Thursday, August 30, 2007

Campaign Themes

I have been wondering what Fred's main themes will be for the campaign. He has said that he is running for a reason--the themes will tell us what those reasons are. The Atlantic Monthly is reporting that the themes are going to be: Security, Unity, and Prosperity. I like that as a campaign slogan. Among other reason it leaves him room to talk about many different things. Illegal Immigration; Iraq; Iran; Taxes; Spending. Unity was a theme that came up in his speech here in Indy last weekend. I will be interested to see how he flushes that idea out.

How About Thursday

ABC is reporting that it will be Thursday and not Tuesday when FDT announces. Fred supposedly had a conference call this afternoon with many key sponsors.

I am interested to see how many jump on the bandwagon next weekend. I am guessing that a large number of elected officials will immediately announce support for Fred. He will certainly get a boost in publicity--and maybe it will be positive rather than the junk that has come out throughout August.

UPDATE; Here is the Atlantic Monthly report that includes FDT's itenerary for the first few days.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tuesday It Is

Redstate is reporting that the date for Fred's announcement is one week from today--September 4th. This seems consistent with the various rumors over the last two or three weeks.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Personnel Move

It has been announced that FDT's communication director is leaving. The first article that I read was by the AP which made it sound like a defection. But a better analysis of the announcement, as written by the Sayanything blog shows that it is really a move for someone of more experience.

This is largely the reason for the delay in FDT's announcement--he is trying to get the right staff in place before the engage in the actual campaign.

Fred In Indy - Videos

The good folk over at Hoosier Access were at the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference this last weekend and have posted video of Fred's speech at the conference. Here is the link.

A comment made by the members of Hoosier Access was that Fred was "quite somber". Listening to the speech, it sounds like he has a somber, and realistic, message.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Guns, 2nd Amendment and Federalism

Fred has posted an article talking about how New York is trying to impose its idea of gun control to other states through legal action. He points out that this is part of what Federalism was designed to deal with--not only keeping the Feds out of the State's business, but also to keep the States out of each other's business.

By the way, this is also the first dig that I have seen Fred do on another candidate (or two): "the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers" and "Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers." Another sign that the end of the beginning is coming.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fred In Indy

As a reminder, Fred will be in Indianapolis this Saturday as part of the Midwest Republican Leadership Conference. Attend if you can!

FDT's Iowa Comments

About 15 minutes of comments from the Iowa State Fair were posted on YouTube recently.

Boston Herald Editorial

Star Parker has an editorial in the Boston Herald today that goes against the grain a bit saying that Thompson's entry into the Presidential fray will be "right on cue". Star's editorial points to people being frustrated with the early start to the political season. He also points to Broder interview that I mentioned in a previous post indicating that Fred will be very bold in how he comes out. Star references the Ali "rope-a-dope" fight against Foreman where Ali waited for the Foreman to wear himself out.

This is a refreshing breath of fresh air out of a newspaper that has been one of the ones leading the charge to try to discredit FDT.

CNN Interview

FDT was interviewed by John King of CNN on August 17th (Friday) in Iowa. They covered Roe v Wade, Gay Marriage, Iraq, coming into the race "late" and his work ethic. There is video of the interview which is quite good--actually typical Fred fare.

Interestingly Sean at the Save the GOP site interprets this as Fred supporting removing the full faith and credit clause for same sex marriages. Others have interpreted it as support for a Federal amendment banning gay marriages.

UPDATE: The reason that Saving the GOP interpreted Fred's comments as they did is that his staff verified that it was the correct interpretation. This makes a lot of sense and it compatible with his other Federalist positions.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No New Taxes?

The New York Post is reporting that while campaigning in Iowa that Fred "refused repeated requests yesterday to rule out raising taxes." They followed that statement with a refrain that FDT has said several times in the past:
"We are in the process of gradually bankrupting future generations in this country," Thompson said of Social Security and other entitlement programs that will plunge the federal government deeply into debt over the next decade.
The implication is that since Fred sees some programs bankrupting the budget and that he will not "rule out" raising taxes that he intends on pursuing a policy of raising taxes to pay for these programs.

The problem is that this concept is inconsistent with the other things that Fred has said. Fred has written at least twice regarding the Bush tax cuts. The first was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and the second was on the ABC opinion site that Fred started posting on. In both he was strongly in favor of the Bush tax cuts and the economic boom that they have created. He has also indicated to the Fair Tax folk that he wants to address the issue of tax reform.

Here is my take: First, FDT is not for making government larger. Second, he is not for higher taxes. Third, he is for fixing our tax system. By the way, in order to fix the tax system, it will REQUIRE raising some tax while another is lowered. If you look at any of the Fair tax proposals, they include raising sales taxes in order to lower or eliminate income taxes. If he were to promise not to raise taxes and then implement some reform, the "promise" would then come back to haunt him in the future.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Border Security

FDT has an article on the current state of our border security. It seems that we implemented an initiative to increase border security guards by 6,000 last year by using members of the National Guard. As part of that plan, we are about to reduce that number by 3,000. They were supposed to be replaced with new U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, but the recruiting has not be enough to do it. FDT suggests keeping the National Guard there until the replacements have been hired and trained.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why is Fred Running?

