There went the best

It hurts to read that Fred Thompson dropped out of the race. After South Carolina, I knew it was inevitable, but it just plain hurts.

FWIW, I favored his candidacy back in March, and I was defending him when people were making fun of him because I thought he could be a great president.

Those interested in reading what happened from the standpoint of insider should read Patrick Cox's post. It especially pained me to read this:

Most of the leading candidates were working behind the scenes for years, making unofficial deals with the people in every state who know how to wield influence and mobilize the rank and file. Fred, on the other hand, honestly never lusted for the power of the presidency. He agreed, upon significant urging, to run because he believed it was the right thing to do for his children and the country. Politics, however, apparently requires more.
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

Those who most want to be president are those who least deserve to be elected. The best presidents are those who are forced or persuaded by others into accepting the job.

All the more reason he would have been a great president.

Don't expect me to throw my support to anyone right now. (Not that it would make much difference.) Before I supported Fred I supported Guiliani and I guess I can do that again, but that's not the point of this post.

The whole thing is just a damned shame.

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link and the quote. A warm welcome to all.

posted by Eric on 01.22.08 at 10:03 PM


I think "damn shame" sums it up nicely.

Numbness prevents another choice for some days.

Michael F   ·  January 22, 2008 11:03 PM

Dear Mr. Scheie: From your post:

"Those who most want to be president are those who least deserve to be elected. The best presidents are those who are forced or persuaded by others into accepting the job."

The first part of your statement will come as news to both Roosevelts, Andrew Jackson, and Reagan. The second part will give Ulysses Grant, Warren G. Harding, and William Howard Taft a sour belly laugh.

As I've said elsewhere, this practicing reference librarian has often seen students who wait till the last minute to get started come to the library, only to be dismayed because other students have picked the collection clean. So, alas, with Fred, my #2 choice. I now realize why he was my #2 choice: "fire in the belly" is a cliche, so let's say that winning election to the presidency requires either a) overwhelming national reknown that translates into a draft (Washington, Eisenhower, Grant, Hoover) or b) a willingness to throw family, fortune, dignity, privacy, and reputation onto the poker table before you pick up your hand to play(Nixon, William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey---there are far more losers who risked all and lost than winners.)

Fred had neither.

In any case, he was flashing warning signs before his candidacy. Didn't he quit the Senate after eight years, not because he had done all he wanted to do, but because he couldn't see the point of the daily grind anymore? This, at a time of great peril to the country (he declined to run for reelection in 2002.) We can wish things were different. I wish Jack Kemp had been the Republican nominee in 1988. They aren't.

"Facts are better than dreams."---Winston Churchill, on assuming the Premiership in 1940, after 40 years of lusting after the job.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Gregory Koster   ·  January 22, 2008 11:41 PM

I am holding out hope for a Giuliani/Thompson ticket. While he had arguably the best platform and ideas, Thompson just didn't have the outward drive and dynamism that Rudy can bring to the top of the ticket...

But can't you see Thompson embarrassing the hell out VP candidate John Edwards in the summer debates?

Giuliani is hardly out of it (assuming he wins in Florida) and I believe a Giuliani/Thompson ticket has the best shot at winning in November.

MPH   ·  January 23, 2008 1:22 AM

Well, I am still going to vote for Fred on Super Tuesday.

Call it my protest vote!

flicka47   ·  January 23, 2008 1:22 AM

I'm also the one of few who supporting the Fred from the start. I'm strongly believe you've to give the responsibility to one who is not seeking it with desire, Fred is one. But unfortunately politics ask more than that...
Car Breakdown Cover

John   ·  January 23, 2008 1:48 AM

I don't understand all these former Fredheads voting for Giuliani. I live in NYC and had a front seat view of his contempt for civil liberties. Yeah, he was better than Dinkins; that's not saying a lot. The odd thing is that people I talk to here agree with me that he's an "authoritarian" (since I don't like to use the F-word), but argue that that's what the city needed. Sounds to me like what people were saying in the '30s (oops, there I go again).

If you laughed when the lefties went on about Bushitler and AshKKKroft and how the USA PATRIOT Act had turned this into a police state, you'll laugh out the other side of your mouth if Rudy gets his hands on the reins of power. He's a bully. Think Janet Reno in drag. Or Elliot Spitzer. McCain spits on the first amendment; Giuliani spits on all the amendments. Or rather acts as if he's never heard of them. And this goes all the way back to his time as US Attorney.

