Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Familiar Voice

Here is an ad for the NRCC and NRSC (and in a small way for McCain) with a familiar voice.

By the way, this is supposedly the first of a series of videos "on a tight theme" that will all be narrated by Fred.

Don't you miss the GOP being this positive?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fred to Publish Book

Fred appeared on Fox and Friends a few days ago. He talked about various topics, but the one that interested me is that he is in negotiations on a book deal. There is a book that I will buy.

Fred on Gay Marriage

Fred has posted a blog entry over at Townhall regarding the recent California State Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Fred asserts that this decision is one in a chain of "judicial lawmaking" decisions on this particular issue and represents poor work on the part of these justices.

But true to his campaign, he rejects calls for a Federal amendment to deal with this issue--his preference is for this to be handled at the State level, as Federalism requires.

His real call here is for the appointment of more justices that will interpret law rather than legislate:
So, more power to the people of California in their uphill battle for an amendment to their state constitution. But the real, long-term solution in the future for supporters of the rule of law is ensuring the selection and election of good judges, judges who know their role in a constitutional republic, in the first place, and holding them – and the politicians who appoint and confirm them – accountable.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yes! He's Really Back!

This is what we have been waiting for. Fred has made a couple of appearances since dropping out of the campaign--a couple of analysis interviews and a couple of "support McCain" interviews. Well today he has become what should be a regular column over at and on the Townhall blog. The first installment includes a restatement of his definition of conservatism and a nice whack on Obama.
change – whether it “real change,” “bold change” or the “change we can believe in” variety others are selling – isn’t itself an innovative policy or a particularly strong leadership stance. In fact, from Burke to Buckley, there has been an acknowledgement that change in the political arena is inevitable and necessary, and we in the U.S. tend to experience it in regular, 2, 4 and 6 year intervals, so 2008 is hardly our first rodeo.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Frustration at the Poll

Write-ins were not allowed for the Republican Primary yesterday in Indiana, so I was unable to make the vote that I had been planning for several months. I am not happy with that, but them are the rules.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fred on Glenn and Helen Show

Fred had an interview on Pajamas Media's Glenn and Helen show. You can listen to the interview here. Fred was expressing his support of McCain and specifically talking about his role in nominating justices. He also took himself out of the running for AG.

By the way. Tomorrow is the Indiana Primary. I will be writing in Fred.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fred on Hannity

Fred was on the Hannity and Colmes show last night. I don't have video of that, but the transcript is at RealClearPolitics. The part that has made news is his adamant statement that he would not accept the VP slot. I don't know why this makes news--he has been consistent on that all along. But Fred made the case for McCain, which should be of interest to FredHeads.
HANNITY: What do you say to conservatives that were supporting you because they deemed you as more conservative that maybe had some issues with Senator McCain?

THOMPSON: I would say to my friends that, on all of the issues that are most important to this country and to our future, and to the future generations, John McCain is solid on. Certainly national security, with regard to the tax issues, with regard to trade policy, which is an important part of our prosperity also, all those things he's been strong on for a long time.

He is one of the few people in the United States Congress, if not the only one, who over a period of several years, who stood strong on pork barrel spending and wasteful government spending and so forth, you know.

And one of the things that we're going to need in a leader going forward in this country, and one of the things we're going to need to get somebody elected president on the Republican ticket in these times that are very difficult for Republicans, is someone with credibility.

John's solid. I don't agree with him on everything. I didn't during the campaign. But on the fundamental core issues, he is rock solid. And he's honest. And he does what he thinks is right.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fred Lives!

There are a couple of news tidbits about Fred and his continued influence.

First, he apparently met with McCain a little over a week ago. According to OneNowNews on April 12th:
Bauer believes a John McCain-Fred Thompson GOP ticket would be a dynamic duo. He says McCain and Thompson's meeting over the weekend has only fueled speculation about whether the former Tennessee senator is on McCain's short list of possible vice-presidential running mates. Bauer, who supported Thompson in his short-lived presidential bid, says he is not sure the Law & Order star wants to get back into the political arena again.
I am not sure that a VP role should be in Fred's future. I could see Fred in a cabinet post (AG or something like that). I just don't know what Fred is thinking about the future.

The second item is McCain's economic plans as announced yesterday. A corporate tax rate drop; increasing the child tax exemption; make permanent the R&D tax credit; internet tax ban; one year freeze in discretionary spending; and the news maker stopping the gas tax through the summer. But The American Mind reports that there is another, less mentioned aspect of McCain plan:
The most surprising element of McCain’s plan is an optional simplified tax system. It would have “two tax rates and a generous standard deduction.”
Sound familiar? It should if you are a FredHead. That is Fred's proposal. Since McCain has admitted that he isn't strong on the economy, maybe he's taking notes from someone who is.

One side note. While I think the gas tax elimination for a period is good populist politics, it will not likely help with the price of gas. It will help a little, but not as much as the federal gas tax. Prices of the base product will increase to fill the void. The price being paid (including taxes) is a market price that controls our consumption to avoid shortages of gasoline. Good ole supply and demand. The other benefit of the tax cut is that it will starve the government of a bit more of our money.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fred at CTIA 2008

Here are a couple of video clips of Fred at the CTIA conference a few days ago.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Public Appearance

Fred has made his first public appearance since dropping out of the Presidential race several weeks ago. He appeared at the CTIA Wireless Conference on Thursday April 3rd.

Here are a couple of quotes:
Thompson said that as a democratic nation, we get the political process that we deserve. "It is our process. It is what we have concocted for better or worse as a people, and we can change it and we can improve it."
Thompson said a candidate could be getting off a bus, and suddenly meet a throng of reporters asking questions about something that happened on the other side of the globe. "From a candidate's standpoint, you can't get away from anything anymore," he said. "You're expected to know everything as it happens."

Also, because of today's 24-hour news cycle, the media has to find some issue to fill time, and often creates controversy, the ex-candidates said. "There's nothing more dangerous than a television personality with dead air time that he has to fill up," Thompson said. "Controversy is the name of the game, and sometimes it's generated when it's not really there."
And about the potential of a VP slot:
Thompson said the question doesn't matter, unless it's asked by "the only person that counts." In the meantime, "I need to go back to making a living," he said jokingly.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Fred Getting Chummy With Edwards

Not really. But they do have the same standing in the current Presidential race and will share a stage this week. Fred (and Edwards) will be appearing this Thursday (April 3rd) at a wireless industry trade show (The CTIA Wireless 2008). I presume they have been asked to talk about this upcoming election. This, as far as I know, will be Fred's first public appearance since dropping out of the Republican contest.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I don't know if this is good news or bad news. Fred has signed with a Hollywood agency indicating a return to acting. I have been hoping that Fred would turn to producing material (books, radio, or video) laying out a philosophical basis for conservatism. I am not sure what this indicates about what he will be working on.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fred to Appear Again!

Sorry for no posts here in a while. While there has been a lot of news regarding the Presidential race, there has been little or no information about what Fred is up to.

Until today.

Fred will be appearing at the National Association of Manufacturers in a panel with John Edwards and moderated by Tony Snow! How about that for a group. The only problem is that it appears to be in Erie, PA in June. The topic of the discussion is "an insiders view of the race for the White House."

If you had not noticed, has been taken down. Very sad. I am still looking for what Fred intends to do in the near future.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Why Did We Get McCain

Charles Krauthammer has written an analysis of why McCain is winning the nomination. The charge is that there was no compelling conservative that ran:
There would have been a far smaller Republican constituency for the apostate sheriff had there been a compelling conservative to challenge him. But there never was.

The first messianic sighting was Fred Thompson, who soared in the early polls, then faded because he was too diffident and/or normal to embrace with any enthusiasm the indignities of the modern campaign.

Then, for that brief and shining Iowa moment, there was Huckabee -- until conservatives actually looked at his record (on taxes, for example) as governor of Arkansas, and listened to the music of his often unconservative populism.

That left Romney, the final stop in the search for the compelling conservative. I found him to be a fine candidate who would have made a fine president. But until very recently, he was shunned by most conservatives for ideological inauthenticity. Then, as the post-Florida McCain panic grew, conservatives tried to embrace Romney, but the gesture was both too late and as improvised and convenient-looking as Romney's own many conversions.
This seems to be a solid analysis. Krauthammer then turns to WHY there is no "next" Reagan:
But there's an even more profound reason why no Reagan showed up this election cycle and why the apostate sheriff is going to win the nomination. The reason is George W. Bush. He redefined conservatism with a "compassionate" variant that is a distinct departure from classic Reaganism.
Krauthammer then lists several ways that Bush has sold conservatism down the river. And he is right. I have no doubt that Bush has done a great amount of damage to the Republican Party and to a degree the conservative movement.

