Thursday, April 26, 2007

The "Law and Order" Candidate

Back in the Sixties, when the leftist Revolution was moving into violent high gear and the existence of all that we knew as America was clearly being threatened, many of the fearful spoke of the need for "law and order" candidates when the election periods of the 1960s and 1970s rolled around.

So much of what the "Sixties" represented has again become the order of our day, but uneasiness about a looming chaos has been heightened with some very contemporary new threats. Back in the former days, it took a clear-thinking well-spoken actor-statesman, Ronald Reagan, to bring the country back to its roots and senses. Today a similar figure is emerging in the person of Fred Thompson.

Thompson, who has not yet announced his candidacy for president but who looks very much like he will, has given conservatives happy goosebumps and appears to have Reaganesque qualities which could prove unbeatable and, more importantly, just the sort of sincere wisdom that this nation craves in its new hour of need.

We are pleased to reprint here a number of reports and commentaries which we hope will help convince the candadite and the voters that Fred Thompson is the man of the hour. -- GJM

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Thompson Seeing a Green Light on the Right
By Ralph Z. Hallow and Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

Evidence of former Sen. Fred Thompson’s presidential appeal to victory-seeking conservatives is growing, including drawing more than 50 House Republicans on April 18 to hear his pitch and walking out with some endorsements for the Tennessean.

“When Fred Thompson runs for president, I will endorse him,” said Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida. Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana said Mr. Thompson “is ready, and I want him to run.”
Richard Land, one of the nation’s leading Southern Baptists, told The Washington Times that Mr. Thompson is sure to win if he runs.

“If Fred Thompson enters the race, he will be the odds-on favorite to become the nominee,” said Mr. Land, president of the South Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “He will be a formidable candidate in the general election for the presidency.”

The actor-politician has invited Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to attend any announcement of a presidential candidacy.

Mr. Kinder, a staunch supporter of the Iraq war, noted that “Thompson won both his U.S. Senate races by more than 20 percentage points in a state that Bill Clinton carried twice.”

“Fred Thompson has demonstrated massive crossover appeal [to Democrats and independents] reminiscent of Reagan,” Mr. Kinder said.

Mr. Land and Mr. Kinder’s enthusiasm adds to the conviction among Republican insiders that Mr. Thompson will enter the contest and become a magnet for Iraq war advocates and social conservatives looking for a candidate they can trust.

Mr. Thompson told reporters he was on Capitol Hill to meet old friends and make new ones, but said nothing about his political ambitions.

Rep. Zach Wamp, the Tennessee Republican who organized the meeting, said five of the seven members of the Republican leadership were among the 53 lawmakers who attended. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio and Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri did not attend. Mr. Wamp said Mr. Blunt had been scheduled to meet with President Bush.

Not all of the Republicans meeting with Mr. Thompson were ready to make an endorsement. Many said they simply wanted to hear what he had to say. Mr. Thompson had the ear of Rep. Tom Latham of Iowa and Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, whose states have early primaries or caucuses.

“After seven failed years of George Bush, this party needs somebody who can excite them,” said Rep. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican. He was one of the outspoken conservatives against the Iraq war who attended the Capitol Hill meeting.

Mr. Thompson is a former Watergate prosecutor who plays a minor role as district attorney in the popular TV series “Law & Order.”

Missouri is shaping up to be a battleground for endorsements. Gov. Matt Blunt has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani appeared Saturday at a fundraiser for Mr. Blunt’s father, but the congressman has not publicly endorsed any candidate.

Mr. Land said Mr. Thompson’s wife, Jeri Kehn, telephoned to thank him for a complimentary newspaper column. On April 14, Mr. Thompson phoned to say he wanted Mr. Land present at any campaign kickoff. “No date or time frame was mentioned,” Mr. Land said.

Mr. Land gave a qualified “yes” when asked whether conservative evangelical voters will sit out the 2008 election if none of the candidates shares their values. He said they may participate in elections below the presidential level, but “you will see a significant drop in the turnout among evangelicals.”

Run, Fred, Run
By Cal Thomas

I have no idea whether Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee, will run for the Republican nomination for president, but he should.

