Monday, December 31, 2007

Thoughts on Iowa Expectations

Even though Fred has said that he expects to finish second, the MSM does not consider this a possibility. It does not even sound like it is considered an off-chance that he can even be a close third. I think the expectations are for Fred to be in the low teens.

This is an interesting situation. A few days ago, I would have said that Fred would have to finish second in order to remain viable. I am not sure now. I think a close third (say with 20% or more) for Fred would generate so much positive press that it would almost be as good as finishing second. The only reason that it would not be as good is that a Huck finish in third behind Fred would end his campaign.

Huck the Hunter

Boy I missed this one in the news--maybe it was not there.

Apparently last week when Huck went showing off his hunting prowess in Iowa, he did a no-no. He and/or his group fired over the reporters covering the hunt while firing at pheasants.

This is covered in a post at The Swamp.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fact Check on 2007 has published their "Whoppers of 2007" list. I've said before that I really like this site as it gives us a good idea of who is being the most straightforward with us by their absence on this list.

The Whopper list has a section for Presidential candidates:
# Republican Rudy Giuliani made false claims over and over about his record as mayor of New York, and even about England's health care system.

# Democrat Bill Richardson also mangled the facts repeatedly, claiming credit for creating more jobs as New Mexico's governor than actually materialized and using a made-up figure about the performance of U.S. students, among other misstatements.

# Republican Mitt Romney claimed undeserved credit for himself as governor of Massachusetts and made false or misleading claims about two of his rivals.

# Democrat Hillary Clinton ran an ad claiming that National Guard and Reserve troops had no health insurance before she went to work, when in fact most of them did.

# Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee repeatedly twisted the facts when talking about his record on taxes in Arkansas and other subjects. And there were plenty of other howlers from the large field of candidates.
Once again--Fred is notably missing, while his prime competitors are on the list.

CNN Wolf Blitzer Interview

I am generally predisposed to dislike CNN, but of the two interviews that Fred did today (Fox News Sunday and the CNN Wolf Blitzer interview), the CNN interview was far better. In this case, Fred did a little better, but Blitzer was clearly better than Chris Wallace. Fred does an excellent job explaining the quote that has been taken so much out of context.

Fred's Message to Iowans

Here is the video of Fred's message to Iowans going into the Caucus this week. I took two things out of this: 1) This is a collection of the statements that he has made into a coherent argument of what he stands for and why he wants to be President; 2) This is the kind of presentation that we would see from Fred as President.

This is solid and worth viewing.

Fred Strikes Back At the Press

This time with a post at RedState (I assume in other places as well) rather than with a snowball.

In this case, it is in response to a post at USA Today (but others are picking it up) with the following quote:
Bill Theobald of Gannett News Service … quotes [Fred Thompson] saying he doesn't like modern campaigning, isn't that interested in running for president and "will not be devastated" if he doesn't win.
I saw a similar post over at CNN.

Fred has responded with a very good post on what is driving him to be president.
Today I had this story written about me regarding what I said at a Town Hall event in Burlington, Iowa by a reporter who wasn’t even at the event. Incidentally, I declined to be interviewed by this particular reporter yesterday for reasons which will soon be apparent.

In referring to me, she reported “he doesn’t like modern campaigning, isn’t interested in running for President, and will not be devastated” if he doesn’t win.
Q: (Courtesy ABC News) My only problem with you and why I haven’t thrown all my support behind you is that I don’t know if you have the desire to be President. If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?

That is a very good question, not because it’s difficult to answer, but I’m gonna answer it in a little different way than what you might expect.
The first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this. I grew up in very modest circumstances. I left government and I and my family have made sacrifices to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I figured to be clean, you’ve got to cut everything off. I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show. I had a contract with abc radio…and so forth. A man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing if he didn’’t want to do it.

I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have.
I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage really has to be talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a good deal. But if you mutually decide it’s going to be a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability and concern to do this and do it for the right reasons. I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.
I, for one, am attracted to Fred because he does not seem to have had a life-long overwhelming ambition to be the leader of the world.

UPDATE: David Hinz at RedState posted a blog entry about the Order of Cincinnatus--and saying that Fred deserves to be a member of the order.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Recent Fred Stump Speech

This was delivered at Fred's Iowa headquarters. About 25 minutes of what Iowans are typically hearing over the last couple of weeks.

Huck - No Foreign Policy Credentials

That isn't from Fred or FredHeads or any other candidate. It is from a Huckabee campaign aid. Now most governors have a gap here, but they usually claim their foreign economic trips to bolster their foreign experience.

Not Huck. Instead, he tries to change the subject to immigration where he has fewer gaffs than on foreign policy.

Friday, December 28, 2007

OK, Maybe Huck Eats Both Feet Each Day

How ridiculous. Huck seems to have no connection between what he says and reality. Hot Air detailed today the connection--or rather lack of connection--between Huck and Gaffney and Ambassador John Bolton. The essence of the story is that Huck has claimed that these two guys are advisers of his on foreign policy. The problem: neither of them knew about it!

When asked about Huck's comments, Gaffney responded, "I think that’s cockamamie." Bolton responded, "I’d be happy to speak with Huckabee, but I haven’t spoken with him yet."

What is up with Huck? A preacher should not be so disconnected with the truth.

Judicial Watch-10 Most Corrupt Politicians

Technically the list is "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians"

Here is the list:
  1. Senator Hillary Clinton
  2. Rep. John Conyers
  3. Senator Larry Craig
  4. Senator Diane Feinstein
  5. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani
  6. Governor Mike Huckabee
  7. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby
  8. Senator Barack Obama
  9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi
  10. Senator Harry Reid
Things to note: 4 Presidential candidates are on this list: 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans. Those 4 candidates are statistically the top two polling candidates nationally in their respective party. I generally disagree with their analysis of "Scooter" Libby, but even counting him, 6 are Democrats, 4 are Republicans.

Most importantly, Rudy and Huck are both on this list. It is imperative that the Republicans not nominate either of these two. The ethics issue in an anchor on the Republican party since the '06 election. Let's not keep hold of that anchor until 2010.

Fred Responds to Media Attacks

Fred defends aide Bob Davis from Christine Byun of ABC and John Bentley of CBS in snowy Iowa. One headline for this clip is: "Video proof that Fred Thompson can and will respond instantly and in kind to sneak attacks on American soil."

Huck at it Again

On MSNBC, Huck identified Afghanistan as being to the east of Pakistan (wrong). As I said before, Huck sticks his feet in his mouth on close to a daily basis regarding foreign affairs.

Fred's Fundraising Goal

It looks like Fred made it--this is very encouraging. Fred's campaign set a goal of about $250,000 over about 60 hours. The tally on Fred's site is $260,000 and rising.

The blogburst progress is detailed at the Fred website.

Congratulations Fred. And thanks to all of you who helped make this goal. Please remember to make calls for Fred this week leading up to the Iowa Caucus.

Fred Tax Calculator

Gil Yoder has created a Fred Tax calculator (Excel spreadsheet). This is simply implementing the flat tax plan that Fred has proposed in a spreadsheet. This is similar to the old joke, "How much did you make last year: Send above amount" except you can see how particularly for middle incomes how little income tax would be owed.

It takes 30 seconds to do your taxes. What would you think of that?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Fundraising Push

Fred is attempting to raise about a quarter of a million dollars ($248,846--why? I don't know) by Friday. This is to pay for a final media push before the Iowa Caucus. He is using the Red Pickup Truck image again. And for a first time, he is putting an actual counter on the web site.

As of this writing (Midnight, Thursday morning), the counter is up to $64,601 having started sometime today.

So if you can spare $25 or $50 or more, please go on over to and donate. I am getting excited that next Thursday could be a very interesting day for the Fred campaign.

American Right to Life on Romney

This is an ad that the American Right to Life committee is running in Iowa--against Romney and not for any particular candidate. What I find interesting is putting a time line onto some of his various claims.

Once again, I like the positions that Mitt takes in the campaign--I just cannot be sure that he will defend them tomorrow.

In a lot of ways, Mitt is my second choice. But I am moving to wanting honesty above highest percentage of agreement on the issues, which puts McCain second on my list right now. Either way, I would be disappointed if it is not Fred.

