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!

Human Events Endorses

Human Events has formally endorsed Fred. I am guessing that this is the "major conservative endorsement" that was being floated yesterday. The key paragraph is:
We begin by recalling the profound words of Ronald Reagan at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 15, 1975: “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency or simply to swell its numbers.” We believed that then, and we believe it now. The issue for us -- and for the conservative community -- boils down to which of the candidates is most representative of the fundamental conservative principles we believe in. The answer is Fred Thompson.
The only other person that I think is close on positions is Mitt. Here is Human Events on Mitt:
We believe his relatively new pro-life position is a sincere one, but examining his record and listening to his campaign rhetoric indicate to us that he is more a problem-solver than a gut conservative. His “RomneyCare” legislation made Massachusetts the first state in the nation to impose an “individual mandate,” which requires everyone in the state to have health coverage or face significant penalties. And we have concerns about the big-government approach he took as governor, raising state “fees,” according to the Cato Institute, by $500 million and proposing two corporate tax increases totaling close to $400 million a year.

SC Debate Reactions

I have not seen the Fox debate from last night (just a few clips), but I have seen quite a few reactions to it. Here is the video of Fox's Frank Luntz group's reaction to the debate and it includes Fred's Myrtle Beach staff's reaction to the Luntz group's reaction.

Another set of reactions to the debate were donations on Fred has had the "Red Truck" up on the web site for measuring donations as he has tried to fund the SC media push. He had been bringing in a little less than $100k per day and going into the debate, he was at about $520,000 ($20,000 short of his goal). Now, less than 12 hours later, we are at $590,500--almost as much is 12 hours as he has been pulling in 24 hours. Not only that, but the number of new Friends has grown quite a bit.

Fred08 has collected various blogger reactions which really show the overall reaction.
# Jim Geraghty:

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.

# Jonathan Martin:

Fred drops a daisy cutter on Huck.

Truth told, he unleashed so much oppo that I didn’t have a chance to catch it all.

But he did say Huck’s comments on the Bush administration’s “arrogant bunker mentality” were reminiscent of the “Blame America first crowd” before ticking off hits on taxes, Guantanamo, Huck’s support from the NEA and his support for a national smoking ban. There were others, too, but Fred was on a roll.

“That’s not the model of the Reagan coalition; that’s the model of the Democratic Party,” Thompson concluded, winning lusty applause and “Oohs” from the studio audience.

# Marc Ambinder:

This was Fred Thompson’s second strong debate in a row; it’s as if he realized there was a real campaign and that he had real talent to bring to bear in a way that makes him look good and his opponents look silly.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Great Day for Fred

After reading some of the posts at I know that the goal of the fund raising effort was to go through tomorrow, but due to the ambiguity of the text on the web site, many assumed it was to end today (10th). Well, who cares. As of 11:20pm on the 10th, $552,000 has been raised for the South Carolina effort.

Great job everyone.

I don't have cable, so I'm working on finding video/audio from the debate tonight. From what I have read so far, Fred has done very well at the debate tonight.

Red Truck Update

With about 6 hours to go in the drive, FredHeads have put a little over $500,000 in the Red Truck. The goal is $540,000, so we are very close. Marc Mercier has issued a challenge that for every $50 donated before midnight, he will put in an extra dollar up to his donation limit.

Let's get it full, folk!

Huck and Republicans in Arkansas

Various folk in Arkansas keep telling about what Huck did when Governor of Arkansas. The problem is that no one seems to be paying attention. The latest comes from the Arkansas News Bureau and focuses on what Huck did to the Arkansas Republican Party:
The numerous out-of-town journalists who've dropped in have focused their on-the-ground assessments, justifiably so, on Huckabee's commutations, lavish gifts and scheme to supplement his income with money from a tobacco lobbyist. The conservative press continues to suffer apoplectic shock trying to figure out how the party of Reagan could possibly nominate a candidate whose populist rhetoric sounds more like John Edwards than the Gipper.
In 2000, Huckabee insisted on controlling the state party's separate Victory Committee, but the committee's finances were so poorly handled that a Federal Election Commission investigation resulted in the largest fine ever handed down by the FEC to a state party. That same year Republican Rep. Jay Dickey lost the 4th District seat he'd held for eight years.

In 2001, when conservative Republican lawmakers opposed a higher sales taxes and fees the governor supported, he began calling them "Shiites." Huckabee's positions on fiscal policy became indistinguishable from Democrats' positions. A year later, he openly campaigned against a ballot initiative to remove the sales tax on food and medicine. While he and Rockefeller won re-election in 2002, Sen. Tim Hutchinson didn't.