He has Ronald Reagan's communication skills and speaks plainly in ways most people can understand. Anyone who has listened to him substitute for Paul Harvey on ABC News Radio senses that, in this, he follows in Reagan's footsteps. Radio is an intimate medium. People who are able to connect with a radio audience often can connect on TV and in person. Thompson, the actor, plays other people. On radio and in news interviews, he "plays" himself.

Thompson conveys Middle American, common sense values. When he is asked a question, he doesn't sound as if he's giving a poll-tested pabulum answer. Agree or not, his statements spring from conviction.

In an interview with Fox's Chris Wallace last month, Thompson gave refreshingly direct answers to questions. On Iraq: "We're the leader of the free world whether we like it or not. People are looking to us to test our resolve. People think that if we hadn't gone down there (to Iraq), things would have been lovely. If Saddam Hussein were still around today with his sons looking at Iran developing a nuclear capability, he undoubtedly would have reconstituted his nuclear capability. Things would be worse than they are today."

Yes, we made mistakes in Iraq, Thompson says. "We went in there too light, wrong rules of engagement, wrong strategy, placed too much emphasis on just holding things in place while we built up the Iraqi army, took longer than we figured. Wars are full of mistakes. You rectify things. I think we're doing that now."

Abortion? "Pro-life. I think Roe vs. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. And the way to address that is through good judges."

Gay rights? "I think that we ought to be a tolerant nation. I think we ought to be tolerant people. But we shouldn't set up special categories for anybody. Marriage is between a man and a woman and I don't believe judges ought to come along and change that."

As for "civil unions," Thompson thinks it should be left up to the states.

Gun control? Thompson is "against it generally."

Thompson is a member of the advisory committee for the Libby Legal Defense Trust, which supports Dick Cheney's former chief of staff who is appealing his perjury conviction. Thompson told Wallace if he were president he would pardon Libby immediately: "This is a trial that never would have been brought in any other part of the world. This is a miscarriage of justice."

There's something else to like about Fred Thompson. He doesn't appear to be lusting after the job as if he needs it for his self-image. This, too, is much like Reagan, who knew who he was before becoming president and was the same after he left office.

It is said of Thompson that he has always "answered the call" of his country, whether it was serving as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, or in other capacities, including United States senator.

Some political "experts" think it is almost too late for any new candidate to announce for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he intends to wait until September before saying if he will run. Actually, waiting might be the best strategy for these Republicans. Conservative Republicans are restless about what they regard as a weak field. They want someone who can take on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and win.

The Time Is Now for Fred Thompson
Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
Saturday, April 21, 2007

NEWSMAX.COM -- For everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven — even a time to declare one's presidential candidacy.
For Fred Thompson, the time is now!

Momentum has been building for Thompson in the past six weeks. If he announces his presidency run in the next few weeks, he will coast easily into a berth in the Republican finals against Rudy Giuliani. But if he delays — as he shows signs of wanting to do — he will miss the boat.

For many candidates, delay means that they don't have to stand out and be targets until later in the game. But for Thompson, delay could be fatal.

The major negative against the former Tennessee senator is that he lacks the heart or the fire in the belly to compete and win.

With Hillary Clinton looming as the expected Democratic nominee, victory is of surpassing importance to the Republican primary electorate. Republicans will not nominate someone who they think is ambivalent about running.
During his Senate tenure, Thompson's work habits were suspect. The New York Times recently (gently) noted that he was not known as one of the hardest working senators. The very fact that he left the Senate after only eight years in office raised suspicions that he was distracted by the allure of Hollywood and the joys of private life.
Too long a delay in announcing his candidacy could fuel such speculation and create a negative that need not exist for the actor-turned-politician-turned-actor.

On paper, Fred Thompson looks like a nominee from, well, central casting. Invoking the legacy of Ronald Reagan, his communications skills hearken back to the era when the GOP right had a president so fluid, silken voiced, and articulate that it could advance its agenda without compromise and still prevail.

With Rudy Giuliani threatening to resurrect Rockefeller Republicanism in a modern incarnation, Thompson offers a refuge for pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay Republicans.

The recent Supreme Court decision upholding congressional legislation banning partial birth abortion and the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech will both ignite demands on the left for an aggressive drive to protect Roe v. Wade, and to legislate tougher gun controls.

This Democratic offensive puts Rudy Giuliani in the middle and could erode support for his candidacy. On the other hand, it could fire the ranks of true believers and lead them to rally around a Fred Thompson candidacy.

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