have been, but we can analyze what was. And so here are ten lessons that we can take away from Fred’s campaign.

1. Hit the ground running. Fred’s entry to the race wasn’t too late, but his start was too slow. The best publicity a candidate will ever receive is when he announces his candidacy. It’s the only time in the campaign when a candidate gets to set the agenda, determine the timeline, and most importantly, define himself. Fred’s much-anticipated entrance was delayed again and again. In the absence of an organized campaign and a coherent message, the media and his opponents defined Fred for him: he was lazy and disorganized. I don’t know how anyone could argue against the second charge. However, the first charge was disproven by his last month barnstorming tours of Iowa and Sourth Carolina, but it was too late. Had Fred started out with a well-organized bus tour instead of waiting for four months, he would have impressed voters in the three states where he had to make a good showing. Even better, he didn’t need a bus. A red pickup truck would have been cheaper. Which leads us to the next point . . .

2. Showmanship sells. Fred had a ready-made gimmick in the form of the red pickup truck that brought him great success in his first run for office in 1994. Certainly someone suggested such a tour, but for some reason Fred didn’t do it. There is no small amount of irony that the only actor in the field was unable to sell his “show”. Fred began the race at 20%. Had he spent September with one week each in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, it would have earned above-the-fold coverage in every town he visited and cemented 20% as his floor. Speaking of New Hampshire . . .

3. Never skip New Hampshire. Historically, it has been a far better bellwether of national opinion than Iowa which has picked only two new presidents in the entire history of the Iowa Caucus. Fred’s decision to not contest the Granite State was particularly inexplicable since, although a Southerner, he is not a stereotypical Southern-style conservative. Fred is more federalist which plays better in the libertarian-leaning New England state. His principled federalist opposition to an anti-abortion federal amendment, for example, would have been more popular there than it was in Iowa and South Carolina. The old adage that there are three tickets out of Iowa and two out of New Hampshire always applies. (Unless Rudy wins Florida and manages to eke out victories from then forward, in which case I’m wrong). Furthermore, when Fred entered the race there were only two candidates in New Hampshire: Rudy Giuliani whose strange decision to not contest the state certainly hurt him, and Mitt Romney who, if you know anything about the prickly relationship between the Bay State and the Granite State, should have been signal enough that Romney’s chances there were slim. But what about John McCain, you ask?

4. The best time to kick a man is when he’s down. Fred entered the race when John McCain was essentially a non-entity. In fact, Fred picked up much of his staff from McCain when the latter held a summer garage sale just to try and make ends meet. Now the man who was left for dead is the most likely nominee. You don’t leave fellow candidates for dead; you double tap them to make sure they’re dead.

5. Politics is a blood sport. Fred had opportunities in each of the debates to pound his opponents on various issues but he didn’t until the last couple. It isn’t right and it’s certainly not fair, but the media prefer to report controversy over platform. So the one way to guarantee a sound bite is to attack an opponent whenever they leave an opening. People say that they dislike negative campaigning, you argue? Well, people love to say that . . . but they’re lying. Speaking of the media . . .

6. Since the media only print sentences don’t talk in paragraphs. Fred has displayed more depth and intelligence than any of his opponents in either party. It is clear that he understands the issues of the day and has thought about them deeply. No candidate in the past two decades has ever entered the race with such a wealth of knowledge. But he wasn’t able to convey his thoughts in short soundbites. What he intended to say, therefore, often got lost in what he said. Like the old adage perhaps, his late start meant that he “didn’t have enough time to be brief.” Still, if he wasn’t campaigning in the early states, and he wasn’t spending the early campaign time raising money hand over fist, he should have spent the time working on his stump speech. Instead he never matured his message until it was too late. Which brings up another point about the media . . .

7. Every candidate needs a few friends in the media. It’s not a bad idea for candidates to occasionally pick fights with the media. Especially Republicans. But when the media make mistakes (and they will whether intentionally or not), only the media can correct the error. Fred was the victim of several hit pieces that were very quickly debunked by his supporters in the blogosphere. However, absent a sympathetic media member to write another story, only bloggers knew that the original stories were wrong. Speaking of bloggers . . .