In 2003, Huckabee not only begged lawmakers for new taxes to make up a budget shortfall, but he rebuffed conservatives' (Republicans and a couple of Democrats) plan to cover the shortfall by tapping one-time money and cutting pork. In 2004, President Bush won re-election, but Huckabee campaigned for some Democrats - even some who had Republican opponents - and Republicans lost state legislative seats for the first time since 1990.

In 2005, a term-limited Huckabee frustrated conservatives when he pushed a bill to give in-state college tuition and scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. The next year, Democrats swept Republicans in every race for statewide constitutional office and Republicans lost legislative seats for the second consecutive election cycle.

Shortly after becoming governor in 1996, one of Huckabee's top aides predicted that his boss would do for Arkansas what Gov. Carroll Campbell did for South Carolina, meaning that Arkansas would cast aside its Democratic past and whole-heartedly embrace Republicanism by the time he left office.

Yeah? that didn't happen.

Under Huckabee: taxes up, government up, Democrats up and Republicans down. In the end, Republicans may prefer Huckabee keep his vertical politics to himself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

White Paper on Reducing Spending

Fred has recently issued a white paper on how to reduce government spending. Fred already has credibility on this issue due to his work on the "Government at the Brink" study which showed so many ways that the government is wasting money.

Here are some of the highlights from the white paper:

Balance the Budget and Eliminate Underperforming Programs
  1. Limit Non-Defense Federal Spending to Inflation
  2. Implement a One-Year Hiring Freeze Pending Completion of Federal Government Strategic Assessment
  3. Conduct a Comprehensive Cost-Benefit Analysis of All Federal Programs
In short, actually review what the heck we are doing in government.

Enact Meaningful Earmark Reform
  1. Provide President with Line-Item Veto Authority (doable without amendment)
  2. Direct Agencies to Ignore "Soft" Earmarks
  3. Propose Legislation on Earmark Procedures
Eliminate Improper Government Payments and Prosecute Fraud
  1. Eliminate Improper Payments
  2. Increase the Prosecution of Fraud
  3. Hold Executives Accountable
  4. Propose Regulatory Improvement Legislation
Reform Entitlement Programs
  1. Save and Protect Social Security
  2. Ensure Future Viability of Medicare and Medicaid

Just another reason why it is important for us to get Fred elected. Remember: put gas in the Red Truck!

Judge Paul Pressler Video

Several weeks ago Judge Paul Pressler endorsed Fred for President. He has now cut a video for Fred. Here it is:

Red Truck Campaign

As previously announced, Fred is doing a new fund raising push for South Carolina. As of this afternoon, Fred is $170,000 away from the $540,000 goal. The target is Friday night. So if you have a can, please make a donation.

This is made more significant because of the opportunity that Mitt has given Fred. According to Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic Monthly, Mitt has pulled his ads in South Carolina and Florida. This gives Fred a huge opportunity to get into the South Carolina market and suck Mitt's voters to him. Speed is critical here! Please help.

UPDATE: 1/10/08 - 2am. Fred is $120k from his goal with two full days to go. Let's get him the rest of the way there--and beat it! Anything extra will give us a better chance of getting that SC win!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Brokered Convention?

A blog over at RedState poses that none of the Republican candidates will be able to put together enough delegates to win the nomination outright. I don't know if his math is right or not, but I think it is clear that right now we have five candidates who have no intention of getting out soon--and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I would give the prospect of a brokered convention better than a 50% chance.

More significantly, I think it is probable that no candidate has a significant PLURALITY of delegates. We could be in store for the most wide open convention, possibly ever. As a result, every state will be critically important--maybe the later states will have more significance than the earlier states. Maybe that will make states like our own Indiana from being quite so whiny that they do not have enough effect.

So what happens at the convention. Someone will have to put together a coalition to get to a majority. My hope is that Fred will have enough delegates to be able to broker himself to the nomination. He has the advantage that he does appeal to the entire spectrum of the Republican coalition. For instance, Romney supporters would support Fred, but not McCain. Rudy supporters could support Fred, but not Romney. Even Huckabee supporters could support Fred, but not Rudy. Fred is the "universal receiver"--but not the universal donor.

Fred on Taxes (i.e. More of Why the Americans For Tax Reform are Wrong)

I like putting the Americans For Tax Reform in the title because it drives web traffic like putting Ron Paul in your post. (Gratuitous, I know).

But this really has me steamed. I really don't like litmus tests, like this "No New (income) Tax Pledge". They have taken a piece of paper and raised it to the "Most Important Thing". Huckabee fans make the Human Life Amendment and the Marriage Amendment their litmus test.

How do you choose a candidate? I suggest that you look at his principles, positions and history and choose based on that.