But while Bush is somewhat culpable for the breakdown of conservatism, the conservative movement itself is responsible as well. We have assumed that there would be a continual stream of leadership on the national level that would keep the movement going along. We have forgotten that each of us must be involved with the political process helping to infuse conservatism at all levels of government. Let us all begin now to build the conservative movement for the future.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fred Reportedly Endorses McCain

According to the The Trail at the Washington Post, Fred has issued a statement endorsing McCain.
"This is no longer about past preferences or differences. It is about what is best for our country and for me that means that Republican should close ranks behind John McCain," Thompson said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.
National Journal reports that McCain has already mentioned Fred's support:
"I also spoke again yesterday to my friend Fred Thompson who assured me he is ready to do whatever it takes to help me win the election in November," McCain said. "I'm very proud to have the friendship and support of Fred Thompson as well."
I have never put much into endorsements. First, if not expected this is certainly not a surprise to anyone. They have been friends for a long time and Fred was a national co-chair of McCain's 2000 campaign. Second, many who supported Fred will have nothing to do with McCain regardless of Fred's endorsement. For many, it causes them to scratch their heads.

What it means to me is that Fred is acting for the unity of the party first. But note that Fred did not endorse until Mitt had dropped out of the race and the nomination was more or less settled. This is also the first public statement that Fred has made since he dropped out of the race, though it was apparently a press release and not a personal statement.

What to Do About McCain?

Well, it looks like we have settled on a nominee. Well, there is still Huckabee and Paul, but we have pretty much settled the issue.

Not my choice, but things could be worse. The question is: what will happen now? Will Republicans put aside their reservations about McCain and present a united front? It appears that the other Republican candidates are ready to do that. But will the rest of us do the same?

I will personally vote for McCain in the general election. With all of his failures, he would still do a far better job than Obama or Hillary. I also do not feel that losing the Presidency will do anything for reinvigorating the conservative cause. Conversely, winning will not hinder the cause.

But this election is a call to action for conservatives. It is time to be the source of influence within the Republican party beginning at the local party level.

I'm still waiting for Fred to indicate what direction he is going to go.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Romney (mostly) Out

Romney is suspending his campaign (not ending it). He has announced this at CPAC. I heard parts of the speech and he showed a lot of grace in stepping aside.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thoughts on Romney

The results of West Virginia begin to show why Mitt is running a doomed candidacy. In the first round of voting, Mitt has the largest number of supporters (41% to Huckabee's 33%). Since neither candidate reached 50%, the lowest vote getter (Ron Paul) was removed from the ballot. But McCain's campaign astutely released his delegates and encouraged them to vote for Huckabee. The second round came to 51% for Huckabee and 47% for Mitt (only 12 votes--1% stayed with McCain).

Votes do not go from other candidates to Mitt. I don't think I know exactly why--his money and his attitude, I guess.

But what that means is that as other candidates drop out of the race, Mitt is not helped. That just let votes go to McCain and Huck.

It's All Over But The Shouting

Well Super Tuesday did not guarantee that we would not have a brokered convention, but it did guarantee the result of the Republican nomination. According to CNN's count, McCain has 615 delegates of the 1,191 needed to win the nomination. About half of the delegates have been elected, so McCain is better than half-way there and has momentum.

Even if he does not manage to make it all the way, it has become clear that Huckabee and McCain are willing to work together. The prospect of a McCain/Huckabee ticket is a distinct possibility.

I am not going to argue that this is an "unelectable" ticket--on the contrary, I think it is a very electable ticket. On the other hand, this is quite dangerous for the Republican Party.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Re-Draft Fred?

There is apparently a letter floating about indicating that a movement is afloat to re-draft Fred to get back into the election process. First, I doubt that Fred would do it. Second, the only situation that it would make sense if if he does well in Tennessee today AND the end results of today is a hopelessly brokered situation.

If you want to talk about an "unconventional campaign"--that would be it!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Write-in Fred Movement

There is a web site collecting commitments from voters who are planning on writing in Fred for their primary. Take a look at

The Laffer Curve

Here is a video produced by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explaining the Laffer curve that says that increases in tax rates do not always produce more revenue and neither do decreases in tax rates. This is very well explained.

More to come...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lessons From Fred08

Michael Turk, the web architect for (the Fred Thompson campaign web site) has written an article for talking about some of the things that went right in the Thompson campaign. This is a fascinating read to understand a little of what happened with the campaign, but also how technology can play a significant role in a campaign.

He starts with a history of the web site. In that history, we find out a little about the general campaign. Specifically, they were originally scheduled to announce in July:
Described inappropriately as 2.0 by some creative types, the actual site was finished the week of July 9th. We had been asked to shoot for having the live site ready the first week of July (timed to be released with the announcement). The site was delayed by a week. The announcement was delayed by two months.
So they were planning on announcing in early July, as many speculated, but for some unexplained reason it did not happen. He also notes that the campaign turnover happened in late summer, just after the announcement was supposed to happen and the focus on the web site lessened with the new staff. He tells the history of the "Little Red Truck" which was used several times to help with fundraising efforts. It was ready to go on the original FredGiving day:
As we moved through November, we began to hear rumblings of Fredsgiving Day - a third party money bomb effort scheduled the day before Thanksgiving.

It was unclear whether the campaign would support the effort. There were concerns (voiced by many online) that the timing was off - nobody would pay attention the day before the holiday. In the event the campaign decided to jump in, we went ahead and built the little red truck to track contributions that day. It was never deployed.

It was late in December when the little red truck finally saw the sunlight. Over the next three weeks, that little red pickup helped the campaign raise 1.25 million dollars. Had it been unveiled sooner, who knows what might have happened.
Turk has a great section on "Lessons Learned" from the effort. Among the lessons learned were:

  • In the first and last days of the campaign, the Thompson Internet operation was second to none
  • Fred08 enabled a strong community through allowing comments on its blog. He notes the differences between Fred's site and other Republicans:
    Rudy's blog doesn't allow comments. Romney's gets a few per post. Ron Paul just recently launched a blog (despite the fact that blog software is largely free). He currently gets between a handful and a few dozen comments.

    I don't think this indicates a lack of supporter enthusiasm as much as it indicates that the campaigns have created a blog with nothing to say on sites that are so scrubbed of interesting content they're alsmost sterile. Most of the posts are rehashed press releases, rehashed campaign e-mails, or occasionally a video so overscripted it becomes almost completely unwatchable.
  • Campaign operations need to build online operations that invite people into the discussion rather than turning them off
  • If there is no time for the candidate to blog, use video of the candidate as they campaign. (Fred08 did this extensively during the heavy campaigning of Iowa and South Carolina).
  • The interview process for a Communications Director should include their understanding of internet networking--specifically blogs and banner ads

Missing Fred

From Save the GOP:

Yes, I'm missing Fred.

Is A Vote For Fred A Protest Vote

I came across an editorial from an Oklahoma newspaper telling Oklahomans not to vote for any candidate who is no longer in the campaign. For instance, Fred got 22,288 votes in the Florida primary on Tuesday when he had already pulled out of the campaign.

So is a vote for Fred a protest vote? How about a vote for any candidate who "doesn't have a chance" to win? Let me use Ron Paul as an example. If you have read much of my blog, you know that I have a lot of disdain for Paul--and a lot of his followers. Ron Paul does not have an iota of a chance of winning the Republican nomination. This has been the case since before the first vote was cast in Iowa. So is a vote for Ron Paul a protest vote, even though he is in the campaign?

Not necessarily. Search your motives as your primary election nears. If you want to vote for Fred to "send a message" to the party then you are casting a protest vote. If you want to vote for Fred because he is the only candidate that you can support for the Republican nomination then you are not protesting anything.

And if you think that Ron Paul would lead us in the right direction go ahead and vote for him. (But please start reading some things so that you can get over this guys weird ideas)

Cast away.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

4th Quarter Numbers

One hit on Fred was that he was not raising money. The numbers from the fourth quarter have been released by many of the candidates. Here is what we have:

Rudy: $14.2M / $12.8M on hand
McCain: $6.8M / $2.9M on hand
Fred: $8.9M / $2.1M on hand
Brownback: $0.1M / $5,324 on hand
Huck: $6.6M / $1.9M on hand

No data on Romney. Of these, Fred was no worse than any but Rudy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fred's Florida Results

As of 10:30pm tonight with 81% of precincts reporting, Fred received 1% of the Florida vote--over 21,000 votes.