The Unseen Huck-a-bust

Unseen, because there is no and will be no reliable polling from the end of last week through the Iowa Caucus. Dean Barnett of The Weekly Standard has written an article drawing a parallel between Huck and Pat Buchanan in 1996. The parallel is that he Pat was running as charismatic, but one dimensional candidate who became crazier as the campaign wore on. Barnett sees the almost-daily Huck scandal as similar to what Pat went through as he took an early win in New Hampshire and self-destructed to Dole.

Barnett, who is really a Mitt supporter, writes:
I COME NOT TO bury Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee has buried himself. Over the next week, the Republican party in Iowa and elsewhere will decide that Huckabee may be a swell fellow, but he's not of presidential timbre. I predict this decision will be made en masse. Huckabee's support will likely crater in Iowa.

But here's the fun part--no one will see it coming. Because of the holidays, there will be scant polling between now and the caucuses, and what polling there is will be of dubious reliability. (Paging ARG!) If Huckabee is going to lose a point or so a day between the end of last week and January 3, we won't know it until the results from the caucuses are in. If Huckabee declines to a distant second or perhaps even third place as I am now fearlessly predicting he will, it will catch the voting public by surprise. When they tuned this race out before the long Christmas weekend, the media told them Huckabee was a sure thing in Iowa.

Huckabee's support will have to go somewhere. The logical recipients are Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. While Iowans may not love Romney, they do respect him. Unlike Huckabee, he has impressed them as being of presidential timbre. And Thompson, at last, is running well in Iowa. He's surging.

"Substance" Ad

New ad for Fred.

Please donate to help this hit the airwaves. Use the widget at the right.

Click to play

Rush and Huck

If you have paid attention to Rush Limbaugh's radio show over the last couple of days before Christmas. On Thursday the 20th, the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reported that a Huckabee DC "operative" accused Rush of being an entertainer and part of the "Wall Street/DC axis" and not an independent thinker. The was essentially repeated the following day by the new Huck campaign manager, Rollins. Rush, understandably, took exception to this and called Huck on essentially being a liberal and engaging in "identity politics".

After Rush was off the air until the day before the Iowa caucus, Huck publicly responded that he "loves Rush" to the Politico:
Questioned why the talk show host would attack him, Huckabee shrugged.

"Ask him. I don't know. ... All I can do is hope that Rush loves me as much as I love Rush."

"I love Rush Limbaugh; I've always loved his show," Huckabee assured. "I think he’s been great for the conservative movement."

The former Arkansas governor conceded that he hadn't sought Limbaugh out to set the record straight — but that he would like to.

"I don’t have his number," Huckabee explained. "If you have it, Jonathan, why don’t you give it to me. I’d love to talk to him."

"Maybe put it on the Web that if he’ll call me, I’d love to visit with him."
Well, just because Rush is not on the radio does not mean that he isn't paying attention. Rush emailed the Politico and published on his web site the following:
I don't need to speak to Governor Huckabee. I saw his comments and accept them as honest, sincere and genuine.

What was somewhat stunning about all this is that NO ONE in the GOP field, including advisors and staff, could possibly misread my 19+ year career the way Gov Huckabee's DC supporter did. Whoever said those things was essentially repeating the Democrat mantra of all these years: that I am just an entertainer, not an independent thinker, part of the Wall Street/DC axis. If it was someone on Governor Huckabee's staff or support team, it was just silly, uninformed and thus curious.

Governor Huckabee's campaign is engaged in identity politics at this moment, so I understand his advisor's/supporter's intent to put the focus on me rather than the substance of my commentary.

As for the Governor not knowing how to reach me...there are people on his Arkansas staff who know full well how to reach me. But that is not necessary to me. We're not playing in a kindergarten sandbox here. We are all presumably adults.
I have got to believe that Huck is smart enough to quit taking on Rush. He comes across looking either disingenuous or an idiot.

The AP Version of Journalism

It has been clear throughout the primary season that the AP doesn't exactly care for Fred. Well they continue. Jed Babbin at Human Events, who is fairly pro-Fred, has written a piece on how the AP has treated Fred in the recent Tancredo dropout and endorsement of Mitt.

Here are some quotes:
AP’s Libby Quaid wrote on December 21, “Thompson suffered a stinging setback Thursday, when conservative Rep. Tom Tancredo dropped out of the presidential running and endorsed another rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Tancredo, a Colorado congressman, is a hero to many voters who are furious at illegal immigration in this country, and a lot of them are Iowa caucus goers. The endorsement was a disappointment to Thompson, especially since his week had begun on a high note with the unexpected backing of another anti-immigration hero, Rep. Steve King.”

There is a small problem with the AP story: the facts. Tancredo did endorse Romney, but Thompson actually benefited from Tancredo’s withdrawal, possibly more than Romney did. Thompson’s campaign staff was stunned: not by Tancredo’s speech, but AP’s coverage. And here’s why.

As reported by The Politico, Bill Salier -- Tancredo’s Iowa state chairman -- is joining Thompson’s team: “He's a true-believing social conservative who ran an uphill race in the '02 GOP Senate primary that raised some eyebrows. In short: He's the sort of worker bee a campaign likes to have on its side. If Salier puts his shoulder to the wheel for Fred, he could be a major asset.”

The basic story was not contrived: Tancredo did withdraw and endorse Romney. But the misreporting of it was the functional equivalent of an attack ad directed at Thompson. And it cannot have been accidental. No young reporter would be able to do that without an editor’s approval. Or, more likely, an editor’s orders.

If Tancredo’s withdrawal caused his chief Iowa asset to shift allegiance to Thompson, how is Tancredo’s endorsement of Romney a “stinging setback” for Thompson? It isn’t. Which raises the same issue about AP that I raised in August 2006: which of its editors is responsible for the contrived stories? Is it Johnson herself?
I commented on this last week when all of this was going on and came to the same conclusion regarding that it wasn't necessarily that bad of a turn for Fred. The AP coverage doesn't surprise me as they have been critical for the entire election cycle of Fred.

Merry Christmas

Merry Belated Christmas wishes from Indiana Fred Heads.

Priorities took over and I have had a lot of family time over the last few days. I am now digging into the news of the last few days and will make several posts this afternoon.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the Road Interview in Iowa

One of the things that Fred is doing in his bus trip around Iowa is giving interviews to local papers, TV news and radio in his bus. The Iowa Independent has published a good Q&A session that they had with Fred in the bus this last week.

There is one question and answer that I would like to quote here and then a brief comment:
Iowa Independent: You stayed in Carroll last night at the Super 8. Your first event started at 10 o'clock today. One of the knocks on you has been maybe that you're a little lazy. Why did you start your first event at 10 o'clock?

Thompson: First of all we had telephone interviews this morning in our room. We had briefings in our room. We got in last night from over in east Iowa. I don't know what time we finally got to bed but it was late last night. We've been doing I don't know how many events. We're going to do 50 towns and communities. You can catch us sometimes where there is a gap there. But if you look at the overall schedule you'll find it to be a very, very active one.

I don't have anything to prove to anybody.

I mean, you know, I actually like to read a little bit along the way. The first thing I do when I walk out is get asked about the president's news conference that he had this morning that I saw, and what's happened with the other candidates and comments that they've made, and sometimes disasters that have happened in various communities and shootings and so forth. I read and talk to people about that. Talk to them in the home office. Get my plan for the day and the information I need for the day.
Fred does something that some of his fellow candidates do not do: get updates on what is going on; read about what is going on; prepare for his public performances. Remember when Huck didn't know about the release of the Intelligence Update on Iran? He wasn't paying attention to what was going on. Do you remember all of the entries on Fred on Fact Check because he got facts wrong? No? That is because he is doing his homework so he gets the details right.

Maybe campaigning 24 hours a day isn't a good thing.

Huck's Ethics Issues

Someone at RedState asked the other day which candidate would have more ethical bombshells come to light between now and election day: Rudy or Huck. Well, chock one up for Huck.