So let's deal with this tax litmus test.

What are Fred's Principles on taxes.
The U.S. tax code is broken and a burden on U.S. taxpayers and businesses, large and small. Today’s tax code is particularly hostile to savings and investment, and it shows. To make matters worse, its complexity is a drag on our productivity and economic growth. Moreover, taxpayers spend billions of dollars and untold hours each year filling out complicated tax returns, just so they can send more money to Washington, much of it for wasteful programs and the pet projects of special interests. We need lower taxes, and we need to let taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned dollars—they know best where and how to spend them. And we need to make the system simpler and fairer for all. To ensure America’s long term prosperity and economic security, I am committed to:
  • Fundamental tax reform built on the principles of simplicity, fairness, and growth.
  • A new tax code that gets the government out of our citizens’ pocketbooks, while enhancing U.S. competitiveness abroad.
  • Dissolution of the IRS as we know it.

What are Fred's Positions?

His complete plan is here. I will do the main points.
  1. Permanently Extend the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts
  2. Permanently Repeal the Death Tax
  3. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax
  4. Reduce the Corporate Tax Rate
  5. Permanently Extend Small Business Expensing
  6. Update and Simplify Depreciation Schedules
  7. Expand Taxpayer Choice

This last item is probably the most revolutionary since it allows for taxpayers to opt into a flat tax system. Now the Americans for Tax Reform may say that the pledge allows for this, but I tell you the truth--if Fred were to sign it and then implement this flat tax system, he would be beat over the head with this because of changes in the tax rates or deductions. Fred is in a no-win situation here.

What is Fred's Record?

The Club for Growth has put out a report card on Fred. They note that he:

  • Voted for the 2001 Bush tax cuts
  • Voted for repeal of the Death Tax
  • Voted for capital gains tax cuts
  • Voted to require a supermajority to pass tax hikes
  • Voted to reduce the amount of Social Security benefits subject to taxation
  • Voted against waiving the Budget Act to allow for a cigarette tax hike
Their one hit on Fred is that he voted against an amendment that would have limited certain discretionary spending that would tie those limits to lower taxes. (Note, this would not have violated the AFTR No New Tax pledge.)

So, my conclusion is that Fred is making statements of principle and proposals that are in agreement with his history of voting. These principles call for lower taxation and simplified tax systems. I put his record and his proposals out for ANY of the other candidates to compare in ALL THREE AREAS. I cannot trust Huck, Rudy or Mitt on these issues simply because their history is not in line with their rhetoric--or even their worthless pledge to the Americans For Tax Reform.

Fred on CNN Morning in America

Why is Fred getting his best interviews on CNN rather than Fox? Oh well. Fred was on CNN's Morning in America this morning and here is the video from that. A few thoughts on the interview:

It starts with the "campaign"--"Why aren't you in New Hampshire" (dumb question, but I guess it has to be asked). Fortunately they move to issues fairly quickly.

Economic concerns: Fred actually promotes a tax rollback "stimulus package" for the lowest tax bracket for one year--similar to 2001.

Social Security: The interviewer actually asks the question in a very ignorant way--she states Fred's private accounts as his solution to the Social Security problem. Fortunately Fred uses his short version of the stump speech to answer this to make sure that the indexing to inflation aspect gets into the discussion.

Immigration: Their bias really shows here. Reagan did amnesty--why not the Republicans? Fred points to confusion about why his competitors are pointing to Reagan on this and then states that he is NOT for amnesty. Then he goes through his immigration plan. Note that Fred is the only one that is talking about not giving citizenship (or a path thereto) to people who are already in the country. The only major candidate! Everyone else ends up using the statement, "well you can't send 12 million back" but Fred says, they will go back on their own if they can't get jobs.

The interviewer was not good, but at least she let Fred talk about issues!

Rush Lets the Huckabee Supporters Call In

I am linking to the Rush Limbaugh statements on Huckabee from Monday's show because there is a great graphic on the site (that I cannot copy to put here). Look about 2/3 down the page for the graphic that starts "Huckabee and the New Conservatism". A couple of quotes:
RUSH: All right, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to take the gloves off here for just a second. Welcome back, by the way, to the Rush Limbaugh program and the EIB Network. We're getting a lot of people calling here, claiming to speak for all evangelicals. Even Huckabee himself said on Fox yesterday that he did not get all of the evangelical vote in Iowa. It is not true to say that the evangelical vote in this country is monolithic and in total support of Mike Huckabee. If you want to call and speak for yourself, feel free to do so. Most of the pro-life groups out there, by the way, not groups of religious people, but most of the pro-life groups happen to be supporting Fred Thompson. In another thing, we had a guy, Eric from North Carolina, who called and said and that the Home School Legal Defense Association endorsed Huckabee. That's not true. One of their top dogs did, a guy named Michael Farris, but the association did not. You can go through their website and you will find a lot of critical articles on Huckabee, re: home schooling. They had a press release saying that Farris' endorsement is not an endorsement from them. This is a guy that accused me of deceiving people. You can call here, you can say what you want, but be very careful, because I am an encyclopedia. If you're going to start making claims here, we're going to find out about it.