Not bad for a candidate who is out of the race. I hope to see Fred do even better in Tennessee.

Monday, January 28, 2008

FredHeads for Mitt - Part 2

This is just great. This could just as easily have been made for any of the other candidates, but it completely captures the current sentiment of FredHeads.

The Desired Florida Outcome

As Tuesday's Florida primary looms near, I keep asking myself what I would like to see happen there. Now, my ultimate desire is still for Fred to get the Republican nomination in September. At this point, that can only happen with a brokered convention. In order for there to be a brokered convention, there need to be at least three viable candidates going forward. So, in my mind, the key to Fred's chances are that three candidates come out of Florida viable. I think the key is not who wins Florida, but rather how the third place candidate finishes.

The current RPC average are: McCain 29.3; Mitt 28.5; Rudy 15.9; Huck 13.4. I would like to see either Rudy or Huck jump a bit from there (maybe to 19 or 20%) to leave them with strength going into Super Tuesday.

I believe that Huck has the better upside potential of the two candidates.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thoughts on a Brokered Convention

FredHeads are still holding out hope for a brokered convention. I am becoming more convinced that such a situation will not happen. I still think that Fred would come out on top in a brokered convention. But to get there, I was anticipating Rudy winning Florida and the big states on Super Tuesday. That now looks unlikely. I think we are down to McCain and Mitt. A two person race will not result in a brokered convention.

I'd put my bets on Mitt.

But then again, I would have put my money on Fred up until South Carolina.

Fred's Role Going Forward

An outstanding article over at NewsMax by John Perry talking about what Fred can do outside of the Presidential campaign. John argues that Fred is now in a position to save the party. Read the whole thing, but here is the list of roles that he can see Fred serving:
# Become the Jiminy Cricket of the Republican Party, the voice of conservative conscience, clicking in the ear of its candidates.
Note: If a Republican Presidential candidate wants Fred as his VP, Fred must have the right to fill this role!
# Clearly define, as none of the others could, the cardinal principles for a resuscitated Republican Party.

# Translate those neglected values into language that makes common sense for today’s America.

# Take up the party’s winning formula where the Reagan coalition left off.

# Spell out a 2008 victory strategy founded on the reality that America is more center-right than it is center-left.

# Show independents and conservative Democrats — as well as traditional Republicans — how they have more in common than do far-left liberals, traditional Democrats and independents.

# Craft succinct, credible concept papers that illuminate conservative values.

# Offer then to thoughtful publications, where their themes can be plagiarized, for that is how the politics of seminal ideas work in this country.

# Utilize talk radio and Internet political sites to allocute those themes.

# Stay the hell away from screeching-match interviews, for most television media have forfeited their credibility and, therefore, their effectiveness.
I am almost as excited to see what role Fred sees for himself as I was about him being President.

Still Vote For Fred?

A question that is starting to show up on various Fred blogs is, "Should I still vote for Fred if he is on the primary ballot in my state?"

I cast a protest vote in 1992. Many remember that President George H.W. Bush had been only a fair President. He was incredibly popular at the end of the first Gulf War because it had been so quick and relatively bloodless. But his domestic policies were not quite as effective. Most importantly to me, he had made the promise of "Read my lips. No. New. Taxes." I read. But he didn't. And he signed a tax increase bill.

Even though I thought that Bush should be renominated and reelected to the Presidency, I wanted to protest and show him that I wanted more conservatism out of my President.

After that November, I regretted that vote because I thought there were many, like me, who were casting protest votes and it weakened President Bush going into the general election.

Is a vote for Fred in 2008 a protest vote? I don't think so. In 1992, I still wanted Bush to be President. I just wanted him to be more conservative. In 2008, I want Fred to be President. Even if he has no chance of winning, I still want him to win.

I believe that you vote for the candidate that you agree with most.

So my answer to the question raised at the beginning of this article is "Yes. Vote for Fred."

But Fred will not be on my ballot. I will go a step further and write in Fred Thompson.

I'm still a FredHead.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

FredHeads for Mitt?

Mitt clearly would like to see Fred's supporters go to him. He is even courting them. I'm not sure if this will draw many FredHeads, but I at least feel appreciated.

Banners here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So what happened and what can we learn for the future.

First, there is a difference between becoming an official candidate very late and putting together the campaign machinery late. I wasn't the fact that Fred declared his candidacy in September, it was the fact that he was too late putting together his support structure in states like Iowa and South Carolina.

This is not a hit on Fred. He decided to start when he did. But since this year had SO many legitimate candidates, many of the workers had already declared their support for candidates before Fred came around and the honorable ones would not jump ship in mid-stream.

Lesson: it is necessary to develop your activist network two years or more before the election.

Second, the media matters. Fred was never able to leverage the media to help his campaign. He got more coverage when he left the race than he did while he was in the race. I do not have an adequate answer as to why Fred failed here. To a degree it is because of his conservatism, but that is only part of the problem. Fred refused to court the media, which in the end failed him. The "lazy" mantra continued throughout his campaign even though it made no sense. Why? I don't think Fred ever adequately fought the story--he said it was wrong, but he did not visibly prove it false. The last 6 weeks of the campaign should have ended it, but the idea was permanently out there.

McCain is far more favorably covered. Part of the reason is his ideology, but part of the reason is that he is very open to the press. He talks with them a lot in casual conversation and gives them a lot of access.

Lesson: a comprehensive approach to handling the media must be an integral part of the campaign

Third, I don't believe that the voters have rejected conservatism. I don't believe that voters have to be pandered to. Much of the rejection of Fred was that they did not believe that he could win. I heard several accounts in the media and on web sites where people said they agreed with his positions the most, but they didn't think he could win, so they are voting for one of the other candidates.

I personally think this is a stupid way to vote in a primary. But it certainly is a common theme. This largely falls back to the point on the media. One task is to convince the people that he IS electable. Another task is to convince people to vote for the right person regardless of electability.

So why does any of this matter? When will it matter?

Much will be told in this election. It is a given that the Republicans will not be putting forward a principled conservative. The closest left in the race is Mitt, but he is a pragmatic conservative, not principled. We do have one liberal in the race--Huckabee.

If the Democrats win the election, the next opportunity to recapture the direction of the party will be 2012. If Huckabee wins the Presidency, we will also have an opportunity in 2012. If any of the other Republicans win the Presidency, the next opportunity will be in 2016.

Fred could make another run in 2012. I think a second run would be much different as he could have a very significant ground support that he did not have this time around.

In either 2012 or 2016, Mike Pence is my early choice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pajamas Media Analysis

Patrick Cox at Pajamas Media was the first employee for Fred's campaign. He has written a very nice article detailing the problems in the FDT campaign and what the future may hold. Here is the bottom line:
Moreover, his constitutional and moral bone fides are better known and admired by those who matter than ever before. Personally, I’m hoping that he does not accept one of the political appointments, which he shall surely be offered. Ultimately, the reason that his ideas couldn’t overcome the advantages of organization is that ideas still do not count for as much as they should in the 21st century. Fred, however, is in a better position today to spread and explain those ideas than he ever has been; sort of a Newt Gingrich without the baggage.

His clout and connections in Hollywood put him in a unique and valuable position. If the good Senator chooses to do so, he can do for the entertainment business what Rupert Murdoch did for television news. Just as a monolithic leftist media bias opened a hugely profitable door for Murdoch to walk through, Fred Thompson can use the door created by a a leftist and exclusionary Hollywood. In the end, he may be able to use his increased respect and visibility to create a pro-freedom, pro-American studio that teaches the principles of the Enlightenment not just to Americans but to the world. If he does, he may actually accomplish more than a Thompson presidency could have.

Fred Ends Run

Fred issued a statement today declaring he is ending his run for the Presidency.
McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President:

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."
I am sad that this is the result of Fred's campaign, yet I believe this was probably the correct response from him.

I wish him well. I wish his mother well.

In the next day or two I will have my 'postmortem' on the campaign and what it means for conservatism and maybe a couple of potential future candidates.

Fred's Plans

I have no idea if this is accurate or not. We have certainly seen rumors about Fred that have turned out to be bunk. But this is consistent with who I know Fred to be.

Jim Geraghty at National Review's blog The Campaign Spot has posted an entry touting his "Thompson source" He said that Fred is still with his mother in the hospital, being a good son. I am wondering if her condition is quite serious. The source told Geraghty that Fred has not talked to any other campaign and is not planning to and is not planning to endorse any other candidate. The source also said that Fred is not interested in a VP or cabinet level slot. I believe that several weeks or months ago, Fred said the exact same thing. (Read: Rich Galen is probably not correct about what Fred is thinking.)