Blogs For Fred Thompson is linking to a series of articles about Huck accepting money from a company engaged in embryonic stem cell research. They also detail Huck receiving $378,000 in "consulting fees" in 2006 while he was still governor of Arkansas. Finally the detail the relationship between Huck and a company called Flagship. Huck is on the board of directors for this company. The essence is that this company would benefit with an increase in government control of health care.

As this is detailed more, I think we will find an incredible level of conflicts of interest and it would not surprise me to find some influence peddling as well. We have already seen that in the area of pardons.

I am a bit tired of the baggage that Huck comes with.

Another Iowa Endorsement

Kraig Paulson is the Iowa House Republican Whip. He has endorsed Fred--seen in the following video. Having not followed Iowa Caucus politics in the past, I find it interesting that so many important endorsements are happening this close to the caucus. I can only hope that this is an indication of the tide turning and that it will turn quickly.

Click to play

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Romney sounding like Clinton

Why do politicians have to compound a lie with a ridiculous explanation? It really makes you look stupid and gives the opposition (I am thinking Democrats here) nice video to put into an ad.

A Different Look At The Silly Hat Rule

Steven Hayes of the Weekly Standard was another of the reporters in Waverly, Iowa when Fred did not put on the fireman's hat. You remember, this is the incident that Roger Simon of the Politico used as the basis of a hit piece. Simon indicated that Fred did not connect at all in Waverly and said some dumb things.

Well Hayes reports on the same events and you come away with a vastly different feel for what happened. It just so happens that Hayes' comments seem to agree more closely with the video evidence of the events.
After a quick meeting with the staff of the newspaper, Thompson climbs aboard the bus for the four-block drive to the gleaming new building that houses the fire department. He and Jeri walk down the line of firemen assembled to greet him. When someone presents him with a fireman's helmet to wear for a photo-op, Thompson holds the helmet away from him to get a good look at it and laughs. "I've got a silly-hat rule that I'm about to violate," he says, raising it toward his head before thinking better of it. "I ain't gonna do it," he says, laughing.

"I'll put it on," Jeri says with a wide grin. "I'll be the good sport. I get lots of points for this, guys." And indeed she did; the firemen laughed along with her as they posed for pictures.

Thompson paused for a few more pictures on his way back to the bus. Brad Gade, an insurance representative from nearby Cedar Falls, asked Thompson to autograph a "Days of Thunder" DVD box, and "Big John" obliges. Gade says he is a conservative Republican who recently decided to caucus for Thompson on January 3. He says Thompson seems "down to earth and easy to relate to." That's something he hasn't found in other candidates. "I looked a lot at Huckabee--but that recent stuff that's come out. . . " What stuff? "He's so heavily into religion," says Gade, wrinkling his nose. "Not my cup of tea."

Later, I spoke to Scott and Chelle Adkins, a young couple from Waterloo. Chelle is the secretary of the Blackhawk County Republican party, and Scott has had a leadership position with the party, too. Like Brad Gade, they have considered other candidates. "Mitt Romney came close for me," says Scott. "But there was just something missing. Huckabee appeals because of social issues, but I'm not so sure about fiscal issues."

Chelle jumps in. "A month ago, Huckabee looked like he might be a great candidate. But the more I research his positions, the less comfortable I become." I asked her for specifics. "Two things--illegal immigration and the taxes. I'd seen lots of advertising on how he raised taxes, how he was for a cigarette tax. I was really turned off on illegal immigration, too."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tancredo's Support May Be Going to Fred

Even though Tancredo endorsed Romney, that does not mean that his support will go to Mitt. Bill Salier, Tom Tancredo’s former Iowa State Chair has endorsed Fred (video below). I was not particularly concerned with getting Tancredo's specific endorsement--I want Fred to get his organization and his voter support. This is the first indication that at least the organization is not following Tancredo to Mitt but rather to Fred.

Fred's Message to FredHeads

Here is a video that Fred has posted for his FredHeads. The money quote is right at the end:
"We don't wear any hats...unless their our own."
A nice dig at 'ole Roger Simon's stupid hit piece.

A Second Look At Mitt

We were requested in a comment to take a second look at Mitt as he is the anti-illegal immigration candidate. In browsing around this morning, I have come across a "second look" which is why he is my number 2 candidate (maybe 3) and not my number 1. It is a blog entry by FDT08 at titled "Mitt Romney - Serial Exaggerator"

The essence of the article is that Mitt is a "flip-flopper" or someone who you say, "let's wait five minutes and see what he believes". His examples are:
Mitt has become what Al Gore was in 2000- a serial exaggerator who would say almost anything to get elected.

Whether it relates to his life experience-

Hunting Experience that he didn't have
NRA Membership & Endorsements he never received
"I saw my dad march with MLK" - which never occurred

Or his recent election-cycle conversions to -

Federalism - first supported, now against the Human Life Amendment
Immigration - Initial Supporter of Amnesty Bill, now opposes
Campaign-Finance Reform - initially supported, now opposes
The life experience stuff really bothers me and are why he may be moving down to #3 for me. The conversions have been described as things done because he was in a liberal state and had to have different positions to govern and stay popular there. The assertion is that he is "really" a conservative as his current positions indicate. I simply don't know and cannot be sure. Is this just opportunism? I think so. I am guessing that he IS conservative, but there is just no way to know for sure.

Marc Ambinder on Scenarios

Marc has published some plausible scenarios for each of the top 5 Republican candidates can win the nomination. I think he is more or less on target. Here is his scenario for Fred:
Fred Thompson could win the nomination if..... Thompson hangs in there, benefits from a Huckabee fall in Iowa -- i.e., Huckabee CANNOT win Iowa in this scenario, which means that Romney wins Iowa which means that Romney probably wins New Hampshire; Thompson somehow wins South Carolina and wins Southern states on Feb. 5; Romney and Giuliani battle in some northern states (and Romney maybe even wins one), and Thompson lives to fight Giuliani or Romney as the conservative alternative.
I agree that Huckabee is sucking the air out of the room for Fred right now and he needs to Huck-a-bust.

A Pig in a Poke - Huckabee Edition

There is a great article over at Real Clear Politics by Kimberley Strassel titled Mike Huckabee & Little Rock Ethics. This article is dead on--here are a couple of quotes:
As pigs in pokes go, the Democratic Party bought itself a big one in 1988. Michael Dukakis was relatively unknown, but he was also the last man standing. Only too late did his party, along with the rest of the country, realize Mr. Dukakis was a typecast liberal--a furlougher of felons, and a guy who looked mighty awkward in a tank.

This is what happens when a party takes a flyer, and it could be Republicans' turn with Mike Huckabee.
Mr. Huckabee is starting to get a look-see by the press, though whether the nation will have time to absorb the findings before the primaries is just as unknown. The small amount that has been unearthed so far ought to have primary voters nervous. It isn't just that Mr. Huckabee is far from a traditional conservative; he's a potential ethical time bomb.
The GOP is still reeling from its financial scandals, which helped Democrats tag the party with a "culture of corruption" in last year's congressional races. A Huckabee nomination would also neutralize one of the biggest weapons against nominee Hillary Clinton--her own ethically tortured past. If the subject came up at all, it would be a race to the Arkansas bottom. A matchup with Barack Obama could be worse, since the "politics of hope" senator has so far avoided scandal and could bludgeon Mr. Huckabee on his past.
(Emphasis mine). The rest of the article puts the details together to back these assertions. I keep wanting to yell at Iowans to wake up and look at this guy. Even if he were to win the general election, he would be a nightmare for the Republicans for a long time to come.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Polling Results

Two posts in one day about polls--ugh.

This posts says, "Don't get too excited yet"

Strategic Vision is releasing a poll with: Huck, 31; Mitt, 25; Fred 16.

This looks like a bump, and it is, but not as much as some might think. The previous Strategic Vision poll had Fred with 13 points, so it is only a 3 point bump. They also poll Republicans, and not likely caucus participants. There is an ARG poll coming out with Fred at 5, though ARG doesn't seem to be in line with anyone else.

But the Strategic Vision poll does say that maybe things are heading the right direction.

Religious Politicians Problem With the Truth

I am a bit frustrated at a couple of our Republican candidates--Mitt and Huck. Now understand that I want people to reject them for various reasons. But they are causing a problem that will last far beyond this election.