8. Like Dixville Notch, the internet picks losers. Fred Thompson now joins Ned Lamont, Howard Dean and Ron Paul on the list of those whose popularity was greater online than off. Fred was smart to cultivate a good internet relationship through his postings on RedState, and toward the end he put the net to good use for fundraising. But the net is just one tool among many. It is, not a crutch. The internet simply doesn’t reach enough people. That’s because it is an active media. For now the net requires visitors to actively seek for content, which means that most of Fred’s web content was being found only by those who were looking for it. Fred’s 17-minute web video may some day be viewed as being as seminal a moment as Reagan’s 1964 speech supporting Barry Goldwater. But it was only seen by the already decided. The internet simply won’t be a determinant in political races until like radio, tv, and newspapers, it brings content to passive visitors. There is another problem caused by the internet (and talk radio): they exaggerate the real importance of issues . . .

9. If it’s the most important problem, but it doesn’t have a good solution, it’s not an important issue. Poll after poll of Republicans showed that illegal immigration was the biggest problem and that people were opposed to amnesty. But what then is the solution? Mass deportations? No, voters knew that would be infeasible and inhumane. It would look like the “Trail of Tears II”. Sometimes voters are angry and upset about the status quo, but are astute enough to know that as bad as the status quo may be, the alternatives are worse. An analogy with the Iraq War in the Democratic primary of 2004 is helpful. Democrats thought that the war was the most important issue and there was almost universal agreement that the country was on the wrong path on that issue. However, no Democratic candidate offered a viable new path. As bad as the war was, withdrawal was worse, and so Howard Dean lost. Democratic voters saved their party from being portrayed as a bunch of “blame America first” dirty hippies. Similarly, Republicans have now rejected every one of the candidates who made illegal immigration their first issue, in part probably because they didn’t want to be portrayed as the party of xenophobic bigots. Deprived of the electoral impact from the issue of illegal immigration Fred didn’t have a base of supporters.

10. Build a base. In making thousands of calls and knocking on hundreds of doors I learned that everyone liked Fred. He was under consideration by virtually every undecided voters and was the second choice candidate of nearly all the decided ones. Because of the flaws in the rest of the Republican field I’m convinced that Fred was going to beat any one of his opponents if he could just get to where the primary was a one-on-one fight. But to get that point he had to survive a five-man scrum. Mitt Romney’s plan was to have enough money to survive the scrum ensuring that he would be among the final two or three candidates. Fred had no such financial advantage. In a five candidate race, the average is 20% which meant that Fred had to find and keep that 20% of the electorate that was going to be his base come hell or high water. He had the opportunity early had he jumped right in to the campaign. In the fall he was polling over 20%, but he had to close the deal with them. He didn’t, and so far in six states he hasn’t achieved the 20% level of support even once. Without a base, Fred performed worse than average. When you finish worse than average you don’t get to go to the playoffs.

One final thought. Much will be made of Fred’s delayed entry to the race being the cause of his defeat. (Keep in mind that many of those making the case will be professional campaigners and pundits who directly benefit from extended campaigns.) I don’t think he began too late at all. Furthermore, I really wish he had won so that we could hold back this urge to begin campaigns earlier and earlier every four years. It’s like seeing Christmas decorations go up in the stores right after Labor Day. I hate it.

Fred’s start date, however, did mean that he wouldn’t be able to fail. At all. John McCain failed miserably. He was at zero– zero support, zero money, and zero staff—right about the time that Fred jumped in to the race. McCain made lots of mistakes in the previous year, but he has made the best of his second start. The manner in which Fred entered the race meant that he didn’t have time for a restart. He had to do it right the first time, and he didn’t. Oh, what might have been . . .

OTHERS:

Stop the ACLU: “I really can’t see a strategy at this point that could bring a win for Fred if he stayed in.”

IMAO: “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Fred Thompson (other than trolls, whose opinions never count), and the reason I’ve seen Republican primary voters give for not voting for Fred Thompson is that he didn’t come to their state and do a silly little monkey dance to prove how much he wanted to be president.”

Race42008 reports that the defections have begun.

Susan Davis reports from the campaign that there is no news.

UPDATE:

Click here to see what I think Fred should do. (Hint: it doesn’t involve dropping out.)