David Broder in the Washington Post has written an op-ed about Fred and the risks that he is willing to take in the upcoming election.

FDT has indicated that he is running for a reason and not just to have the office. I have assumed that he would let us know as he begins his formal campaign. I have also assumed that his reasons revolve somewhat around "federalism" since that has been a consistent theme in his writings over the last three months. With this interview with Broder, I think we begin to get a picture over those reasons. Here are a few quotes:
In a two-hour conversation over coffee at a restaurant near his Virginia headquarters, the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future.


The approach Thompson says he's contemplating is one that will step on many sensitive political toes. When he says "we're getting a free ride" fighting a necessary war in Iraq with an undersized military establishment, "wearing out our people and equipment," it sounds like a criticism of the president and the Pentagon.

When he says he would have opposed adding the prescription drug benefit to Medicare, "a $17 trillion add-on to a program that's going bankrupt," he is fighting the bipartisan judgment of the last Congress.

When he says the FBI is perhaps incapable of morphing itself into the smart domestic security agency the country needs, he is attacking another sacred cow.


"Nobody in Congress or on either side in the presidential race wants to deal with it," Thompson said. "So we just rock along and try to maintain the status quo. Republicans say keep the tax cuts; Democrats say keep the entitlements. And we become a less unified country in the process, with a tax code that has become an unholy mess, and all we do is tinker around the edges."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fair Tax?

FDT has written a letter to the Fair Tax folk indicating that "fundamental overhaul of the tax code" should be a FDT priority in the Presidency. He considers the Fair Tax a good place to start the discussion, but it seems clear that he does not think that the Fair Tax proposal is the final conclusion of the matter.

Earmark Reform

FDT has written an article on the Democratic earmark reform bill and how it is a failed piece of legislation. He starts with the rhetoric by the Democrats in the 2006 election cycle and then discusses some of the examples of failures in the resulting bill.

He seems to come down on the Pence side of things not necessarily wanting to get rid of earmarks, but rather to make sure that they are transparent as to who is putting them into the legislation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

FDT Praises TX FredHeads

Fred posted a compliment for the Texas Fred Heads who traveled to the Iowa Straw Poll.

Rove to the Rescue!

According to Radar Online the Thompson campaign is in trouble and Karl Rove will be signing on to run the campaign and save it!

Great imagination there (on several fronts).

In another inane article is in the Washington (com)Post saying that FDT's problem is his name--"Fred". I guess they are doing all they can to bring a good name to journalism.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Immigration and Sanctuary

FDT has written another piece on immigration. He details an incident from Newark, NJ where some college students were apparently killed by an illegal alien. He then connected the dots that Newark is considered a "sanctuary" city that does not cooperate with the Feds regarding reporting illegals.

Fred considers this a place that the Federal government must get to work on controlling the illegal alien situation. To which I say, "Amen".

Friday, August 10, 2007

FDT on the Gas Tax

FDT has just posted an article on his web site talking about the call for a $.05 per gallon gas tax to pay for bridge repairs. FDT's answer is very consistent with his pre-campaign message of "federalism". His contention is that the Fed's have micromanaged what the tax dollars get spent on and therefore redirect the funds from important projects, like bridges. Fred wants the strings cut and to allow the states to determine what projects are the priorities.

My only difference of opinion here is that the Feds need to make sure that they are not funding non-interstate road projects. In my opinion the Feds have no role in state roads.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

FDT on the Economy

FDT has a new article talking about the great economy that we are experiencing. I have heard him say a lot of this before, but it is a well-done article. Since the media does such a poor job talking about the economy, I guess it is up to conservatives to talk about it. I seem to remember the number of jobs created being a big issue is the 2004 election. It has disappeared from the discussion now that 8.2 Million jobs have been created....

Monday, August 6, 2007

New FDT Site

Fred has updated his website.

FDT on Jeri

The Natinoal Review put out an article quoting FDT regarding various criticisms directed at his wife, Jeri. Basically Fred says that she was doing what he asked her to and she was looking out for his best interest. Therefore any criticisms should be directed at him.

Hot Air doesn't understand why he would say any of this since the only item "proven" was after Collamore resigned. Of course, Hot Air is passing on the other criticisms of Jeri's involvement in the campaign (I'm not saying negative, but there has definitely been criticism).

So why did Fred do it? How about taking responsibility for his campaign both good and bad. That, my friends at Hot Air, is what is called leadership.