So what are Fred's thoughts about the future?
This source believes that the race has demonstrated that whatever happens from here on out, the GOP has to stand for consistent conservative policies across the board.

At one point, I asked this source if the attitude was, 'if you can't be Reagan, be Goldwater,' and the source responded, "exactly."
If Fred drops out, Fred would be far more influential in this role rather than a VP or Attorney General.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rush's Ideal Candidate

On Rush's show today, he was asked the basis on which he choose a candidate. This was his list of top five items:
Okay, top five right off the top of my head, not in any particular order: limited government. Get government out of people's way. Number two, belief in the system that it's people who make the country work, not government. Number three, don't give me a laundry list of policies without a philosophical underpinning that explains the policies. Number four, don't tell me that government is the agent of change and that you are going to lead the government. My brand of conservatism is based on individual entrepreneurism, rugged self-individualism, telling people that they're the ones who make the country work. I think this is born out by history and people respond to it. And then, fifth, after all of those things that I would define as conservative, which includes the belief that people can triumph over the obstacles in their lives, that they're not incompetent, they're not incapable, and they're not stupid, the fifth thing is, is there any leadership on any of this?
This still sounds like Fred to me.

An Open Letter to Fred

Dear Senator Thompson,

I write this in the letdown after the South Carolina primary. I know that you are disappointed as are all of the Fred Heads. I also know that you deciding whether or not to continue your push for the Republican nomination. I will not presume to give you advice except to say that I will support you until a nominee is decided.

I am a Fred Head. I have been writing a blog ( supporting your candidacy since June 18th, shortly after you announced your exploratory committee. In the last seven months I have posted over five hundred posts pointing to articles by and about you as well as simply supporting your positions.

I have been enthusiastic in my support of you. I talk about your positions. I defend you against the media bias against you. I have contributed what money I could to your campaign—my wife might argue that I contributed more money than I could.

Today, though, I want to encourage you. Through your campaign I have learned that our conservative principles must be espoused openly. They must be taught to my children, my friends, my co-workers and my acquaintances. I cannot assume that these principles are widely known and understood. They are not understood even among many self-described conservatives.

You have given me the language to discuss these conservative principles with others. Your interview with Charlie Rose was masterful in explaining the framework upon which conservative policies rest--our reliance on God’s design for man, human nature, history and all of these as they were put together into our founding documents.

I have read Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. Like so many others, it moved me and guided my conservative thought. But conservative principles must take shape in contemporary issues and you have been as effective as Goldwater in making those shapes clear.

If you have received your last vote for President, you have still had a profound influence. For that, I am thankful to God and to you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fred's Speech To SC Supporters

Here is the speech that Fred gave to his South Carolina supporters after the close of the polls on Saturday.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

South Carolina - Early Returns

It is 8:30. The South Carolina polls are closed and the returns are creeping in. So far, most of the returns are coming from the coast and the low country, which are not supposed to be good areas for Fred, but he is holding in third place.

It increasingly looks like Fred is not going to get the second or first place finish hoped for. But it isn't looking like a devastating fourth place finish either.

Fred has told us to "Stay Strong". The difficulty is going to be keeping the finances coming in to keep the campaign working. In my opinion, this probably makes it difficult for Fred to get the nomination by getting a majority of the delegates at the convention. But that does not mean that I think he should drop out.

Mitt won Nevada today. It is very likely that McCain will win South Carolina narrowly today. Rudy hasn't even started yet (Super Tuesday is his hope). As each contest goes on, the likelihood of a brokered convention increases. Fred will need as many delegates as possible at that convention to make sure that he has the power to have a strong say in the direction of the party.

I still think that if we get to a brokered convention that Fred has a great chance of coming out of it with the nomination.

Hopefully this is a sign of the day

From NRO
Four votes for Fred Thompson from a family of evangelicals, which is interesting because, when I spoke to these same folks two weeks ago, none of them were Thompson supporters. In fact, they were barely aware of his candidacy. One was a Giuliani supporter and the others were looking fondly upon Huckabee, but hadn't made a decision.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Great Rush Segment Today

Here is a great segment on today's Rush Limbaugh show. When I heard this this afternoon I literally stood and applauded. Great segment. No knock on Rush, but Fred's part of the segment was the best part.

51 Quotes on Fred

Josh Painter at RedState has compiled 51 quotes about Fred.

Read them and be convinced that THIS is the guy that you want!

A Selection of Push Poll Responses

Here are a few reactions to the push poll in SC from some various Fred supporters. Now, I think many of them are incorrect in that I don't think that Huck is directly responsible--and Huck has a bit of a point that McCain-Feingold limits what he can do. BUT, if he really wanted them off the air, he could make it happen. There are published lists of contributors, some of whom are on his own contributor list. A couple of calls should take care of it.

Americans for Tax Reform Duplicates Itself

I am getting the impression that the Americans for Tax Reform are just going to issue the same press release just before each primary. They have thrown a new date stamp on a press release and put out the same diatribe intended to scare South Carolina voters to believe that Fred will raise your taxes. They mention McCain, but then give the caveat that he has kept that pledge while in the Senate.

Why don't they cover Fred's record? Well I covered it here for you.

Don't let their scare tactics sway you. Fred is, in reality, the most anti-tax candidate in the race.

Lazy Like A Fox--The Swamp Fox

Jed Babbin of Human Events has written an article talking about Thompson's ability to unify the party. I'll summarize the first half of the article: Fred is conservative across the board--none of the others are. We need to be united and only an across the board conservative can do it (i.e. Fred).

The part I liked most was Jed's analysis of Fred's situation:
Fred Thompson is running an insurgent campaign in South Carolina. Having taken a pass in New Hampshire and Michigan, Thompson is operating without the media propulsion that benefit McCain, Romney and Huckabee. But South Carolina is historically friendly to insurgents: the most famous and successful American insurgent of all – General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox – was a South Carolinian.

Marion gained the trust of his neighbors and then in scores of towns and villages in South Carolina. He had to do it on horseback. Thompson is going by bus. Marion’s insurgency succeeded against great odds, eventually forcing the British to retreat northward. At least one of Thompson’s opponents has already abandoned the field.

Insurgent Francis Marion was a unifying force in the Revolutionary Deep South. Insurgent Fred Thompson may be one this fall if South Carolinians help him tomorrow.

The Huck Push Poll

Here is a video with audio of some of the pro-Huck push polling going on in South Carolina. Also included are a few facts....

The Lindsay Graham Effect

Lindsay Graham has endorsed McCain. The question is whether or not that will help McCain. Well, Graham has his own election issue--he has a primary challenger who has the following ad running:

Reports From the Front

Erick Erickson of RedState spent some time this week with Fred on the campaign trail and he has written this article at Human Events. I usually cut key paragraphs rather than quoting the whole article, but Erick has done such a great job, I am going to print the whole thing:
Traveling through snowy South Carolina with Fred Thompson, I’m struck by the sense that finally, the man has arrived. The candidate so many conservatives were excited by early in 2007 is finally walking the land.

The Fred Thompson in South Carolina this week is the one America saw knock into Mike Huckabee as a pro-life liberal with “blame America first” beliefs whose economic policies would destroy the economy. And the crowds love it.

Though barely mentioned in the national media, Senator Fred Thompson has been on a barn storming tour crisscrossing South Carolina for more than a week. In a unique approach, he is not just going to major media markets, but to rural areas of South Carolina. On my first day on the trail with Senator Thompson, he drew a crowd of 180 people to a small Mennonite restaurant in Abbeville, South Carolina — population 26,000 with a median income of $15,370. He capped off the day at the Orangeburg-Calhoun County Technical College in Orangeburg, South Carolina with over 200 people braving a rare snow shower to hear him. The day before I joined him on the campaign trail, Senator Thompson’s campaign saw large capacity auditoriums overflowing with people standing outside the buildings waiting to get in.

The crowds are enthusiastic and relieved. Finally, the Fred Thompson they hoped for is on the campaign trail. “Saying the Reagan Coalition is dead is like saying the Constitution is dead,” Thompson began one speech, taking on Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee. “The Reagan Coalition was never about the man. It was and is about the principles and values we apply to issues.” He continued, “The issues may change, but the principles do not.” The crowd roared its enthusiasm.

Later in the day, an elderly gentleman asked Senator Thompson about immigration. Senator Thompson responded, “Securing the border is popular for a lot of candidates to talk about these days. They’ve changed their positions. I embrace change, but some of these guys are wearing out the road to Damascus.” The crowd ate it up. Thompson pointed out that he, unlike the other candidates, has been consistently supportive of increased border security and consistently opposed to lax enforcement.