My question for you evangelicals is this: If you're looking for a real conservative, why are you supporting Huckabee? He's completely discredited himself. What about Fred Thompson, if you're looking for a real conservative? Huckabee is constantly engaging in class warfare against the producers. This laid-off line, it's an attack on Romney, but it's an attack on producers. It's an attack on employers. It's pure populism. He does oppose school choice! You don't get the NEA endorsement in New Hampshire by supporting school choice.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Bit of "Fam-Spam"

This is an extreme rarity for me. This is a piece of "Fam-Spam"--you know, the spam of weird emails sent by a member of your family. But you have to keep getting it because you can't blacklist your Mother. Well, here is a news release:
In a news conference Deanna Favre announced she will be the starting QB for the Packers this coming Sunday. Deanna asserts that she is qualified to be starting QB because she has spent the past 16 years married to Brett while he played QB for the Packers.

During this period of time she became familiar with the definition of a corner blitz, and is now completely comfortable with other terminology of the Packers offense.

A survey of Packers fans shows that 50% of those polled supported the move.

Does this sounds idiotic and unbelievable to you? Well, Hillary Clinton makes the same claims as to why she is qualified to be President and 50% of democrats polled agreed.

She has never run a City, County, or State.

When told Hillary Clinton has experience because she has 8 years in the White House, Dick Morris stated "so has the pastry chef" !!!!!!.

Rush Pushes Evangelicals to Fred

Fred is linking to a video of Rush pushing Evangelicals to look at Fred Thompson. Great stuff. I could link to the video, put you should head over to Fred's website.

Americans for Tax Reform At It Again

Americans for Tax Reform has a press release again today talking about their pledge and the fact that some have not signed it. Here is their great title:
McCain, Thompson, all Dems Fail to Make No-Tax Pledge
One interesting note, however, is that Rudy has not signed their pledge, but they give him a pass. Why?
Giuliani did not sign the Pledge per se, but has put in writing his commitment to oppose and veto all tax increases (as did George W. Bush) and ATR considers this to achieve the spirit and letter of the Pledge.
So, obviously Fred (I will ignore McCain here) will raise your taxes, right? I have dealt with this before but I will point out a couple of things again.

First, I do not believe that Fred has engaged in ANY pledge signing.

Second, I do not believe that signing a pledge means anything. Even Reagan, who signed the pledge, at one point passed income tax increases as part of a restructuring plan. We don't hold it against him because as a whole he lowered taxes across the board. That is what we need--not someone who signs a pledge.

Third, Fred is probably the most outspoken on tax policy in the race for the Presidency. He has written a complete white paper on Tax Relief and Economic Growth. This is far more comprehensive than just not raising income taxes or getting rid of deductions (which is all that the Americans for Tax Reform pledge calls for). This includes making the Bush tax cuts permanent; ending the death tax; lowering corporate tax rates; and making depreciation schedules faster and easier for small businesses.

Fourth, true tax reform would require breaking the pledge!!!! For instance, if you want to create a flat tax, which Fred does, that would include getting rid of many deductions in the tax system. This is against the Americans for Tax Reform pledge. So their pledge is at odds with the name of the organization!

Give us a break. Fred is probably the strongest anti-tax candidate in the race. Whether or not he signs a stupid "pledge" is irrelevant.

Video Regarding the Fox Focus Groups

Here is a video showing that at least one of the "undecided" voters in the Fox focus group showed up more than once. But at least he changed his mind....

Human Events on the Politico

Jed Babbin at Human Events has written a nice piece detailing the journalistic "malfeasance" (as Fred termed it) in their incorrect piece predicting Fred's leaving the race and endorsing McCain.
All evidence points to the Politico story being the result of a dirty trick. As Bob Novak reports today the rumors of Thompson’s supposed plan to drop out after Iowa were apparently being pushed by Mitt Romney’s campaign. One political consultant who appears on the news as unaffiliated with any campaign was apparently at the center of the trick. His involvement is something we are investigating. Why isn’t anyone else tracking him down? Who was he working for, and how? Do any of the grand guardians of journalism even care? Perhaps after today they will.