MORE:

ACK argues that it was Huck whose campaign died in Dixie over the weekend. He might be right. I sure hope he is, but he’ll definitely need to pull off an astonishing finish in Florida if he has any further life in him. Like I’ve said before, Fred beats anyone of them in a two-man race. The trick is getting there with a campaign and volunteers still intact.

Read Kleinheider and see if you agree.

MORE:

MyDD, as liberal-leaning a website as there is and, as such, inclined toward supporting the weakest possible Republican candidate argues that Huckabee is in fact the one most damaged in South Carolina. Now you might believe that this is political jujitsu where MyDD thinks that Fred is a more easily defeated foe, and so they push the notion that Huck is in worse shape. However, whether truth or subterfuge, they might be right. Fred could have weathered SC with a second place finish just fine, but Huckabee, in as evangelical a state as there is, coming in second might actually be worse for him than Fred. I’d still like to think that Fred has a chance. I don’t honestly see it except through a divided convention fight, but there is an argument to be made that going in to Louisiana tomorrow, that Huck is in even worse shape.

EVEN MORE:

Now with Fred on the verge of collapse I’m beginning to read more of this:

the GOP folks seem pretty unhappy. Weirdly, a lot of people are unhappy that Fred Thompson isn’t running well, but not a lot of people seem to have, you know, actually voted for, or donated to, Fred.

So here’s my challenge to Mariner, et al:

IF YOU WANT FRED TO WIN; IF YOU REALLY WANT CONSERVATISM TO CARRY THE DAY IN 2008 DONATE NOW!

If Fred raises $1 million tomorrow (Tuesday), I’ll add another $1,000. So, if you’re going to complain that I’ve given up on Fred, don’t do it until you’ve spent at least that much money yourself. If you really want Fred to stay in the race, show him the money!

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53 Responses to “What might have been . . . and what was”

  1. Freddie O'Connell Says:

    I certainly don’t think his late start date hurt him. In fact, reviewing polls from the weeks after his official launch, he immediately leapt into the top tier, often showing up as a runner up in national polls. I think he had difficulty converting that early media momentum into actual campaign momentum–an in the field, functional operation with an on the airwaves media operation. That’s what did him in. A fire doesn’t burn without oxygen.

  2. Volunteer Voters » Mercy For McCain Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm pens an early post-mortem on the Fred Thompson campaign for President. In an expansive post, Krumm runs down what went wrong and gleans some lessons for the future. Here’s a taste: The best time to kick a man is when he’s down. Fred entered the race when John McCain was essentially a non-entity. In fact, Fred picked up much of his staff from McCain when the latter held a summer garage sale just to try and make ends meet. Now the man who was left for dead is the most likely nominee. You don’t leave fellow candidates for dead; you double tap them to make sure they’re dead. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

  3. Stan Says:

    I heard a lot of people say they were going to wait until after the SC primary before voting. I think enough of Fred that I voteds for him already.

    To early voting through Saturday Democrats are turning out around 3 to 1 over Republicans – and they are the ones with the sorry crop of candidates. Its time for the GOP to get active.

  4. Volunteer Voters » Florida Fredhead Still In The Game Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm may have given up on Fred as a viable candidate in the Presidential but some Fred supporters in the next Primary state of Florida are still working to give their man a victory in the Sunshine State: While Senator Fred Thompson is attending to his mother in Tennessee, many in Jesusland are still working hard for Fred, according to David Jeffers, author of Understanding Evangelicals: A Guide to Jesusland. “Many Floridian evangelicals, especially in the Panhandle, are still on fire to bring Fred a Florida victory.” [...]

  5. Wintermute Says:

    Oh, Bob, your ground-floor strategy might still have the Vice-President campaigning for you next time.

  6. sam Says:

    Is there any irony in McCain doing well right as Fred enters?

    Fred siphoned off enough votes to give Romney the win in both IA, NH and probably SC.

    Fred has helped McCain and Hucklebee.

    Hopefully he and the Huck does what is best for the party and pulls out, but my feeling is he will continue to siphon off votes instead of bowing out gracefully.

    It’s too bad power hungry politicians get so consumed with sticking it to the other guy they don’t care about the greater good.

  7. sam Says:

    “Fred siphoned off enough votes to give Romney the win in both IA, NH and probably SC.”