It’s refreshing to hear Senator Thompson. He is not the candidate the media likes. He gives good sound bites, but he is plodding, methodical, and issue oriented. Senator Thompson’s is not a personality driven campaign. It is about issues, issues, issues. And it is conservative to the core. On the campaign trail, it seems Thompson has never met an issue he was ready to solve based on what he perceives as real conservative principles. Chief among them is that if government gets involved, it will probably make the situation worse. There is no pandering. John McCain may give straight talk, but Thompson gives no bull.

Since Mitt Romney’s call for a government plan to save the automotive industry, Senator Thompson has been on a tear blasting him as the candidate who tailors his message to whichever group he is talking to. Taking on Mike Huckabee, Senator Thompson points out that he likes Mike Huckabee, but his policies and agenda are full of empty rhetoric and policies anathema to the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States. He points out that he and John McCain are friends, but he has “strong disagreements” with John McCain on issues such as immigration and taxes.

Polling in South Carolina shows Fred Thompson gaining momentum in the state. The campaign staff has noticed the crowds growing since Fred Thompson took on Mike Huckabee in the Fox News Debate. The message is clear -- Thompson is the real conservative in the race.

There is an opening for Thompson. Mitt Romney has written off South Carolina, ceding the field to John McCain. Mike Huckabee is losing ground as voters learn more about his liberal record. Conservative rallying has begun to impact John McCain. There is a palpable sense in the crowds and among South Carolina reporters that the momentum is with Fred Thompson. And so the campaign soldiers on.

In Orangeburg, South Carolina, Fred Thompson fired up the crowds with humor and substance. After a long day of talking, he coughed and took a sip of water. “Yeah, I’m choked up,” Thompson said, “but I’m not getting emotional.” The crowd roared. Then Thompson went into his hallmark campaign routine -- questions from the crowd. Every event ends that way.

An attendee asked Thompson what he would do about Israel and the Palestinians. While complementary of the President, Thompson said, “Every President has thought he could solve the problem on the force of his personality, but he can’t.” He continued, “There are a lot of things that are possible in that situation, but one non-negotiable — the right of Israel to exist.” More applause. Another attendee asked about immigration. “A nation that cannot control its borders ceases to be a sovereign nation,” Thompson responded. The crowd drowned him out with applause. Then Thompson does what so many of the other candidates fail to do. He talks specifics and policies, mixed with humor and the recognition that what he is doing is rather unique.

It is a unique campaign. Like John McCain, who was written off for dead last June, Fred Thompson has begun a comeback. He has come back as the candidate everyone wanted to get in the race. In the process, he is owning the crowd.

Fred: Principled Leader

Peter Robinson at National Review's blog "The Corner" has written an interesting blog regarding Mitt and Fred. Basically it starts with a discussion about Reagan and how he had to do some things that he didn't want to do, but his principles were always clear.

He then talks about Mitt:
The reason I find Romney so flawed is precisely that he is so utterly unlike Reagan in this critical regard. [i.e. everyone knew where he stood.]
People who know Romney well—people such as Dean Barnett, with whom, as it happens, I just had a cup of coffee—tell me that the true Romney, the inner Romney, really is a Reagan Republican. Maybe. But I’d sure like to be able to do more than take Dean’s word for it. (Not, come to think of it, that his knowledge of the inner Romney has enabled Dean himself to view Romney’s conduct with equanimity. As Dean wrote this very week in the New York Times, Romney has “mounted a campaign that was, at its most basic level, insincere.”)
He had pointed out Mitt's recent pandering in Michigan which is inconsistent with his supposed conservative fiscal stance. Now he finishes with Fred. Note, Robinson had quoted a New Hampshire source that critiqued Fred on not having college liaisons or other "sophisticated" campaign machinery.
Fred Thompson? Could any candidate have proven more exasperating? Not until he began his bus tour of Iowa, a scant couple of weeks before the caucuses, did he even really begin to campaign. And not until the debate in Myrtle Beach last weekend, just a week before the South Carolina primary, did he really begin to fight, landing jabs on Huckabee and taking a swing at McCain. But could any candidate have proven more authentic? Thompson has done just what Reagan did. He has stated his principles. He has let voters in on his program. And when Fred Thompson says he intends to secure our borders, defeat the Islamofascists, cut taxes, reduce regulations, control spending, and defend the unborn, he’s not flipping or flopping. He’s demonstrating fundamental consistency with his entire record in public life. If he lacks college liaisons, direct mail experts, and other appurtenances so in evidence on the Romney campaign, so be it. Thompson isn’t relying on some giant, gleaming juggernaut to carry him along. Like the Gipper before him, he's standing on principle.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Huck--Amnesty or Not?

Huck has made up his mind on illegal immigration. Well at least he has his South Carolina position figured out. Today he signed a "no amnesty" pledge. Once again, he is signing a pledge, like the tax pledge, to deflect from his history. Will he observe such pledges? Who knows. Fred put out a press release today pointing out the flip:
Columbia, SC - After years of opposing the strict enforcement of America's immigration laws, Mike Huckabee conveniently changed his mind yesterday and signed a 'no amnesty pledge,' just in time for the South Carolina primary on Jan. 19th.

Huckabee reportedly 'promised not to support any kind of special path to citizenship for illegal immigrants here in the U.S.' (Fox News, 1/16/08)

Yet in 2006, Huckabee said that opposition to such a path was "driven by racism or nativism."

"' I do believe some of it is driven by racism or nativism,' he said of the opposition within his party to Mr. Bush's view that illegal aliens should not be deported but rather fined and eventually allowed U.S. citizenship. 'It's not amnesty to make people pay for breaking the law,' Mr. Huckabee said."(Washington Times, 5/17/06)

And in his own book - not some off the cuff comments that may have not been well thought out - Huckabee called specifically for a "a pathway toward legal status and citizenship" for illegal immigrants.

"It would be sheer folly to attempt to suddenly impose strict enforcement of existing laws, round up 12 million people, march them across the border, and expect them to stay. What does make sense is a revision of our laws, one giving those here illegally a process through which they pay a reasonable fine in admission of their guilt for the past infraction of violating our border laws and agree to adhere to a pathway toward legal status and citizenship." (Mike Huckabee, From Hope to Higher Ground, 2007, p. 117-118)

Huckabee's policy positions are a matter of convenience, not conviction. That's not leadership, it's populism. South Carolina voters deserve to know the truth about Huckabee's record.

* Huckabee championed an effort to give illegal immigrants taxpayer-funded college scholarships and in-state tuition. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1/27/05)
* Huckabee opposed a raid on an Arkansas employer that utilized illegal immigrants. (Associated Press, 8/5/05)
* Championed the effort to open a Mexican Consulate in Arkansas to issue identification cards to legal and illegal residents. (AP, 10/18/06)

Not only did Mike Huckabee flip on immigration yesterday, he also flipped on his long standing support for a national smoking ban.

David Limbaugh on Fred

David Limbaugh has written an outstanding column on Fred. Here are a couple of key passages:
Commentators are citing the unpredictability of the Republican primary contests as proof that Reagan conservatism is dead when precisely the opposite conclusion is warranted.

The main reason the conventional wisdom is being shattered in the primaries is that conservative voters, so far, have not been persuaded there is an electable, reliable conservative in the race.

But as I've stated before, I believe Fred Thompson is a reliable, consistent conservative. There are others in the field I could support, but not without some reservations. The more I learn about Fred and observe him in action, the more convinced I become that he's the right choice.

I was among those who urged Fred to step up and prove to the people he wanted the job. Regardless of whether Fred actually had "fire in his belly," the unmistakable perception out there was that he did not, so I encouraged him to add a little spring to his step.
Fred does not run from his record -- more to the point, he doesn't need to. He shoots straight without the constant self-serving reminders that he does, as in telling us he's driving the "Straight Talk Express."

More importantly, Fred is right on the issues, and there's little doubt his positions are firm. Research his stances; read his position papers. You'll find he's very strong in all areas important to mainstream conservatives, including national defense, taxes, spending, life, immigration, federalism, appointing originalist judges, health care and education.
This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The "experts" continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can't they be wrong about Fred, too? It's time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies. It̢۪s encouraging that John Zogby's latest South Carolina poll shows that while levels of support for McCain and Huckabee "have remained static," Fred is starting to move up.

Supporters have asked Fred to step up, and he has -- he has shone brilliantly in the last month, setting himself head and shoulders above the pack in many cases. Now it's time for conservative voters to step up and quit placing artificial limitations on Fred, and on themselves.