2006 Analysis And Conservatives

I have been reading an analysis article published in Washington Monthly regarding the 2006 elections. The sub-title is "Republicans are drawing all the wrong lessons from their midterm loss." The conservatives have interpreted the results of the 2006 election that they forgot who they were--specifically on spending and ethics--and the Democrats won because of that. The Democrats and media (including Zachary Ross of this article) interpret this to mean that the Republicans think that they need to become more conservative. Ross gives one piece of data to back up this idea:
Conservative voters largely remained loyal to the party: self-identified Republicans shifted only 1 point toward the Democrats, and declined as a percentage of the electorate by only 2 points. What doomed the GOP was that it lost independent voters by 18 points—a 15-point swing from 2004. In other words, the GOP lost because it alienated moderates. Pushing more cuts to Medicaid or farm subsidies would hardly have helped.

He continues:
On the two issues that voters most cared about, according to exit polls—Iraq and corruption—Republicans have made few concessions to the country’s desire for change. Even more remarkably, on the underlying issue of the proper size and role of the federal government, they’ve reacted by choosing, consciously and deliberately, to double-down on the brand of small-government ideological purity that once energized their movement but has lately led to its decline.

In a mind-blowing interpretation of history, Ross believes that the Democrats have changed their positions since the 1930's and have done amazing things!
During the 1980s and ’90s, prompted by a series of electoral defeats, Democrats eventually came to acknowledge that the era of their supremacy, which had begun in the 1930s with FDR’s New Deal, was over. Gradually, an increasing number of voices in the party began to challenge some of the basic precepts that Democrats had long held as close to sacrosanct but whose value for addressing the major political and policy questions of the day had declined: that government programs by definition help the poor; that crime can’t be brought under control without first addressing its root causes; and that overseas military interventions are bound to end, like Vietnam, in a bloody quagmire. This journey was long and often painful, but it turned out to be crucial to Democrats’ ability to win back the trust of voters and govern effectively. Without it, the party probably couldn’t have balanced the budget, reformed welfare, or liberated Kosovo.

Now, to understand this we have to believe that Democrats now believe that fewer programs are good, that they once believed in crime prevention by stronger enforcement, and that they are for extending our military power overseas. THEN we have to believe that the Democrats balanced the budget, reformed welfare and liberated Kosovo in a clear and easy method. Wow, talk about revisionist history and clouded judgment.

He then spills a lot of ink over the idea that the Iraq War being the primary problem in the 2006 election. I think he is way off base here, and will show that shortly. He then turns to corruption and arguing that the conservatives believe that the cause of the corruption was tied to losing the small government message. I haven't heard anyone make that connection. They treat them as two different messages, both of which are important.

Here is a link to a study done just prior to the 2006 election in many of the highly contentious races including several here in Indiana. Here are a couple of the results:

Which pary is doing a better job at reducing wasteful spending in Washington?

24.6% Republicans
39.1% Democrats
30.3% No Difference
6.00% Don't Know/Refused

Which party is the party of Big Government?

39.3% Republicans
27.9% Democrats
16.3% Both
9.3% Neither (?)
7.4% Don't Know/Refused

But later in the survey, the questions were asked what the subject's opinions were on tax policy and the results were overwealmingly (about 60% to 24%) in favor of extending all of the Republican passed tax cuts.

The races involved included 9 seats that were lost to Democrats and 6 seats that were held by the Republicans.

In short, the survey shows that: First, the population, at least in these districts, is largely conservative in economic philosophy. Second, the Republicans were perceived in these districts as being for large government and less effective at dealing with reducing wasteful spending. In other words, they are less fiscally conservative than their Democratic opponents.

The conclusion of the Washington Monthly article includes the following gem:
But the GOP’s renewed zeal for cutting government won’t help the country either. A philosophy that believes only in the power of the private sector simply can’t offer serious solutions to the major domestic problems—health care costs, growing inequality, economic insecurity caused by global trade, even the coarsening of the culture—that Americans will look to Washington to address over the next few years, and that will all require a strong role for the federal government.

This is why we need Fred. We need someone who will be able to communicate the idea that Conservatism (Federalism, in particular) WILL solve these problems! The market actually works! The government is usually inept, not because the Republicans are running it, but because that is its nature!

Fred Up in Alabama

A poll from the Capital Survey Research Center Poll has been released showing FDT up 34-20 over Guiliani. FDT seems to be pulling equally from Guiliani, McCain and Newt.

American Research Group has FDT up by 5 points.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Is Jeri a Trophy Wife?

Robert Novak has a column talking about the "controversy" regarding Jeri and her role in FDT's campaign. Of course we started a couple of weeks ago with Juan Williams calling Jeri a trophy wife on Fox News. That generated a lot of press. Then with the shakeups in the Thompson campaign last week it had been alleged that Jeri was behind the "firings".

Novak talks about Fred's handling of the situation at his Washington fund raiser (introducing "my campaign manager -- oh, I mean my wife.") as well as showing that Jeri is not a trophy wife and that she is a capable and experienced political operative. His conclusion is:
The spectacle of Thompson's Republican adversaries demeaning his wife in conversations with journalists suggests how seriously they regard his prospective candidacy. He starts his campaign in the top tier of candidates and is already the candidate of the South and the favorite of social conservatives. His test is how he will do after Labor Day when his candidacy's phantom stage is over. Jeri Thompson will be at his side as an asset, not a liability.