Both of these guys are the recognized religious candidates. Some have problems with Mormonism, but nevertheless they are recognized as a moral religion. Yet both of these religious people have been telling whoppers. Huck distorts his record sometimes telling half-truths and sometimes just lying (e.g. the referendum on raising gas taxes that had been implemented two months before when the referendum was on a bond issue; that he had nothing to do with the DuMond parole; etc.). Mitt is now making up incidents where his father marched with Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is the impact of this problems with morals? I hope the short-term issue is that these two will drop in the popularity so that Fred can move in and win the nomination. I am afraid that in the long-term that mainstream voters will lose confidence in religious politicians. Religious politicians should hold themselves to a higher standard--our current crop do not measure up.

Roger Simon on Roger Simon

There are two different Roger Simon's in the world of political reporting. One reports for the Politico and the other for Pajamas Media. The one at the Politico wrote a hit piece on Fred from the trail in Iowa. Reiterating the lazy moniker. It is a stupid story where this Roger Simon apparently is so biased that he could not report accurately on what he was looking at and could not keep his heavy bias out of the story (he seemed to get his feeling hurt by not being allowed into a "closed" interview with the local paper).

Well, the Pajamas Media Roger Simon needed to write a piece indicating that it wasn't him. He bothered to look at the video of the event and had this to say:
I still make no claim to journalistic expertise, but if there's one thing I know about it's hats (see logo above). I bought and tried on many a Borsalino over the years in a vain attempt to brand myself as a detective writer. I've even purchased a fair number of Kangols and various fedoras.

So as a tried and true member of the Hat Squad, and having viewed the video, I can say this: I don't know what the hell the other Roger Simon was talking about.

Tancredo Supports Romney

The DesMoines Register is reporting that Tancredo did drop out as expected, but has endorsed Romney.


UPDATE: Rep. Steve King on Tancredo and endorsements:

Rasmussen Daily Numbers

I have felt throughout the campaign that Rasmussen is doing the best job regarding polling in this campaign and he is really the only one that I consistently look at. So what do we make of the numbers particularly regarding Fred.

The bad part about Rasmussen is that he does not have graphical representations, so here is a quick graph for us to look at. The data starts on October 1 and goes through today's numbers (click for a larger, readable version).

What can we determine here:
1. The numbers are very dynamic. While Rudy has been in first place for the majority of the window, the other positions have swapped a LOT.
2. Only three candidates have ever had more than 17% support: Fred, Huck, Rudy.
3. Fred was highest as he entered the race; he has dropped precipitously, but seems to have flattened out and, I believe, is starting to rise (the next few days will reveal if that is correct).
4. Rudy has normally been above 20% support, but has suddenly dropped a lot (24 to 13 in 10 days).
5. Huck has had a meteoric rise, but now seems to have flattened out (and I hope is about to tank just like Rudy).
6. Both Mitt and McCain have had mini-surges, but have not broken through their long-term high support levels.

My conclusion: There is plenty of volatility for Fred to be able to come back up in the next two weeks. My guess is that McCain and Mitt has support ceilings that they will not break out of. Rudy will table out somewhere, but I am guessing that his support has left for good. If Fred (or the others) can get the message out that Huck is not a conservative Republican, Huck's support will relatively quickly go back to Fred and Fred's support will come back. The next two weeks in Iowa will tell the story.

How Can Fred Win

JB Williams at the National Ledger has written an article postulating that the race will come down to Mitt and Fred--and he gives his rationale. He feels that Tancredo, Hunter and McCain will all have to drop out (Tancredo likely today) and will all throw their support behind Fred. My only concern about this scenario is timing. A Tancredo endorsement today would be a great start.

I think that the biggest endorsement would be the McCain endorsement. But when would that happen? If McCain wins New Hampshire, he will be in the race at least through Super Tuesday, and probably much longer. That is probably also true if he comes in second. But if he ends up third--he may get out immediately.

I think it is very probable that we only have two or three candidates that are viable going into Super Tuesday. My hope is that Hunter and McCain will drop out before then and throw their support behind Fred. If so, then we have a very nice chance of winning this race.

Who is really lazy?

I just about popped a blood vessel. You can read my comment on the post that caused my blood pressure increase here at elephant biz.

I am really sick of the lazy label on Fred. Primarily because it is unjustified.

So why is it still around? I contend that the label is around because those who repeat it are lazy themselves. They use the label to put a name to the laid-back style that Fred has. A laid-back style is not lazy. But some don't know how to interpret this, so the resort to this label. Had some beltway "journalist" not given this label before Fred's campaign started, we would not have to put up with this crap.


From Fred Thompson Facts:

Tancredo--why now?

FredFaninKansas at has posted an analysis of Tancredo getting out now and why he believes that he will endorse Fred. He certainly makes a good case for the endorsement--and I hope he is right. But he also makes an analysis about the benefit to Fred that I had not considered--organization.
Tom Tancredo, though 1 or 2% nationally, does carry 4-6% in Iowa "likely voter polls". So just by the numbers alone, Tancredo would increase Fred's total into the mid-teens, within shooting distance of Huckabee and Romney, who are in the 20's.

Tom Tancredo, also, having been in the race for a year, carries an organization with him -- an organization, because of the nature of Tancredo's candidacy, that is quite dedicated and passionate.
I thought that King would bring Iowa organization into play, though I did not have this in mind. Increasingly I am wondering if the King endorsement may turn out to be the most important endorsement in the entire 2008 election.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More AP Questions

The AP had a questionnaire that included about all of the weird questions except "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" (Who knows, that may still come up)

The most recent one to be released is to identify the most common misunderstanding that people have of the candidate.

Fred's answer: "Really not much of a break dancer."

Actually a very interesting picture...

The Field Thins?

Tancredo has announced that he will have a "major announcement regarding the campaign" tomorrow in Des Moines. Multiple sources are suggesting that he will be dropping out of the race tomorrow. Jonathan Martin suggests that he may follow his good friend Representative Steve King in supporting Fred.

If nothing else, it cuts down on the number of people at the podiums when there is a debate.

Fred's Iowa Team

I guess I am a bit surprised that this just happened, but that will probably be OK. Fred just announced his Iowa Leadership Team. The advantage of waiting until now is that Representative King is going to be the State Chair. You couldn't get better than that, and he wouldn't have gotten King in that position before the endorsement. My concern for Fred has been whether or not he will have the on-the-ground organization to manage the caucus.

I am very encouraged that this will be an important step in a strong finish in Iowa.

Gun Control

The DesMoines Register is quoting Fred:
Asked about the Second Amendment, Thompson said: “I consider good gun control as a real steady aim.”

Another Huck "Distortion"

AKA Lie. Marc Ambinder is quoting a Huck from the Today show this morning where Huck claimed that "not one was walking out of prison who had been a murderer." But Marc reports that the actual number was twelve of his commutations were to murders.

To be fair, it is possible that the commutations were from the death penalty to life without parole. I am trying to determine the validity of Marc's assertion.

On CIA Tapes

WKRN in Nashville have quoted Fred from the road talking about the infamous destroyed tapes of CIA interrogations that have been destroyed. Once again Fred shows common sense:
"As best I can tell these tapes were kept in order to prevent abuses so superiors would know what people are actually are doing. And there's no obligation to make those tapes, there's no obligation not to destroy them unless they've lied to congress about it. Now if they've lied to congress about it they'll have to pay a price for that,"

Hannity and Colmes

Here is Fred's December 18th interview on Hannity and Colmes. The best parts are with Colmes in the second half of the video. Colmes was playing with Fred asking if he wanted a show of hands question and Fred's response was, "I’m not raising my hand until Chief Justice John Roberts swears me in."

Colmes gave Fred a chance to answer the question that he was not allowed to answer in the Iowa debate about global warming. (Colmes was a jerk at the end, but at least he was able to give his answer) Finally Colmes talked about the NIE report that came out a couple of weeks ago. Fred showed himself to know what he was talking about and Colmes showed himself to be an idiot.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fred on Laura Ingram

Fred was on the Laura Ingram show today (audio available here. It was an interesting interview. I want to start with the end. Laura referenced Huckabee's "Christmas Card" ad and wanted to know if Fred was going to have a similar Christmas message. His response:

"Yeah. It's kind of a sweet personal thing. It's gonna be 'Vote Fred'"

I love it.