Fred has answered the conservatives' call. Shouldn't we answer his?

Fred on Bennett's Morning in America

Path to the Nomination

I haven't talked about Fred's path to the nomination recently and things have changed a bit. As time is going on, Fred is getting more than one way to get the Republican nomination. The fall into the conventional path and the Convention path.

The conventional path includes winning South Carolina on Saturday (which probably effectively ends Huck's and McCain's campaign). Getting momentum and placing well in Florida (2nd, maybe). Then carrying the south and parts of the west on Super Tuesday. Then picking and choosing each state from then on to fight his way to the nomination.

The Convention path includes placing "well" (second in South Carolina) with no one taking command of the race. He rides it out to the Convention, which is a brokered convention because at least 4 of the candidates also ride it out to the end and no one ever gets the "momentum". At the convention--even if Fred is in 5th place going into the Convention--Fred is the only candidate that can put together a coalition to become President. (But probably has to take Mitt on as his running mate).

Huck Tries To Shore Up Immigration Issues

Huck has now signed the "No Amnesty" pledge in an effort to shore up support in South Carolina. Why now? Obviously he is getting hit hard on the topic and so he sees this as politically expedient to get people to support him.

The above linked article details more pandering that Huck is engaged in: getting the endorsement of a leading Bass fisherman to appeal to outdoorsmen and talking about his conversion to students at a Christian college.

Notice where Fred is going--public square places like convention centers and diners. Where is Huck going? Whose message changes based on the state he is in or which group of people he is in front of? Whose doesn't?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Consistent Conservative

This is the ad running in South Carolina right now.

More on the Push Poll in SC

In South Carolina, these computer run polls are actually illegal. It turns out that at least some of the push poll calls supporting Huck have already been connected back to the same group that was involved in Iowa.

A new post at is encouraging South Carolina FredHeads to do some documentation and contact the campaign so it can be dealt with:
There are reports that South Carolina voters are receiving push polls. If you live there keep an audio recorder handy. If you can record the call please contact me at shackbarth–at–fred08–dot–com. With evidence we can take the proper measures and expose those behind the calls.
So, if you are down in SC, get ready for the calls!

UPDATE: Here is video of the last part of the poll:

Jeri on Mark Levin

Jeri was on Mark Levin's show yesterday. Jeri gives a great interview. I think she impresses me more every time I hear her.

Flips in South Carolina

The Fred campaign has been posting "flip videos" where they video people who have changed who they are voting for in the primary. These are shot at Fred's campaign stops. So far they have posted about 14 (some have multiple people) videos so far. But the one I have included below is the first one to feature a McCain supporter. I'm glad to have her and hope we see many more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fred on Fox Post Michigan

Here is Fred on Hannity and Colmes tonight. Fred great. Hannity horrible. Colmes ok (particularly as a punching bag--Fred called him an idiot in a backhanded way).

Why does Hannity have to start with asking stupid process questions and then refuse to go onto something else when Fred answers the question?

Push Polling Starts in SC

The organization that has been push polling in Iowa and Michigan has begun doing the same thing in South Carolina. This is not going to fly well. Huck is 23 points down in Michigan. In the latest Rasmussen poll for South Carolina, Huck is in second with 19% (Fred in fourth at 16%). Huck has lost 5 points and Fred has gained 4 points.

My guess is that Huck ends up in fourth place in South Carolina and basically fades from view very quickly. The good news is that if Huck loses, say, another 4 percent, Fred probably picks up all of those votes.

Bill Lacy on Michigan

Fred's campaign manager has released a statement talking about today's Michigan Primary results. At this point, with 80% of the precincts reporting, Mitt is 9 points in front of McCain and 23 points in front of Huck. All three campaigned heavily in the state since New Hampshire.

As we know, Fred has been pushing against Huck's support strongly in South Carolina. Lacy's statement links Huck and McCain closely--and takes a shot at Mitt as well:
On higher taxes and looser immigration, Huckabee has been done his best these past few weeks to mimic McCain. But this is nothing new. In fact, while John McCain was leading the Senate charge to grant amnesty for illegal immigrants, Mike Huckabee was one of the loudest cheerleaders. And at the same time McCain was voting against the Bush tax cuts, Huckabee was in Arkansas increasing taxes some 21 times.

As for Mitt Romney, he has been all over the map on virtually every issue important to conservative voters.

As the contest moves to South Carolina, look for Romney, McCain and Huckabee to face serious questions about their commitment to consistent conservative principles. Their records are in stark contrast to Fred Thompson, who remains the one true steadfast conservative in this race.

Thoughts on Michigan

Well the end of the Michigan Primary is upon us. While I have paid far more attention to South Carolina, I have noticed a bit of the stump stuff that has been going on up north.

It appeared to me that Mitt, McCain and Huck have been trying as hard as they could to out-pander each other. "I'll make a better jobs program!" "The government hasn't done anything--if I'm President, it will!"

This is ugly. Conservatives are not about more programs. They are about cutting government. That means no pandering.

Check out these Crowds!

There are some good stump speech stuff in here, too. But just look at the crowds.

Lazy Fred At It Again

Boy, what are we going to do if Fred gets any lazier. Here is his schedule for today (1/15/08):

# 8:30 am - Radio Town Hall in Spartanburg, SC
Spartanburg, South Carolina - Papa's

# 10:10 am - Live Television Interview with Megyn Kelly on FOX News Channel’s America’s Newsroom

# 11:05 am - Live Radio Interview on The Glenn Beck Program

# 11:30 am - Meet Fred Thompson in Rock Hill, SC
Rock Hill, South Carolina - Golden Corral

# 2:00 pm - "Senator Fred Thompson Day" Celebration and Downtown Walking Tour
York, South Carolina - York City Hall

# 3:05 pm - Live Radio Interview with Keven Cohen on The Afternoon Drive, Columbia, SC

# 5:30 pm - Meet Fred Thompson in Columbia, SC
Columbia, South Carolina - Sticky Fingers

# 10:00 pm - Live Interview with Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes on FOX News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes
NOTE: Senator Thompson will appear between 10:00-10:30 pm ET.

For those of you counting: that is 3 meet and greet/stump speech type activities and 5 interviews. Two interviews are national and the other six activities are local/statewide.

Monday, January 14, 2008


This is the kind of post that just warms my heart. From Peter Robinson at National Review's "The Corner":
Earlier today I talked with an old friend who's close to the Thompson campaign. At every Thompson campaign stop in South Carolina, he told me, there is something new: real excitement. The crowds are big and growing by the day—for the first time, people are being turned away from Thompson events because they're already full. The state troopers are showing that special deference and respect they reserve for candidates whom they actually suspect will soon become the commander in chief. And Thompson himself is pointed, energetic, combative. In other words, the campaign feels as though its achieving liftoff.
Update: Robinson has received many emails regarding the state of the campaign in South Carolina which are very encouraging. I would especially direct your attention to the Simpsonville letter, and particularly to the talk about Fred not pandering. Right now it seems that everyone up in Michigan is promising just about everything and the kitchen sink if they are elected President.

Red Truck Update

I got an email about contributing $10 at 10pm tonight (Monday, 1/14/08) in order to get Fred to $1 million since the 4th in online contributions. Wanting to see how it went, I went to Fred's site today at 9:40 and discovered he has already made the goal ($1,006,000). It will be truly interesting to see how things go leading up to midnight.

Congratulations to Fred and all who contributed.

This is really helping Fred get out his message and prepare for various attacks that may happen leading up to the South Carolina primary.

UPDATE: The first round of $10 at 10 seems to have brought in about $9,000, though I am guessing that a lot of folk so motivated made their contributions earlier in the evening.

UPDATE 2: Well the end has come and the final number is...(drum roll)...$1,030,215.

This means that in the last two hours fifteen minutes (the $10 at 10 timeframe) 24,215 was raised. Amazing FredHeads!

On to victory on Saturday!

Open Letter About Huck

Here is a link to an open letter on Huckabee from a conservative, evangelical, politically-active father of four in Arkansas. In the letter, the author has 7 points about Huckabee that conservative evangelicals should consider before voting for Huckabee. It extensively talks about the issues and provides many links to source materials.

Michigan Reaction to McCain on Immigration

South Carolina,

Is this what you want as your President on Immigration?

South Carolina Ad

Very nice ad. Strong on Fred's conservatism.