    That should say he Fred hadn’t entered he wouldn’t have siphoned off all those votes, giving Romney the win in those states.

  8. b c Says:

    Rumors of Fred’s political demise are greatly exaggerated.

  9. Chris Says:

    I’d respectfully disagree with you about when Fred got into the race. There was one moment when he was going to announce on July 4. He strongly hinted to look for something special. What came out? I’ll announce in October. That was a tragic mistake! If he had gotten in then it would have been a totally different campaign.

  10. Mike O Says:

    Nothing should be decided until after Feb. 5th. The GOP ‘leader’ only has 5% of the delegates needed to win; let’s see what a mass of voters have to say before Fred throws in the towel.

    Ed: I agree. Notice that I said that I’m voting for him then. He could still win TN and pick up a few delegates in a few other states. Perversely, it’s to Fred’s benefit that Huckabee now stay in the race even though he’s no longer a viable candidate after a second-place finish in a state he should have been able to win and the repeated failure to win non-evangelical votes (or even a majority of evangelical votes). I still think there’s a good chance of a brokered convention–particularly if Rudy wins Florida. Go Rudy Go! Furthermore, I don’t think Fred should drop out. I think he should instead wage a campaign for conservatism–at least until February 5.

  11. RockRibbedRepubublican Says:

    Hopefully Fred does what is best for the party and continues to run and offer a clear choice over the statists in the party like McCain (Freedom of speech is for me and not thee) and Huckabee (I didn’t raise taxes, I raised hope).

  12. Joseph McNulty Says:

    Actually, the media tired of Fred’s “dance of the seven veils” before he announced, so it was quick to dismiss him, especially since the media wants to pick McCain (who will make the campaign interesting, while being a sure loser). Fred should not drop out, Fox News spent hours discussing why he must, getting “only” 16 % in South Carolina, while saying nothing about John Edwards, who got 4 % in Nevada, having to drop out. This is all part of the “choose McCain” strategy of Big Media. Fred, if he has the money, should stay in through Florida and run a “give ‘em hell” campaign, even if he thinks that it will not work. He had to go after McCain. The idea that he might be McCain’s veep is a chimera. Why would a superannuated candidate like McCain choose a 65-year old man with cancer as his back-up? I would espect to choose Romney or soemone else who is much younger and vigorous. Fred must stay in. He owes it to the party and conservatives. He is the only candidate who can unite the three wings of the pa;rty (social, defense, economic conservatives). To the extent possible, he must “live off the land,” doing local news shows, talk shows, and free media of every kind. There is great disquiet among Republicans that we may be stuck with Romney to avoid being stuck with McCain. The ears are yearing to hear. People say that they always want a straight-forward campaign without negative television ads. So here’s their chance, the last one.

  13. Big Boy Says:

    Fred Thompson is the first candidate I ever gave $1000 to. In fact I gave him the “John McCain approved” $2300.

    He remains the BEST person in the race and I’m glad I spent the money.

    P. S. I’m still not giving McCain a cent.

  14. The Gaunt Man Says:

    “Fred’s start date, however, did mean that he wouldn’t be able to fail. At all. John McCain failed miserably. He was at zero– zero support, zero money, and zero staff—right about the time that Fred jumped in to the race. McCain made lots of mistakes in the previous year, but he has made the best of his second start. The manner in which Fred entered the race meant that he didn’t have time for a restart. He had to do it right the first time, and he didn’t. Oh, what might have been . . .”

    Used to be, back when I was a kid, politicians always had time to correct mistakes they made in their primary run. It lasted about four years, after which they could implement an all new strategy to get nominated.

  15. mariner Says:

    Fred Thompson’s biggest problem is people like you, who just can’t wait to proclaim his campaign’s demise.

    Someone elsewhere made the remark that if people who liked him simply voted for him instead of saying he can’t win, he’d win.

    Thanks for nothing.