On the more serious side, Laura brought up the case of the two border guards who were convicted of various crimes and are currently in jail. She wants to know if Fred was would pardon these two. Now I have heard Fred talk about this before--I thought on Laura's show, but maybe not. Fred's response (as it has always been) was that he has not seen all of the information, but from what he has read in the papers he believes that their case would merit commutation of their sentence to time served rather than a pardon. Fred believes that they were charged with the wrong things, but that they had committed crimes and correctly found guilty of certain activities.

I have heard Laura talk about this case before and she obviously feels very strongly about it. But in the limited accounts that I have read, I was convinced that the two clearly did some things wrong and should have been punished. But I, like Fred, think that they paid that debt a long time ago and should now be freed. I am glad that Fred thinks so much of the process of pardons and commutations that he treats them seriously. This is in amazing contrast to Huckabee's issuance of over 1,000 pardons and commutations often to people who were not deserving and at least one based on the fact that the family donated to the Arkansas GOP.

Incredible Post on Huck

Red State has a post that does a great job of bringing together the details of why Huck is a bad Republican candidate.

A couple of quotes:
1. Ethics and judgment.
FACT: BJ took at least $112,000 in gifts in one year. None were from the Clintons. His salary was $67,000.
FACT: He appointed a number of individuals to State jobs after receiving sizable contributions.
FACT: He walk out of the Governor's Mansion and took $70,000 worth of furniture. He gave it back as part of a settlement with the state. Said it was a "misunderstanding".
FACT: Registered at bridal registeries when he left office so his supporters could get him appropriate gifts.
...(several more follow)

2. Economics. Simple factual stuff.
FACT: The average Arkansan was paying 47% more in taxes when BJ left office than when was first elected.
FACT: State spending rose at three times the rate of inflation.
FACT: He did nothing to expand the economic base of the State in ten years as Governor.
He goes through 6 other areas. Take a look--he does a great job of documenting Huck.

More Great Questions

Hot Air is relating the answer that Fred gave to the latest AP weird question of Presidential candidates. They were asked to name their favorite President of the opposite part in the 20th century. Clinton, Edwards, Obama and Richardson all cited Teddy Roosevelt. Rudy, McCain, Mitt and Huck all picked Harry Truman.

Fred? He picked Martin Sheen as Josiah Bartlet in “The West Wing” and John Kennedy in a miniseries.

One of the commenter's thought that Fred's theme song should be "One of these things is not like the other". One version is below. I love how Fred treated this idiotic survey from the AP.

Pejman Yousefzadea at RedState Endorses Fred

The quite influential Pejman at Red State has endorsed Fred for President. I haven't really focused on endorsements because I don't think that they do too much for a candidate. I'm not sure that this one will either. BUT the analysis in the article is incredible. Please give it a read.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Little Cheer for the Holidays

Mitt Helping Fred?

This is all going into the scenarios for a Fred victory for the Republican nomination. Blogs for Fred Thompson is talking about the new Mitt ad critiquing Huck's record on crime, including pardons and drug policy.

The BFFT article muses that even if the ad helps Mitt rather than Fred, it ultimately helps Fred by damaging the Huck campaign. Huck's campaign hurts Fred far more than Mitt's does right now. To continue, BFFT wants Fred to win, but a Mitt in first and Fred in second certainly would go a long way to derailing the Huck campaign. If McCain could beat Mitt in New Hampshire, it would doom Mitt as well. So BFFT has the scenario of:

1. Mitt
2. Fred
3. Huck

New Hampshire
1. McCain
2. Mitt

taking out both Huck and Mitt. They may be right. I think the better route would be a Fred - Mitt - Huck finish in Iowa, which would take both Huck and Mitt out in one shot.

Rush Compares Huck to Perot

I was just listening to Rush this afternoon (second hour) and a Huckabot called to express support of Huck's recent answer regarding evolution. Rush did a beautiful job of talking with this otherwise rational person to understand why he supports Huck (debate performance and religious conservatism). Rush asked the Huckabot if he knew much about Huckabee's Arkansas record--and he did not. He gave him quotes of what Huck said regarding the Bush administration foreign policy and the Huckabot disagrees with most of what Huck said.

Rush basically is saying that he is not going to be as aggressive about discouraging people from supporting Huck as he was with Perot because it does not work. They have to come to it on their own.

If anyone has any questions, Rush has not endorsed nor stated positively who he wants. But at the same time, he talks positively about Fred and Mitt. Ignores Rudy and McCain. And is critiquing Huck.

Fox and Friends - Not Shooting for Third

Fred was on Fox and Friends. The important part here for understanding where Fred is on Iowa is that the question was posed that he needed to finish a strong third--what if he didn't? His response was that third wasn't good enough. This agrees with what I have been thinking about what Fred is up to. Just looking at his schedule for this week indicates that he has decided that Iowa is critical to his campaign.

I am to a point that I believe that if Fred can win Iowa (which I think is a realistic possibility), then he wins the nomination.

Fred on Face the Nation

Is it just me or did Bob Scheiffer seem to have little knowledge of anything in this interview? Fred comes across as connected and intelligent where Bob comes across as ignorant.

Just so Bob understands: if you work on making sure that illegal immigrants do not have a place to get a job--they will go home!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fred's Iowa Schedule

Fred's schedule for December 17th through 22nd has been released (Monday through Saturday). Tuesday through Saturday he has three events scheduled each day. Only one event on Monday--the kickoff of the bus tour.

Remember that Fred will be on CBS's Face the Nation tomorrow. It looks like he will only have a 15 minute segment.

UPDATE: Standard News Wire has a more complete version of the schedule which is far busier than what I previously noted. Monday has 3 events and 23 events on Tuesday through Saturday. They are calling the tour "The Clear Conservative Choice: Hands Down!" bus tour. This is going to be interesting.

Giuliani on Illegal Immigrants

"Undocumented" is, of course, illegal. Here is Rudy as he was as Mayor. Is he really different now?

Stop The Hand Shows

Fred's campaign is using Iowa Debate "hand show" as a motivation to raise some money to make a final push in Iowa. They are aiming for 2400 people in 24 hours. If you can, fill in the form on the right side of the blog and give the fred08 campaign a donation today!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Week In Review #1

I have been working on another type of post for the blog. A way for me to edit down some of the audio and make my comments more in time with the material. So here is my inaugural "Indiana Fred Heads Week In Review". Let me know what you think!

Each segment is about 9 minutes:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mark Levin on the Iowa Debate

Here is Mark Levin's take on the Iowa Debate.

Levin thinks that Fred won. I agree.

Powerful Internet Ad

I have no idea who is responsible for this. It is powerful.

Fact Check on Iowa Debate

I continually get a kick out of reviewing Fact Check after debates. You could almost say that they are pro-Fred because they never mention him as exaggerating anything or lying about anything. Of course the reality is that Fred just gets his stuff right. Have you noticed that Fred usually has no public events the day before a debate? Guess what he is doing? Yep, getting his facts straight.

The Iowa debate is no different. weighed in on about everyone except Fred from the Iowa debate. Here is the summary:
In the Dec. 12 Republican presidential debate in Des Moines:

* Arizona Sen. John McCain promised to make the U.S. “oil independent” within five years, a goal experts say can’t be achieved.

* Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed American students score in the bottom quarter among industrial nations, but they score about average in the most recent tests.

* Romney also claimed that federal programs to prevent teen pregnancy are “obviously not working,” while in fact births are dramatically below what they were in 1991 despite a relatively small increase last year.

* Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said a big federal tax cut would produce “a major boost in revenues for the government,” a notion that nearly all economists say is a fantasy.

* Former Gov. Mike Huckabee claimed he had the most impressive record on education of any GOP candidate, even though Arkansas children scored below the national average while those in Romney’s Massachusetts were No. 1.

* Rep. Duncan Hunter claimed the cost of administering and complying with the federal income tax is $250 billion a year, far higher than the figure given by a recent presidential advisory commission.