Fred On The Rise In SC

The latest Rasmussen SC poll shows that Fred is surging! Still in fourth, but:

McCain - 28 (+1 from previous)
Huck - 19 (-5)
Mitt - 17 (+1)
Fred - 16 (+4)

We are heading the right direction (and it is making Fred's tactics look smart).

Mitt: Government Intervention?

Mitt Romney was talking to the Detroit Economic Club today and they have apparently released the text of that speech. Jennifer Rubin at the American Spectator quotes the speech as follows:
"If I am your President, in my first 100 days, I will roll up my sleeves, and I will personally bring together industry, labor, Congressional and state leaders to develop a plan to rebuild America's automotive leadership. It will be one that works for Michigan and that works for the American taxpayers." He goes on to say: ""From legacy costs, to health care costs, to increased CAFE standards, to embedded taxes, Detroit can only thrive if Washington is an engaged partner, not a disinterested observer. The plan should include increases in funding for automotive related research and new tax benefits including making the research and development tax credit permanent." He goes on to whack CAFE standards and McCain and Lieberman (who is campaigning in the state) for their efforts on the current energy bill and then continues: "But taking off all these burdens is only half the solution. If we are going to be the world's greatest economic power, we must invest in our future. It's time to be bold. First, I will make a five-fold increase – from $4 billion dollars to $20 billion dollars – in our national investment in energy research, fuel technology, materials science, and automotive technology. Research spins out new ideas for new products for both small and large businesses. That is exactly what has happened in health care, in defense, and in space. Look how industries in other states have thrived from the spin out of technologies from our investment in these areas. So if we can invest in health care, in defense, and in space, why not also invest in energy and fuel technology here in Michigan?"
Ack! Fiscal conservative? Free markets? This is awful. Of course, what is really going on is pandering.

Listen up, South Carolina! You need to distinguish between true conservatives and ones that try to sound and look conservative! There is only one correct choice.

A Proposed Republican Ticket

IMAO proposes the following ticket:

President, Fred
VP, Mitt (a conservative in training)
Sec of Defense, McCain (he got the surge right)
Homeland Security, Rudy
Press Secretary, Huck
Security Guard at National Archives, Ron Paul (to guard the Constitution)

Actually, another ticket being floated seriously is Fred with JC Watts as his VP. The push is to announce now, before the majority of the primaries and to get him campaigning for him.

It is an interesting idea. I like Watts, from what I know about him and have seen. Like Fred, he got to the point that he had enough of Washington and got out. Both are quite conservative. Watts is a magnetic and dynamic speaker. Regionally, it does not make much sense, but that may be overblown these days.

The problem with the idea is that it would hamstring him in a brokered convention where he would have to make deals to get a coalition together to get the nomination.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fred on Late Edition

This is a very good interview. They start off with what I consider a fairly dry discussion of economic stimulus packages and then turn to Huckabee's weird attacks on Fred. Fred handles this quite well, with the exception that he keeps saying that Huck got the NEA endorsement when it was the New Hampshire chapter of the NEA. Minor distinction, but I prefer to keep everything correct. He briefly touches on differences between him and the other candidates as well.

What if Mitt Wins Michigan?

One of theories being pushed regarding why Fred did not hit McCain is that he wants McCain to knock off Mitt in Michigan. But what if Mitt beats McCain? It is currently a close race there. In the recent polls, Fred is behind both (though that may be changing rapidly). I don't think it matters who wins in Michigan between the two because it will hurt the loser which will help Fred. You can say that Fred is in a "no lose" situation there. And, by the way, if he does better than Rudy--what would that mean?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Some Decent Theology From Fred

Fred was asked today about continuing to fight AIDS globally, and he got in some great theology. From CBS News Blogs:
A woman asked him if he would “as a Christian, as a conservative” continue President Bush’s programs to combat global AIDS.

“Christ didn’t tell us to go to the government and pass a bill to get some of these social problems dealt with. He told us to do it,” Thompson said.

“The government has its role, but we need to keep firmly in mind the role of the government, and the role of us as individuals and as Christians on the other.”
I know Huck is a preacher--and Huck gave a decent answer at the South Carolina debate, but this is theology that is on solid ground. I hope that the religious left will learn this theological lesson.

Another New Red Truck Goal

As of 7:15pm on Saturday the 12th, FredHeads have raised just shy of $850,000 since the 4th--just less than $500,000 since the beginning of the South Carolina debate Thursday night. With things going so well, they have extended the goal for a second time--we are looking for $1 million by midnight on the 14th (Monday).

There are almost 9,500 new FredHeads in that time frame.

Outstanding job! Keep it up!

SC Debate on Substance

I have only had the time to go through the South Carolina Republican debate today. I watched the videos from the You Decide 2008 website. I will have several quotes from FactCheck on some of the substance. Those quotes are all from here. Here are my thoughts on the substance of that debate:

Wallace began with questions regarding concerns about a coming recession.

Mitt. Recession is not necessary. Mitt claims that he added jobs each month after “the turnaround.” says that the job growth was see-saw. Some months were up and some months down. So his claim was incorrect.

Huck on recession. First reason is gas prices. “Dependency on foreign oil.” Second, subprime mortgages. Third, healthcare cost. Fourth, education cost. These are the reasons for possible recession (education—really?).

Rudy talks about tax cuts and the fact that at least some cuts increase revenue (but not necessarily all cuts). Rudy is correct and it is nice that he has come around to this idea. Fred points this out.

McCain makes an insinuation that Reagan both cut taxes and cut spending. The reality is that Reagan wanted to cut spending, but it was never realized due to Congress. But his tax cuts brought about a lot of increased revenue.

Paul blathers on.

Fred is asked about short-term financial issues. He points out that lower taxes do increase revenue. He runs through his plan. He also says that in the future, a stimulus package may have to be considered similar to 2001.

Carl Cameron starts a discussion on the Reagan coalition and whether or not it is gone.

Huck points to “middle class” folk feeling like part of the Republican party. I have no ideas what he is talking about. He talks about the evangelicals being part of the coalition. He then talks populist rhetoric about “helping lower class and not upper class”.

McCain claims that the Reagan principles have been left behind, which is very true.

Fred finally buts in on the Reagan coalition (Fox was more or less ignoring him for McCain). He lets go on Huck and makes this a debate. “That’s not the model of the Reagan coalition, it is the model of the Democratic party.”

Huck’s rebuttal. “I cut taxes, which hadn’t been done in 160 years.” To which, FactCheck says,
Huckabee repeated some dubious claims about his tax-cutting record in Arkansas, but this time he added even more embellishments:
Huckabee: I did something that had not been done in my state in 160 years. I cut taxes, with the legislature working with me, and we continued to do that 94 times.
The former governor previously has claimed to have passed the first broad-based tax cut in Arkansas' 160-year history. We found that claim to be somewhat exaggerated, as former Gov. Bill Clinton signed an income tax cut that was similar to the one Huckabee championed. But the suggestion that Huckabee was the first in 160 years to cut taxes, period, goes beyond exaggeration into the realm of outright falsehood.

And we've said this so many times that we're considering programming a special key to automatically insert the text: While Huckabee did in fact cut taxes 94 times, many of those cuts were trivial, and overall, Huckabee presided over a more than $500 million net tax increase.
Some have claimed that Huck’s rebuttal was strong. It was not. First, it was factually incorrect. Second, Fred whacked him on so many things, he did not have the ability to try to address them all. Third, Fred was not simply attacking his tax and spend record, though this was clearly part of it. He was attacking the fact that his philosophy has nothing to do with the Reagan revolution. In fact, Huck had already spouted some populist rhetoric about class differences, which Reagan would never have done. Reagan did not appeal to multiple classes because he pandered to them. He appealed to them because his philosophies made sense to them.

The situation with Iran and their gunboats faced down by our warships was brought up.

To Huckabee regarding if the commanders did the right thing. Big applause line on engaging the Americans would have sent them “to the gates of hell.” Nice applause line. Not sure he has any understanding beneath it.

Fred. “You can’t take that decision from the hands of the commanders.” Then his line about the virgins. Then Fred demonstrates that he actually understands what is going on. Fred is much deeper than Huck on these things.

Paul compares this to the gulf of Tionkin. Minimizes the danger of these speedboats. We are looking for a reason to hit Iran. Britt smacks him down very effectively on the fact that the others were supporting the decision NOT to engage the speedboats.

Wendell asks McCain about if the Republicans can win the election with the Iraq situation. McCain has a very good come back questioning if the Democrats can win with us doing as well as we are there.

Wendell asks Fred about whether we should continue to support Musharraf in Pakistan. Wendell quotes a poll that basically said that we should not. Fred had a great line on not following polls. Fred argues that stability is necessary in Pakistan due to them having nuclear weapons. He also argues for progress in their government.