    Ed: “Thanks for nothing.” What have you done for Fred? In addition to pontificating on his behalf online, which admittedly hasn’t had nearly the effect I wish it would (see point #8), I’ve donated money to his campaign, I’ve made hundreds of phone calls on my free time in the evenings, I’ve written letters to Iowa voters, and I’ve spent two of the last three weekends in South Carolina on my own time and my own dime to try and get Fred elected. But the truth is the truth. Fred is not going to win the nomination at the ballot box. (On the floor of the convention may be another matter . . . ) But I am not going to sit around here with my head up my butt like a reality-challenged Paul-tard and claim that my candidate is actually going to win because most people really want to vote for him. Maybe most people wanted to vote for Fred. I found that to be the case in South Carolina. But first those people wanted to know that Fred wanted them to vote for him. They didn’t see that. It’s too bad, because by far, Fred is the best man in the race. Probably the best man to run for the office in two decades. But for whatever reason he couldn’t translate potential into kinetic energy. Don’t blame me. I’m not just the messenger; I was one of his foot soldiers, and unfortunately my leader and his staff let us all down.

  16. Pixelkiller Says:

    Too bad. He is the only Republican in the race. So, who to vote for? None-of-the-above?
    Reagen said the democrat party left him and so he found himself a republican. Well, the republican party has left me. Where do I go? Libertarian?
    I can only hope Fred stays in.

  17. Looking forward to a brokered convention | BitsBlog Says:

    [...] —-Bob Krum: In the presidential straw poll at the 2006 Southern Republican Leadership Conference held in Memphis I cast a write-in vote for Fred Thompson. That might make me the first person in America to have voted for Fred for President. So you can imagine my disappointment Saturday when it became quite apparent that absent a chaotic convention where the nomination comes from the floor (still a remote possibility), Fred Thompson will not be the Republican standard bearer this year. [...]

  18. Bithead Says:

    Actually, Bob… I think a chaotic convention is the path we’re on. I simply don’t see a clear leader, in the race thusfar, and I note a growing concern from all corners of the Republican party about the people we’re being asked to nominate. Interestingly, the one person running that nobody has any serious objection to is Thompson. Under those conditions, it seems to me Thompson has a better chance than any of them of actually walking away with the nomination from a brokered convention.

  19. fasdf Says:

    Fred has been running for Vice President from the very beginning. He avoided slamming his opponents (a point you mention a few times) so that there wouldn’t be any bad blood to get in the way of him being picked by someone like McCain or Romney.

    He didn’t act like someone who wanted to be president because he never really did. But the job of veep would suit his preferred pace pretty well.

  20. A.C. McCloud Says:

    “…In the absence of an organized campaign and a coherent message, the media and his opponents defined Fred for him: he was lazy and disorganized….”

    Well said. He was on defense from the very beginning and that’s no way to play the game.

  21. JB Says:

    Years from now, people will study the Thompson and Paul approaches and compare the two and only Thompson’s campaign will be considered a total loss.

    To summarize:

    Paul campaign message: “Look! We have 6 delegates! We’re well on our way!” (see Ron Paul’s “four candidate race” comments from yesterday)

    Thompson’s campaign message: “Look, we only have 8 delegates! We are in trouble unless we get moving!”

    Neither candidate will get the nomination but I suspect that Ron Paul’s candidacy will have a greater effect on shaping the future of the Republican party more than Thompson. I consider Paul to be sort of the Howard Dean of the right.

    Ed: “I consider Paul to be sort of the Howard Dean of the right.” So do I. Obviously you mean that as a compliment. I most certainly do not.

  22. DiscerningTexan Says:

    Nice analysis. I am not sure I am with you on illegal immigration though; McCain was extremely vulnerable on this issue and Fred should have hit him hard and often on this one, because an overwhelming majority of the base feels passionate about this.

    I actually think that the more Republicans hit the Dems on this issue in the Fall, the greater their chance of winning outright. Of course, McCain could not use this issue–which is one of many great reasons why McCain should not be the nominee.

  23. bob Says:

    Texan,
    I knew that #9, along with the dismissal of the importance of the internet, would cause the most angst of all my predictions. I’ll grant that you might be right, but show me the empirical evidence. So far, however, all I see are results that show me that the anti-illegal immigration candidates have never summed greater than even 20% of the Republican primary vote. Remember the 2005 Virginia gubernatorial race that would propel the Republican Kilgore to Richmond on the strength of his anti-amnesty platform? It didn’t work. Not even close. So far the whole illegal immigration issue reminds me of Macbeth’s soliloquy:

    “[it is] but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

  24. Papa Ray Says:

    Jeez, is the oldest generation the only one left with any patience?