Fred Hitting Iowa With Energy

The American Spectator reports today that Fred came out with a lot of energy and "owned the room" in an event today.
Thompson strode in and owned the room. He didn’t hold his own or get by unscathed, he owned it. This is a Thompson who, had he been released earlier would almost certainly be in a much better position to win the nomination than he is today: Charismatic, funny (“I think I’m going to have a cup of ethanol when I get home”), on message and bristling with enough energy to make his in-tow younger wife look like the one struggling to keep up.

Fred on Mike Gallagher - No Hand Raising

Back in July, Fred told Mike Gallagher that he would not be doing the hand raising thing. He followed through at the Iowa Debate.

Fred's Apology to Huck

Well, that is how it is labeled on Fred's web site. But it is a strong backhanded apology:
We apologize for pointing out that as Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee offered in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. That’s something he’d probably just as soon no one talk about.

We apologize for pointing out that in 2002 Huckabee wrote Pres. Bush a letter asking him to lift the Cuban embargo. It’s easy to see how Huckabee might have missed the finer points of a 40-year embargo. While he obviously knew enough about the embargo to ask that it be lifted, Huckabee clearly didn’t know enough to ask that it not be lifted. So for that, we’re sorry.

We apologize for referencing that 47% tax increase Huckabee imposed on Arkansas taxpayers when he was governor. That must be really awkward for him, now that he’s running in a GOP primary election. We notice he never points it out to voters.

We apologize for telling reporters that a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University doesn’t, in fact, make Huckabee more qualified to fight the war on terror than say…Fred Thompson.
The actual post has the references to justify his apologies.

Managing Expectations

I was reading Byron York's NRO piece on the Iowa debate and noticed that he was quoting Fred's campaign staff setting the expectations for Iowa as a "strong third" place finish.
After the debate, his team was putting out the word that a third-place finish might be just fine, provided Huckabee and Romney hurt each other in the process. “We have to provide a clear choice for this third position,” another Thompson adviser, Mary Matalin, told me. “A solid third, not just an accidental third.”

“Remember, we don’t have to win,” Galen told me. “We don’t even have to come in second.”
What we have here are managing expectations. I do not think that Fred's folk are looking for a "solid third" finish. I actually don't think that they are aiming for second. I think that they honestly feel that they can win this thing, but you will not see anyone say it.

Remember at the end of the third quarter Fred's campaign was floating that their third quarter numbers would be about $5 million and then it turned out to be over $8 million? They had been burned on the second quarter numbers where the expectations went the other way (they predicted $5 million and got $3 million). They don't want that to happen again.

So if Fred comes in a strong third, they can say "that is where we expected to be--now on to South Carolina" where they would need to win. If he manages second it becomes a big story--"we came from fourth to second--we made up over 20 points." If he wins, it will be headlines for days (and he easily gets the Republican nomination).

The Iowa Debate Videos

The Des Moines Register has a fairly nice setup linking all of the videos of the debate.

Some Thoughts on the debate:

First, the moderator has been given more grief than what is deserved. What she did not do is allow for interaction, which would be a true debate. What she did do was get the issues discussed by all of the candidates in a parallel fashion. Her global warming question (raise hands) was awful, but generally she did just fine. The critics were looking for the candidates bashing each other and they didn't get that.

Second, one theme candidates need to go. If any question turns into a discussion about your pet idea, that means that you have not considered the various topics. Among these candidates are: Hunter, Toncredo, Keyes, Paul. It is interesting that it is the second teer (or third in the case of Keyes) that do not have a deep understanding of the issues. That may be one of the reasons that they are second teer.

Third, the performances:

In one way Fred did incredibly well. He was funny; he was substantive, as usual; he was candid.

Romney was very positive. He avoids talking about tough decisions, which makes me wonder if he would address them as President, but he generally did very well.

No one else, in my mind, differentiated themselves (in a good way) from the others.

Some say that Fred and Mitt don't like each other--and they may not. But they seemed to enjoy bouncing off of each other. Mitt applauded and voiced support for Fred on his refusal to play the hand raising game and was pushing for Fred to get his time to talk about the issue. At this point, my choice for VP is Mitt. I think the two could have a very interesting dynamic in a national race.

The global warming discussion was a debacle from the moderator point of view. The questions were bad and the candidates as a whole rebelled which created a section of the debate that was confusing and not productive.

I really liked Fred's "First Year" answer. Particularly the part where he discusses his interaction with the Congress: I have a mandate, work with me or I will go over your head to the American people.

I am amazed at the number of Republican candidates that express support for the "Fair Tax". I find several flaws with the fair tax including the fact that the barriers to its implementation are incredibly high--so high that I don't think that it will happen in a long time. It also relies on a tax that is historically how states raise their money. This will put pressure on them to be able to raise sales taxes in order to offset other taxes such as property taxes. The fair tax is also a pretty regressive tax that requires low income folk to pay more of their income in taxes than middle or higher income folk. I think that many candidates have found that claiming the fair tax is a convenient way to argue for "lower taxes" without actually having to discuss how it would happen.

Huck reinforced that he is a big government guy. Mitt reinforced that he would push for a government mandate style of heath care programs. Mitt, though, had a great answer on Conservatism (all three types are important), though I am not convinced that he really is an all-encompassing conservative.

McCain had a good answer to a bad question regarding compromises to ideals.

Overall, I thought it was a much better debate than it is being given credit for in the media. The time constraints hurt and the number of candidates hurt. But the questions were good and probably helpful for the average Iowan citizen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Clips from the Iowa Debate

Here are clips of Fred at the debate today. I haven't yet seen the entire debate, but these clips are very good. The tracker indicated that both conservatives and moderates were very positively responding to Fred. I hope this is a good start. Fred is getting the lead on all of the news coverage that I have seen with his refusal to raise (or not raise) his hand for a very stupid question. From all I have seen so far, it does not look like this was a very good format, though probably a bit better than the YouTube debate.

Fred on Sean Hannity Post Debate

Here is the interview that Fred gave on the Hannity radio show today after the Iowa debate.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rudy and Abortion

Not too much reason to thump on this too much--we all know that Rudy is pro-abortion. But it is still important. Here is a clip of Rudy back in 1992 running for Mayor:

In addition, Jonathan Martin at the Politico wrote an article detailing how Rudy gave $900 between 1993, 1994, 1998 and 1999. He also has excerpted a book from Rudy that gives Rudy's response:
The Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon sends over an excerpt from his new book, "Meet the Next President," out today.

In an interview for the book, Sammon asked Rudy why he gave money to Planned Parenthood at least six times in the 1990s

“Those were contributions that were made by my wife and by me at the time,” Giuliani told [Sammon]. “I can't remember exactly the reasons for them, but Planned Parenthood, I also always thought, is an organization that made information available about adoption.”

They do offer family-planning advice of all kinds, including about adoption options. But they also are the largest abortion-provider in America.
Yeah. Planned Parenthood. Adoption. Yeah.

Fred on Glenn Beck

Fred was interviewed on the Glenn Beck Show today. Glenn Beck has published the transcript for the interview. Once again a very good interview for Fred and it is worth a read. They talked about Fred's priorities; the Flat Tax proposal; global warming; lack of trust in politicians; and the two border security guards who have been in jail for shooting the illegal alien who was smuggling drugs into the country.

His answer on the border security guards was excellent--maybe not popular with some, but it indicates that Fred is the kind of person that you want making these decisions. His priorities, as Fred Heads are well aware, are exactly what they ought to be.

The only one of these that I am not in fairly close lock step with Fred is global warming. He says that it exists, but that the causes are unknown and we need to have continued research and discussion before we do stupid solutions. My position is that I am skeptical that it is even happening.

Electability - Mike Huckabee Edition

I am not particularly fond of the "electability" argument for particularly anyone. We are a 11 months away from the election and a lot can happen between now and then to change electability. But there are a couple of news items that look toward Huck and his general election possibilities.

The first comes from CNN (pdf) who did a survey (excluding Fred--but this is CNN) doing head-to-head surveys between Huck, Mitt, Rudy and McCain vs Hillary, Obama and Edwards. Huck performs worst against the Dems losing, on average, by 17 points. Mitt does second worst, losing by 15 points. Then Rudy losing by 8 and finally the closest was McCain, losing by 3 points. My guess is that the poll leans liberal, but nevertheless there it appears that Huck does perform worst against the Democrats.