So with Thompson out of the race I'll reluctantly vote for Romney, though I'm not giving him any money or time. But if McCain, Giuliani, or Huckabee get the nomination, my choices in November don't include voting Republican.

Milhouse   ·  January 23, 2008 3:25 AM

I never thought I'd say this, but at the end of the day the most important thing about this election is keeping the Clinton slime machine out of the White House. The second most important thing is to keep the GOP from becoming nothing more than a bastion for religious extremists. The best person to accomplish those two goals is, sadly, McCain. No I don't like him on a number of levels, but he seems to be the only person on the GOP side who has the potential of winning the independent voters who will ultimatly decide the election. And with his record it will be pretty damned hard for the MoveOn poo-slingers to demonize him. Plus it will be fun listening to all the lefties explain why having a war hero in the White house was so important in 2004 and irrelevant in 2008.

So, reluctantly, I'm going to vote for McCain. Giuliani has more skeletons in his closet than Bluebeard and the one word I hear to describe Romney more than any other is "phony." They can't win in November, folks, and that's really all that matters, unless you want to live for the next four years under monolithic Democrat control of the central government, with all that that implies.

Smaack   ·  January 23, 2008 8:22 AM

There is no religious extremist I fear more than the extreme Environmental Religious so McCain is out for me.

Just one small example, after thirty years of hearing how mercury is an evil toxin which kills fish and all living things the extreme Environmental Religious are now forcing me to put the evil toxic mercury in my home; there is nothing more extreme than the extreme Environmental Religious.

If moderate/independent voters have a choice between a liberal Republican and a liberal Democrat they most likely will not vote for the Republican liberal. I hope McCain's supporters understand that his nomination will throw the election to the Democrats.

I can do either Rudy or Romney however I don't believe Rudy is going anywhere and Romney has enough money I won't have to spend my own to get a Republican elected.

syn   ·  January 23, 2008 8:58 AM

That said while Romney may be described as 'phoney', McCain spent the last eight being 'phoney'.

syn   ·  January 23, 2008 9:05 AM

For the first time, I was for a candidate rather than just against his opponents. If Fred is still on the Georgia ballot, I'll still vote for him; otherwise I'll be looking for a way to vote "present".

Lee Davis   ·  January 23, 2008 9:34 AM

Yes, the environmental "movement" is based on faith, like so much of the Left's beliefs, which is why it's impossible to argue or even discuss matters with them. I don't really care who the nominee is, so long as it's not Paul (anyone who attracts klansmen and neo-nazis just isn't my kinda guy) or Huckabee, who's essentially Jimmy Carter if Carter had been serious about all that born-again evangelical stuff. Either one of those guys makes me vote Democrat, or not vote at all. And since I haven't missed an election since 1980 and have never voted for a Democrat for president, that's saying something.

Smaack   ·  January 23, 2008 9:53 AM

I have yet to figure out how Thompson was the savior and McCain was the devil, given how close their voting records were.

McCain gets accused of "spitting on the First Amendment", yet Thompson supporters conveniently forget Thompson was a COSPONSOR of that bill.

Thompson had the hopes and dreams of the right wing blogosphere projected on him with little review of his record. Sure, he had position papers. So did GWB - tell me how his pronouncements on cutting government and such worked out.

There was literally nothing in Thompson's history that indicated he was destined for greatness. Unless you just really, really loved Days of Thunder and were sure if he could run Nascar and control that crazy Rowdy and Cole then Iran would be no problem.

Matt   ·  January 23, 2008 10:20 AM

Matt, Thompson has admitted that the bill turned out horrible and has since recanted it (even before he started his campaign) while McCain still says it is a good law and is peachy keen.

Phelps   ·  January 23, 2008 11:21 AM

He has admitted no such thing, at least as of September '07.

"When the former star of TV's "Law and Order" series and newly-minted presidential candidate spoke to reporters on the porch of the Grand Hotel here, I asked Thompson whether he was proud of his role in enacting the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation in '01.

"Yes," replied the former Tennessee senator without hesitation. "You will recall that the central part of the legislation was getting rid of soft money [from the political process]."

Matt   ·  January 23, 2008 12:00 PM

Thanks. Well, I am still going to vote for Fred on Super Tuesday.

Call it my protest vote!

Autoversicherung   ·  January 25, 2008 9:55 AM

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