    Gents, it is a long, long time till things will be written in stone.

    Lots can happen and lots will.

    Patience and perseverance, wins in most all instances.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  25. DRJ Says:

    Good idea. I’m STILL with Fred … and I donated.

  26. Antimedia Says:

    “sam” writes “It’s too bad power hungry politicians get so consumed with sticking it to the other guy they don’t care about the greater good.”

    That’s the single most asinine thing I’ve ever seen written about Fred. The very reason he hasn’t done well is his reluctance to go “all in” to win the nomination. Thompson is the quintessential reluctant nominee, and you saying that about him reveals your complete ignorance of who he is, what he stands for and where his ethical and moral compass points.

  27. DRJ Says:

    By the way, I’m also a Texan and I agree with DiscerningTexan. Immigration is a big issue with the conservative rank-and-file. However, given the politicization of this issue at the federal level, I put more faith in local law enforcement like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Phoenix and the increasing numbers of law enforcement agencies that screen their jails for illegal immigrants.

  28. Harvey Says:

    I will not give up on Fred. He is the only viable conservative. He may have shortcomings in areas of little concern, but his basic tenants are what can defeat any democratic nominee. Our other runners are nothing but canned talk – no subtance. Fred has substance and he has the gumption (‘nads) to stand on his own. This fight is not over. Send Fred money, encouragement, and let him know the stakes are too high for him to quietly withdraw. No, no, no, don’t let that happen. The thought of Madam President is overwhelmingly naseating.

  29. Math_Mage Says:

    Mr. Krumm, you say there’s no solution to the immigration problem, and your evidence is that neither extreme is a good solution. How about simply enforcing the laws we have? Or removing the incentives for businesses to employ illegals? I don’t see that hammering on this point would be a bad thing.

    Ed: Okay. What do you propose to do with the 11 million already here?

  30. ubu roi Says:

    Well, I looked at what I might spend my discretionary money on in the next couple of months, and frankly, nothing came anywhere close to taking up Mr. Krumm’s challenge. $250 for Fred; it isn’t much, but then, municipal employees don’t get rich. (Yes, that’s right, a government employee for Fred! We’re everywhere!)

  31. Houblog » Blog Archive » Keeping Fred Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm wants to keep Fred Thompson in the race. So do I. A whopping 5 states with only 5% of the delegates have voted so far, and the media is trying to talk him right out of the race. Dammit, I haven’t voted yet, you bastards! So he hasn’t run the greatest campaign on earth. So what? He’s still the best candidate; frankly, he’s better than the party he’s in. (Granted, that doesn’t take much; being in either of the major parties would qualify him.) Anyway, if there were a Jacksonian Party for real, he’d be my nominee for it. [...]

  32. Peg C. Says:

    I just gave again. I won’t give to the Republican organs or any other candidate but Fred’s got my $$ as long as he stays in.

  33. peter jackson Says:

    Fred’s probably got a chance left, but he’s got to pull out the Long Tom of primary campaigns: electability. He needs to go out in front of crowds and say “Who in this room thinks Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee has a snowball’s chance in hell against the Democrats in November?” and then belly laugh for a full five minutes on stage, until him and everyone else in the room has tears rolling down their faces.

    The electability argument resonates. It changes people’s minds. And most importantly, it changes people’s votes. It tanked Dean. It made John Kerry. It got George W. Bush elected President. E. Lect. A. Bility.

    yours/
    peter.

  34. somercet Says:

    Dude, I am recently unemployed (i.e., last week) and I gave $100 to Giuliani and $50 to Thompson just a couple weeks ago.

    Not bragging: just noting that some of us conservative-libertarians are indeed putting their money where our mouths are.

    Go Fred! Go Rudy!

  35. syn Says:

    I’m not interested in who the Republican establishment wants me to nominate, since I’ve maxed my donation amount I am perfectly willing to continue phoning and going door-to-door to get out the vote for Thompson; from my experience people do want Thompson they just aren’t getting affirmation from the establishment.

    McCain brings too much divison to the GOP and isn’t worth fighting for, if the Republican establishment wants my vote they’re going to have to work a lot harder than insisting I shut up and nominate their candidate.

    I have nothing to lose by campaigning for Thompson.