The second item is a "flash" from Drudge Report (I won't link because it changes frequently). It alleges that the Dems are not attacking Huck because they would LOVE for him to be the nominee as they see him as the weakest candidate. Here is the text of that Flash Report:
Democrat party officials are avoiding any and all criticism of Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee, insiders reveal.

The Democratic National Committee has told staffers to hold all fire, until he secures the party's nomination.

The directive has come down from the highest levels within the party, according to a top source.

Within the DNC, Huckabee is known as the "glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it."

In the last three weeks since Huckabee's surge kicked in, the DNC hasn't released a single press release criticizing his rising candidacy.

The last DNC press release critical of Huckabee appeared back on March 2nd.

[DNC Press Release Attack Summary:

Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) – 37% (99 press releases)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) – 28% (74)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) – 24% (64)
Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) – 8% (20)
Governor Mike Huckabee – 2% (4)]

In fact, as the story broke over the weekend that Huckabee said he wanted to isolate AIDS patients back in 1992, the DNC ignored the opportunity to slam the candidate from the left.

"He'll easily be their McGovern, an easy kill," mocked one senior Democrat operative Tuesday morning from Washington.
UPDATE: By the way, there is some rumors that the above information did not come from the Democrats, but rather from the Romney campaign. While this is possible, the press release count is probably correct, which still raises a question of why the Dems are not doing any hits on Huckabee, while they are on everyone else.

On the other hand, I don't understand yet why Huck's weaknesses have not sunk him yet.

Phone For Fred - This Thursday

This Thursday is a "Phone for Fred Party" day. It is intended to be a nationwide phone bank day for Fred into the early states. Take a look at the web site and find a Party near you. Now is the time for the big push to get Fred into position to win!

There are at least two party locations in Central Indiana (Carmel and Fishers) for folk around here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ditto-Cam: Rush on Fred and Charlie Rose

Here is the video from last week when Rush was talking about Fred's appearance on Charlie Rose.

Once again, I think Fred's answer here is one of the best answers I have ever heard defining conservatism.

Fred--the anti-Huck

I came across an interesting blog entry on Free Republic talking about "The Birth of the Stop Huckabee Movement". "Brices Crossroads" writes that many in the GOP are deciding that Huck would be a disaster for the party and so the question is, "who can stop Huckabee?"

His answer is Fred. Why?
Let me give you two reasons that Fred Thompson appears to be the one, one having to do with the horserace and the second having to do with acceptability. First, the horserace: Romney is cratering in Iowa. Rudy is not a factor from an organizational or ideological standpoint. Neither is McCain. Once downward momentum has begun to afflict a frontrunner the way it has Romney, it is next to impossible to reverse. That leaves only one candidate who can be the alternative both from an ideological and an organizational standpoint: Thompson. If Thompson comes in second or overtakes Huckabee, he becomes the anti-Huckabee candidate and the de facto winner of the caucuses because he had been predicted to finish as low as fifth. (I cannot believe the MSM is still obligingly tamping down expectations for him. May they continue to do so.) Bear in mind that a huge number of Iowans have not decided and, in a caucus format, are capable of being persuaded at the caucus events themselves. Both of these dynamics favor Thompson, who is setting up shop in Iowa until January 3.

The second reason why Thompson is so well positioned here is acceptability. The knocks on Fred are nearly all style, fire in the belly and other intangible pap. They have nothing to do with the issues on which most GOP voters agree overwhelmingly with Thompson. As Rush Limbaugh has often said, elections are about issues. On the issues, all of them, Thompson agrees with the vast majority of GOP primary voters and is acceptable(i.e.- does not scare) any of them. The same cannot be said of Rudy and Huckabee.
This is, of course, talking about Iowa primarily, but I am increasingly viewing Iowa as a critical event--not necessarily saying who will win everything, but it will greatly determine what will happen throughout the rest of the primary season.

Scenarios (warning, a lot of wild speculation here):

1. The latest polls are how things end: Huck in 30s, Mitt in low 20s or upper teens, Fred at 10. That would probably finish Fred and it may come close to ending Mitt. The contest becomes Huck vs. Rudy. Rudy wins because Huck would be a terrible candidate.

2. The order stays the same, but everything ends very close. Huck 33, Mitt 31, Fred 28. Probably no one is knocked out. One of the three can come out of South Carolina which would be a dog fight.

3. The Huck bubble bursts, but Mitt wins and Fred is second. Huck would be done everywhere. Fred probably gets a lot of Huck's support. Once again South Carolina would determine who lives between Fred and Mitt.

4. Iowans wake up and smell the coffee that Huck is a disaster, he falls off the face of the earth, Fred gets the support and unexpectedly wins Iowa. Huck would be done. Mitt would likely be done as well setting up a Fred Rudy showdown. Fred would win due to getting the consensus anti-Rudy vote in the party which will be significant.

In any case, only one of Mitt, Huck or Fred is viable after South Carolina. But Iowa can eliminate one or both from being viable IN South Carolina.

Fred Inconsistent on Immigration?

The Christian Science Monitor has found two instances where Fred helped immigrants from being deported when he was in the Senate. They cast this as being inconsistent with his current position on immigration. But let's take a little look at what is really going on here:
In 1999, he pleaded with the US Immigration and Naturalization Service to reinstate a green-card application from a Korean family who became illegal when their visas expired. In 2000, Thompson passed a private law to grant green cards – or permanent residence – to a disabled Bolivian widow and three of her children. Under public law, the family would have had to leave the United States.

The episodes reveal a greater open-mindedness toward immigrants in legal limbo than has been evident from Thompson on the campaign trail.
Let's handle the easy one first--the Korean family had not arrived illegally, but had a visa expire and he worked to get the visa reinstated. I think this is quite consistent with his expressed frustration with the immigration process. These folk had played by the rules and the rules were beginning to hurt them. He operated as a good Senator or Representative should and made sure that the governmental process worked for them.

The second story is quite a dramatic story. That family had come for treatments for their son (legally with a visa) and various tragedies happened to their family while in the U.S. and while they were still receiving treatment their visas were going to expire and they would have to leave. Fred intervened with a "private bill" that allowed them to get the status they needed in order to stay in the U.S. and receive treatments.

Somehow the CSM fails to understand Fred's position on immigration. Fred's folk tried to straighten them out, but they cannot help themselves:
Since entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Thompson, who left the Senate in 2002, has been one of the GOP field's most outspoken advocates for the strict enforcement of existing immigration laws. Among other things, his immigration proposal calls for a ban on legal status for illegal immigrants and an end to the preference for adult children of US citizens. That preference set the Lees on a path to citizenship.

"What he did then was work with individuals who had entered the country legally and were in extreme humanitarian and family crises," a Thompson spokesman, Jeff Sadosky, said Friday. Asked whether Thompson would help such families in the same way now, Mr. Sadosky said, "Senator Thompson is always willing to do what he can, openly and in complete accordance with the law, for those law-abiding persons who face exceptionally challenging situations."

The campaign did not answer questions about seeming inconsistencies between his actions as a senator and his current policy proposals.
Simply stated: Fred is for legal immigration and is willing to help and work with those who come in legally and then have issues. But he is not willing to help and work with those who come in illegally.

What's so hard folk?

Flat vs Fair Tax

The Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal's editorial show) talked about Fred pushing for the optional flat tax and Huck pushing the Fair Tax. They noted how none of the other Republican candidates (and even Democrat candidates) have any substantial tax plan other than these two. (My opinion: Huck's isn't particularly a detailed plan--nothing against the fair tax, but all that he has done is said that he supports and would push for the Fair Tax--he has no other details. As compared to Fred who has a multi-point approach that is far more comprehensive.)

Let's assume for a second that either plan would be effective. Whose plan would be better? The folk at opinion journal observe:
Gigot: OK. All right. Why do you like the voluntary part of this so much, Steve?

Moore: Because, you know, when Steve Forbes ran for president in 1996 on this idea, all of the special interest groups--and remember, Washington, the K Street lobbies are all in favor of keeping the tax system as complicated as possible. That's the way they make their money. And so if you allow it to be optional, then Americans can decide for themselves whether they want to give up the sacred cow deductions or not. And as I said earlier, I think most would say, Yeah, I'll give them up if I can have a flat tax.

