Rich Galen has written the best article yet on Thompson’s campaign and subsequent withdrawal.
At about 2 PM Eastern yesterday, Fred Thompson made it official when he had the campaign press shop issue the following statement:
“Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States.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.”
Like the campaign itself, the statement was brief, unambiguous, and dignified.
At the time, I was having lunch Christine Byun, the ABC producer who had followed the Thompson campaign from the beginning. Our Blackberries began to wheeze and buzz at the same time with the news of the statement and we swung back into full work mode immediately: She calling her desk for instructions, me answering calls from reporters demanding to know why I hadn’t told them in advance.
The answer was: I didn’t know in advance. Fred Thompson is a private man who makes decisions on his own schedule. Following Saturday’s third place finish in South Carolina, I was beset by calls about what he would do and when he would do it.
I had the same answer for all: You have a deadline to report his decision. He has no deadline on which to make it. […]
Here’s a tale out of school which describes the kind of man Thompson is: One day in the week leading up to the South Carolina primary the campaign office in McLean, Virginia, asked if he would record a video thanking supporters for helping to have raised over a million dollars from the day after the Iowa caucuses to that point.
This video was obviously going to be a veiled pitch to send in more money — a point not lost on Thompson, even though the script I wrote never mentioned it.
He told me he wasn’t going to record it. Knowing we were facing an uphill climb to stay in the race, and knowing the video would tempt viewers to donate to help the campaign to go onto Florida and February 5th, he said, “I am not going to ask for money under false pretenses.” […]
It is strange that the qualities we are looking for in a sitting President — thoughtful, calm, and serious — are exactly the qualities that we penalize in those running for President. […]
Read the full article. Although most of it is here, I left out the responses from the other candidates. Too bad hindsight is 20/20. When foresight demands the same clarity of gaze it almost always falls short. No matter what, every other candidate is going to fall short in some way or another. However, we can look at this article have a little more clarity on our choices, can’t we?
Or you can listen to the hack. While they might not be mutually exclusive stories, I find Cameron’s gloating just a little hard to take.
A continuation of last night’s concerns.
Russian presidential heir apparent Dmitry Medvedev, in his first major campaign speech yesterday, said he would seek to boost the power of the United Nations and would not sever Moscow’s ties to “problem states” like Iran, despite Western pressure.
Mr. Medvedev, chairman of the energy giant Gazprom and longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, also said Russia’s economy needed “decades of stable development” to catch up to the West and promised a vigorous drive to root out corruption.
The nationally televised address took a softer rhetorical line than that favored recently by Mr. Putin but came on a day when Russia’s military staged another exercise heavy with symbolic echoes of the old Soviet superpower days.
Spook’s take on the exercise is:
At the risk of sounding redundant, the Russian exercise in the Bay of Biscay makes a Bear run against the U.S. eastern seaboard all-but-inevitable. With TU-95s scheduled to participate in the current exercise, it would be easy to add an extra “cell” of bombers (two aircraft) to the formation. As the Bears approach the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. Gap, most of the bombers would turn south, steering around Britain and heading toward the exercise area. The remaining two-ship element would break west, bound for our east coast. After flying parallel to the coastline, the Bears would land in Cuba or Venezuela, then return by the same route a few days later.
While you’re at Spook’s place the first article you’ll encounter is this: Pyongyang Takes Notice.
Read it, too.
I thought I should take down all the links and blogrolls today but then I decided not to. According to KrellKrell, there’s something called leverage that be useful in the upcoming elections. At this point in time, I’m not sure what I’m going to do although it’s clear that the tradition of voting for the lesser evil of the Republican nominee is clearly not working for many of us. There never seems to come a time when we don’t have to do that. Those of us who fall into the core conservative category are pretty much left out in the cold and kept silent.
I have no special advice for you except: Vote your conscience. If Thompson is someone you can get behind and support wholeheartedly, then vote for him if he’s still on the ballot in your state. If not, and you still feel that strongly about it, write him in. In the larger scheme of things for the general I doubt it will change the end results as far as who will be the Republican nominee. In spite of that, I do believe it will give us a stronger voice for the future.
God Bless You All.
They will get worse.
While the media is deciding who will be the next president, Russia is flexing its muscles in anticipation of a much weakened United States. China has already thrown its weight around and continues to do so. In addition, they court our enemies.
In the meantime our politicians promise us the moon while they chip away the foundations of this country. The stock market is falling fast.
And the American people have been hung out to dry as the choices are no longer ours but at the discretion of the elites, which don’t include the rest of us. If matters continues the course upon which they are set even the worst I can imagine may pall in comparison to the actuality.