Mitt then show what is, in my opinion, a bit of ignorance Muslim countries. He starts with a weird joke about foreign policy now being like 3-D chess rather than checkers. Then he argues that Muslim countries need to be made more modern. In this, I think he misunderstands the Muslim religion.

Huck on aid to Pakistan. What an idiot. The concern is “mis-used” funds. Huck says that some money was used to build up their military rather than fight terrorism.Huck on aid to Pakistan. Fred proceeds to smack him around for this.

Wallace points out to Huck that he raised taxes and made government bigger--he wants to know if Huck is a big government Republican. Huck answers: “Get the job done and make sure you balance your budget. You respond to the needs of your people.” That is why he signed the no tax pledge. Then he defended his education spending because it was court ordered and he then raised their education rankings to 8th. He also talked about his highways being the most improved in the nation. Factcheck did a lot on these statements. First, on the his signing of the no tax pledge:
It’s true that on March 2, 2007, Huckabee signed the tax pledge promoted by Americans for Tax Reform. He did so despite earlier reservations about tax pledges. Shortly after announcing his bid for the presidency, Huckabee told NBC's Tim Russert that he was wary of making such pledges:

Huckabee: I think you got to be very careful. I, I wouldn’t propose any new taxes. I wouldn’t support any. But if we’re in a situation where we are in a different level of war, where there is no other option, I think that it’s a very dangerous position to make pledges that are outside the most important pledge you make, and that is the oath you take to uphold the Constitution and protect the people of the United States.
We don’t begrudge any candidate the right to change his or her mind about an issue. But we do think it’s worth noting that the Russert interview aired on Jan. 28, 2007 – just 33 days before Huckabee signed the tax pledge.
Then his facts on the quality of his education were called into question:
It is true that Education Week’s newest Quality Counts report put Arkansas at eighth in the nation overall. These rankings take into account spending and assessment as well as achievement. Arkansas' scores in individual areas ranged from 45th to second. It ranked 34th in achievement.
Finally on the “most improved” roads:
For starters, Huckabee gets the name of the magazine wrong (we're familiar with that phenomenon, too). The magazine in question is called Overdrive, and according to Editor Linda Longton, "Huckabee referred to Arkansas’ rank at the top of Overdrive’s Worst Roads list in 1999 and our Most Improved list in 2004."

What Huckabee neglects to mention is that while Arkansas tops the most improved roads list in 2004, it still came in at No. 4 on that year's worst roads list. According to one of Overdrive's survey respondents: "Arkansas is trying. It’s better than it was, but they have a long way to go."
In short: Yes he is a big government Republican and he will deflect or lie about his record on the subject.

Fred critiques Huck on giving in to make the tax pledge as mentioned above. Rather than whack Huck here, which he could have, he moves onto his achievements of voting for conservative principles.

Carl Cameron wants to talk about electability and gives a religious question to Huck (about him signing on with a particular religious position on wives submitting to their husbands). Huck whines a bit about getting asked religious questions, which I consider disingenuous. Huck is a former minister who is going around calling ministers to encourage their congregations and get out to vote—presumably for him. He is the only one pulling that stunt, and it is part of his experience, so why shouldn’t he get those questions. His answer is good—so why whine? By the way, the answer is fundamentally correct, but he did not have enough time to really give the complete answer.

Immigration (finally). McCain is asked about amnesty. What do you do with the 12 million. Send the 2 million criminals back. Deal with the others “humanely” – “I know how to do this” (i.e. offer amnesty). Mitt: they should “stand in line” with everyone else, then they have to go home before they can come back. Not a bad answer.

Fred is asked how you look at each illegal individually and how you would find them. Fred gives his line about high fences, wide gates, and the fact that we determine when to open the gate and when to close it. People are not understanding Fred’s immigration approach. He is not proposing a mass deportation. He is proposing SELF-deportation. When you cannot get a job and there is not a prospect of amnesty, they will leave on their own. I don’t know why people cannot figure this out.

Fred knocks McCain and Huck on their records on this issue.

The debate was good. I think by the time the next one rolls around they will give Fred more respect--at least I hope so.

Fred clearly won this debate. Mitt kind of disappeared. Huck got a lot of time, but sounded like an idiot. Rudy was OK. McCain was good. Paul took up too much space on the stage and is still a nutjob.

Mitt Is Despirate

There is a blog over at RedState reporting the following:
On Wednesday, after his loss in the New Hampshire primary, Gov. Mitt Romney returned to Boston to lick his wounds and conduct a telephone fundraiser before heading off to his next must win state of Michigan. ABC Radio microphones were there and they featured an audio quote from Romney in their top of the hour news broadcasts. Romney was encouraging his phone bank volunteers with a little pep talk when he unintentionally summed up his entire campaign; ironically hitting upon the reason why he has failed to gain any traction with conservatives despite spending the most money of any Republican. ABC News Radio was contacted by telephone and confirmed the following quote from their report.

"Hit the phones today make all the promises you have to, and…make sure that we get the funds that we need to keep on propelling this campaign forward with power and energy."

“Make all the promises you have to.”

Friday, January 11, 2008

More on Why Fred Didn't Go After McCain

As stated before, there was an argument that Fred is running cleanup for McCain. I think it is a ludicrous idea (which keeps going back to the "Fred doesn't really want it" theme that the MSM, I guess, believes). Bob Krumm has put out an article explaining at least one reason why Fred didn't go after McCain. It comes down to the fact that Fred needs McCain to take out Mitt in Michigan, so he cannot take him out now. Fred takes on Huck and McCain takes on Mitt. Then it is between Fred and McCain at in South Carolina.

What Today Means

I have been blogging for Fred since the announcement of his exploratory committee back in June. In the seven months since I began this blog I have not been as excited about the campaign as I am today. The reasons are: 1. Fred had a great debate last night that has finally generated a buzz; 2. Fred got the endorsement of Human Events today; 3. The buzz has generated a GREAT fund raising effort.

This last item takes a little of explaining. Over about 4 days, Fred had raised just about $400,000 for the South Carolina campaign. In the last 24 hours, they have raised about $350,000. As a comparison, the Iowa fund raiser was about $260,000 in 60 hours.

By the way, that means that while Fred's initial goal was $540,000 by midnight tonight, FredHeads have come through with over $750,000!!! Way to go!

The point: the recent events have galvanized the support for Fred in a way that has not happened to this point in the campaign. I am excited about what the next week will bring!

Future of the GOP

According to Fred, the future of the GOP is to be decided in South Carolina next week.
“We’re making a decision in the Republican Party, and the decision may very well be decided here in South Carolina,” he said. “Are we going to adhere to the principles of the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national defense, or are we going to go into a more liberal mode?”

Conspiracy Theories Abound

Apparently, rather than bowing out of the campaign and endorsing McCain, Fred is staying IN the race in order to whack on McCain's competitors to clear the way for McCain. I guess he is also making sure that the Conservative vote is divided. This analysis is coming about because of the lack of attacking McCain at the debate last night.

What a bunch of bunk.

In SC, while McCain is currently in first, the state has not been kind to McCain. Also in front of Fred are Mitt and Huck. Well, guess what? Mitt has completely left SC. So Fred's strategy is to whack Huck and spend his time and effort in SC and he figures to take Huck's and Mitt's support. McCain will come down as well--and where will it go?

Jim Geraghty's View of the SC Debate

Jim Geraghty live blogged the debate last night, and at the conclusion he posted the following:
Winner: Thompson. This performance was so commanding, I wanted his last answer to echo back to the lights in the back of the auditorium, blow out all the lamps and spotlights, for the theme to “the Natural” to play, and for him to trot around the stage in slow motion while sparks showered down in the background.
I'm working on that works for me, even though I'd be rolling on the floor.

Fund raising update: They are up to $650,000 and 7,000 new "friends". The friends have bumped about 2,000 since the debate last night. Let's go, folk--$100,000 more in the next 12 hours!

UPDATE: Two hours later, $50,000 more in cash and 500 new "friends". 9 and a half hours to go to get another $50,000--I'm thinking $800,000 or more!

UPDATE 2: Another two hours later (4:30pm), $23,000 more in cash and 300 new friends.

Red Truck Campaign Update

Yesterday at 6pm the current Red Truck campaign was at about $500,000. Today at 10:40am it is at $620,000--amazing job! The goal was $540,000. Well, they have updated their goal to $750,000 by midnight tonight!

Let's keep it going folk. Last night has kicked off the momentum that Fred has needed to get to the finish line!