Gigot: So it's a way of really dealing with the political opposition to the flat tax.

Moore: That's right.

Gigot: All right, Kim, let's talk about the fair tax, which Mike Huckabee is proposing, which is this idea that you throw out all of the federal taxes we have--the payroll tax, the income tax--and you substitute it with one national sales tax at 23%. Is this helping Mike Huckabee at all?

Strassel: Yeah, I think it is in places like Iowa, because there is a devoted kind of group of people out there who love the idea of the fair tax--I think Steve is one of them. The problem, though, is that the long-term, politically, this is really a nonstarter. Columnists like this; it's a good idea in principle. Thing is--a couple of things. One, you want the fair tax? You have to have a repeal of the 16th Amendment, which established the income tax. Otherwise there's this huge political peril that you--

Gigot: Forgive me, Kim, but how likely is that to happen? I mean, don't you have to get through three-quarters of the states and two-thirds of the Congress?

Strassel: That's absolutely right, so it will never happen. Never happen. And this is what allows us--until you can do that, you can't actually go where Mike Huckabee is going, saying, I'm going to eliminate the IRS. The other thing, it makes someone--because you can't--very politically vulnerable in a general election, because your opponent is going to say, You want to add a new tax.
So their essential point is that the voluntary flat tax is politically possible, where the Fair Tax will not even get off the ground. I agree. I personally haven't been completely sold on a 23% sales tax--particularly since this is a major revenue source for the States. Some states have upward of 10% sales tax--a 33% total sales tax is a bit extreme.

They continue to give Fred some good props on his overall plan and feel that it can help him politically going forward.

You Say Path, I Say Amnisty

There was a debate yesterday. The bit that I have read about it doesn't sound like there was too much to talk about there. But the Washington Times is reporting that two of the GOP candidates supported a "path to citizenship" in the debate yesterday. Now for those out there who don't have their campaign speak decoder ring out there, what this means is creating a program so that people who are here illegally would have a methodology of staying in the country legally. The way that just about everyone else says this: amnesty.

These two are McCain and Rudy. Anyone surprised?

By the way, Fred's statement on the issue in the debate was:
"We have to enforce our borders and we have to uphold our law," said former Sen. Fred Thompson, while former Gov. Mitt Romney called for illegal aliens "to get in line with everybody else, but there should be no special pathway."
Absolutely right.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Huck and AIDS

There has been a very interesting story going around about Huckabee and his 1992 run for the US Senate where he answered a question about AIDS from the AP and said, essentially, that AIDS patients should be quarantined.
In 1992, Huckabee wrote, "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague."

"It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents."
But my bigger issue is with his current (December 8, 2007) explanation:
Huckabee said in a prepared statement released by his campaign Saturday afternoon that he called for quarantine when there was a lot of confusion about how AIDS is spread. He said he wanted at the time to follow traditional medical practices used for dealing with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

"We now know that the virus that causes AIDS is spread differently, with a lower level of contact than with TB," Huckabee said. "But looking back almost 20 years, my concern was the uncertain risk to the general population — if we got it wrong, many people would die needlessly. My concern was safety first, political correctness last."
Let's start by doing a little math. 2007 - 1992 = 15 years. Huck's statement "almost 20 years" is clearly intended to mislead. Also, in 1992 it was well-known that AIDS was not spread by casual contact.

So he was either ignorant at that time or he was being quite prejudicial. And today he is misleading the public about those statements. One of my frustrations about Huck is that he talks about his having a theology degree and he talks about being an ordained Baptist minister, yet he campaigns like any other standard issue politician and seems to have learned those abilities from watching Bill Clinton.

(As an aside: AIDS could be wiped off of the face of the earth in ONE generation if the youth of this generation would commit to live by God's moral standards. It is a shame that we don't feel like our young people can make that commitment.)

Fred Campaign Strategy

This is video of Fred in Des Moines a day or two ago. There are a couple of things here: 1. his nicely worded criticisms of Huck for his foreign policy ignorance; 2. he tells us a lot about his campaign strategy going into the primary season--Iowa it all important. He says at about the 1:15 point in the video that he will soon be camping out in Iowa through the caucus.

So what does Fred think he can achieve in Iowa? There was an interview with Fred's campaign manager, Bill Lacy, quoted on their website. The money quote on Iowa from that interview is:
So, the language I have used with others is that we have to build a strategic bridge through the early states to South Carolina. In other words, we have to do well enough to survive until South Carolina with the average Republican saying, “I like this guy and I think he can win.” That puts us in the best possible position for South Carolina. I think that requires a strong showing in Iowa and as I said before, I am not prepared to tell you precisely what that means. I think a strong showing, that exceeds expectations
OK, what are the expectations to exceed? Most of the media are saying that a good showing for Fred would be a close third. So exceeding expectations would be second. The campaign is not going to go out of its way to raise expectations, but I think they are shooting for with this announcement as well as the mailing that was announced a couple of days ago is a first place finish.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fred's on Huck's Ignorance

I'm not calling Huck stupid. I'm calling him ignorant--"destitute of knowledge or education" according to Miriam Webster. Huck claimed that he was unaware of the National Intelligence Estimate about 36 hours after it had been released to the public and it had been all over the news for the better part of that time. Fred issued a criticism of Huck:
“Not only is Iran the major long-term threat to our country, the nuclear program is the most important part of the Iran consideration. For a presidential candidate not to know that and not to keep up with that is very surprising,” said Thompson.

“These are the kinds of things I’ve been talking about all of my life. Now, if the American people have other priorities, if they want someone who smiles a lot more than I do, or someone who is a better quipster than I am, who has no experience in these areas, that’s for the American people to decide.”
I personally find it inexcusable for Huck to not be aware of current events. His lack of understanding of foreign affairs should really disqualify him for the job whose primary responsibility is protecting the American people from foreign threats.

Thoughts on Recent Polls

The most recent Rassmussen polls have put Huck in first place nationally at about 20% with Rudy sinking into second at about 18%. Fred, Mitt and McCain are all essentially tied at 11-12%. By the way, that is only about 75%--there is a lot of undecided out there.

First, this is the lowest that Rudy has been since the tracking polls started at the beginning of October. This is good. People have turned from the "only Rudy is electable", which has really been his only real claim to why Republicans should vote for him. Recent polls showing all of the top teer Republicans polling ahead of Hillary was actually bad news for Rudy.

Second, this is the highest that Huck has ever been and he has only been going up since coming into the "first teer". This means that it is time for Huck to have his pulling down. The difference is that it seems that it has to be the candidates that do this pull-down. The media seems only somewhat interested in participating even though they have been quite active about pulling down Fred, McCain and to a lesser degree Mitt. In other words, the media has been rooting for "moderates" (aka more liberal).

It is not a question of whether or not Huck gets pulled down, but rather when. And when he does get pulled down, where does the support go? Mitt has positioned himself to try to catch the religious vote. Fred is pressing on the fiscal and generally conservative vote. I do not think that the support that is currently going from Rudy to Huck will return to Rudy. When you leave someone, why would you go back to that person? I think that Mitt has been so visible and known at least to the early state folk that if people were going to move to him, they would have done so already. So I think Fred has a good opportunity to pick up on Huck's support WHEN those people learn the silliness of his positions.

New Mailer From Fred

It is directed at Huck and will be mailed in Iowa. It is certainly hard hitting. The outside is the following picture connecting Huckabee and Bill Clinton. Some may think this is over the top, but I don't think the comparison is out of bounds. The part that may be closer to out of bounds is the statement, "Why is Mike Huckabee attacking Fred Thompson?" I'm not around in Iowa, so more may be going on there, but I haven't really seen Huck doing much attacking, unless you assign the push polling to Huck.

The inside of the mailer lays out Hucks taxing history. I like the line, "Mike Huckabee talks like a Republican but taxes like a Democrat". As I have detailed in this blog, I believe that this is a very valid criticism. The mailer goes on to lay out Fred's economic plan.

I think this will be quite effective IF the recipients believe that Huck has actually attacked Fred.