  36. Victor T Says:

    ok … Bob. I’ve just now given to Fred (a 4th donation for this middle class NYC resident).

    Fred … we love you out here. If you can … stay thru Feb 5th. Debate on Thursday!

    “A little bit longer now … ”

    Thank you Fred for elevating the debate in the GOP. If you leave now … I thank you for this service to the country and you will always have my respect.

  37. Volunteer Voters » Pledges And Rumors Of Withdrawal On The Thompson Campaign Trail 2008 Says:

    [...] Krumm isn’t making predictions, only pledges to keep his man in the race: IF YOU WANT FRED TO WIN; IF YOU REALLY WANT CONSERVATISM TO CARRY THE [...]

  38. BobKrumm.com » Pay to stay Says:

    [...] I wrote my post-mortem on the Fred Thompson campaign yesterday I was chastised by more than one person for performing an [...]

  39. Duane Hershberger Says:

    I just sent Fred some more money. Let’s keep him in.

  40. SayUncle » Fred? Says:

    [...] Bob Krumm on lessons learned. Additionally, Bob is advocating contributing to Fred and Bob is putting his money where his mouth is. [...]

  41. davis,br Says:

    I don’t have a grand (and even if I did, my wife would kill me if I tried giving it to a politician). But I just gave him the few more bucks of mad money I had earlier this morning, as soon as I heard Huck’ was broke.

    …even though it was a gesture. Like my primary vote for him, apparently, will be.

    Ah well, I like the thought behind the gesture well enough regardless of its ephemeral quixoticism.

    …and it’s not like I see any others out there I’m likely to get out of bed for next November anyways.

  42. One Last Push for Fred « Tai-Chi Policy Says:

    [...] 22, 2008 Posted by taoist in Fred Thompson, Politics. trackback Fred supporters are trying to make one last funding push today (and also examining what he did wrong), as one last effort to really get into the race on super [...]

  43. Right Wing Nut House » MY TURN TO MOURN FOR FRED Says:

    [...] than give my own take on Fred’s campaign, I will direct you to Bob Krumm’s excellent and thorough critique which leaves us all wondering what could have [...]

  44. Music City Bloggers » Blog Archive » Thompson Out Says:

    [...] Krumm’s impassioned plea from this morning says simply “It’s [...]

  45. brittney Says:

    If only he’d taken your advice.

  46. Laughingdog Says:

    Damn it. I sent money to Fred08 about 3 hours ago, and 90 minutes later they announce that he’s out.

  47. Senator Thompson Departs the 2008 Presidential Race « Sheet Anchor Commentary Says:

    [...] his entire family will certainly remain in our prayers. An extensive assessment is offered by Bob Krumm. « Should Senator [...]

  48. BobKrumm.com » What might have been . . . and what was II Says:

    [...] Yesterday I wrote about what was. [...]

  49. Austin Personal Trainer Says:

    Fred made mistakes in his campaign. An endorsement of McCain by Fred would be the biggest mistake all.

  50. Right Wing Nut House » THE GOP COMES A’COURTIN’ Says:

    [...] uninterested in who gets the Republican nod for the nomination from here on out. I will, like Bob Krumm, vote for Fred in the Super Tuesday primary in Illinois. I will then be able to sit back and watch [...]

  51. PoliGazette » The GOP Comes a’Courtin’ Says:

    [...] uninterested in who gets the Republican nod for the nomination from here on out. I will, like Bob Krumm, vote for Fred in the Super Tuesday primary in Illinois. I will then be able to sit back and watch [...]

  52. Reflections on Fred Thompson « Constitution Club Says:

    [...] What might have been . . . and what was Even without a win, Fred’s presence was important to this contest. Before this summer the GOP contest pitted the social conservative, the fiscal conservative, and the military conservative against each other. Fred entered the race and effectively told Republican voters, that they didn’t have to settle for just one. Since his entry, rhetorically at least, the other candidates have echoed his across-the-board conservatism… [...]

  53. Pajamas Media » Fred Thompson, Ronald Reagan, and the Goldilocks Republicans Says:

    [...] To continue to run for an office he did not truly want, while right-wing voices were beginning to urge donations on his behalf, would have emphasized the questionable ethics of the whole endeavor. And as anyone who is paying [...]