But cheer up. We can bury our noses in the boob tube and maybe we won’t even know what hit us until it’s far too late to worry about it. We’ll still have American Idol, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears to talk about, right?
Oh, by the way, Heath Ledger is dead.
Yesterday and this morning my fellow bloggers and I had a conversation stemming from a comment left by another poster telling the story of a complaint about some Air Force jets disturbing the complainant’s peace who then belligerently asked if there was reason why. The commanding officer proceeded to tell the complainant that it was standard procedure as they were presiding over the funeral of a fallen Air Force officer, killed in Iraq.
The ensuing conversation came up because of our various emotional experiences when reading the story. One of the blog posters was talking about how he felt he never did enough during his time in the service and used the phrase: “Duty, Honor, Country”, lamenting that so few knew what the words mean anymore. Then, he launched into a plug for Fred Thompson because the majority of us are Fred supporters and he said: “I believe that is why an honorable man like Fred Thompson can not break through and appeal to the mass of voters.”
He’s right along several fronts. We dragged Fred into this. He never asked for it but once he answered the call, all he asked for was time to put his affairs in order so that he would be able to put all his effort into it for “Duty, Honor, Country”.
During debates, the clear leader is the one all the others follow in spite of wanting to be the leader themselves, and they resent him for it while wishing that their own motives could be as pure and their hearts as strong for “Duty, Honor, Country”.
Thompson doesn’t need the personal aggrandizement but he has a need to see his country stand strong and honorable for his children, his grandchildren, and their grandchildren. We should emulate his example for: “Duty, Honor, Country”.
He has a heartfelt concern for the course upon which this country seems to be set, just like those of us who begged him to run for the office, for “Duty, Honor, Country”. The time he asked for to get his own affairs in order, we begrudged him and the media vilified him for it. When he didn’t dance to the tug of millions of strings, the media vilified him for it. Where is the media’s “Duty, Honor, Country”?
Doesn’t want to be president? He goes on the road, town to town, talking about the issues that the country is facing: “Duty, Honor, Country”.
No fire in the belly? His fire burns hottest of all: “Duty, Honor, Country”. You can’t ask for a hotter fire than that. Presidents like Thompson don’t come along very often. Consider the last 2 ½ decades. Do we turn our backs on and reject someone who gave up a lot to answer the call of “Duty, Honor, Country”?
I didn’t start out that way. In fact, looking at his website he seems just as viable as any other candidate in the Republican race. He looked so good “on paper” I was contemplating him as one of my first choices. However, his actions and words on the campaign trail don’t match with the website.
A couple of days ago, I published an article on my other blogging gig, Hang Right Politics, because of something Huckabee said that really scared me… not because of the issue he was addressing because I’m just as pro-Life as the next conservative, but because of the words he used when addressing the issue. As a result, some staunch Huckabee supporters attacked not only me but my fellow bloggers there when they tried to help clarify arguments. Thankfully they saved their worst words for me, such as closet lib, accused of supporting and possibly engaging in bestiality, an ACLU plant, and so on. It got to a point where I emailed my fellow bloggers and told them to give up because nobody was listening.
Words have power when they are uttered from a position of authority. I’m not the only one troubled by the words used to address the issue. Human Events, Reagan’s favorite newspaper, was troubled as well. Mr. Babbin probably summed it up much better than my poor attempt that seemed to garner so much ire.
Now, perhaps we can give Gov. Huckabee the benefit of the doubt and say he didn’t mean them the way they could be construed. However, my argument still stands that words uttered from a position of authority have power. Power can be abused, deliberately or in ignorance, and it would concern me greatly in either case. It opens a door to a path that could take us far away from the founding precepts of this nation.
In another episode, Huckabee called the Constitution a “living, breathing document” which is not so, not so. Now, what Huckabee doesn’t understand, or at least in my view doesn’t(or understands and doesn’t care which I can’t attest to without reading the man’s mind), is that to advocate such a stance once again opens a door to a path that would take us far away from the founding precepts of this nation.
It’s been pointed out since the furor erupted over this incident that it is not Huckabee’s only attack on the first amendment. And this: Anti-Fred Thompson Push Poll Call is lies in his support. The biggest problem with running as an evangelical candidate is being evangelical, which Huckabee is not, at least not by my definition. And the deeper one digs into the person of Huckabee, the less there is to trust.
So, yes, I suppose I am anti-Huckabee. Sorry about that but it takes more than a profession of faith to convince me.