Fred Thompson would be an abject disaster of a Republican nominee. I have never witnessed a candidate who wanted to be President less than Fred. In fact, the only reason he is running is because people around him tell him it will be easy to win the nomination in the convoluted GOP race and because his wife is practically forcing him to run.
The Politico wrote up a indicting piece on this topic (which was the motivation for my post). In the article a day-in-the-life of the Fred campaign is discussed and followed. Here is a snippet:
But what happened to the “tour of downtown Waverly” that was on his schedule?
Canceled. Not going to happen. He was not going to walk the streets of Waverly in search of voters.
Instead, Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station. Local fire stations always have captive audiences (unless there is a fire).
Inside, Thompson shook a few hands — there were only about 15 people there — and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.
Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.
In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.
To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head.
the sum total of Thompson’s day in Waverly was meeting with a newspaper editor and saying nothing and then meeting about 15 people in a warm firehouse and saying nothing.
Later, his press aide sent Mark and me an e-mail of explanation, though we had not asked for one.
Thompson had skipped going up and down Bremer Avenue after the newspaper meeting because, the press aide explained, “We can’t control where the newspapers are. Had it been a more ‘main-street’ type town, it would have been different.”
But Waverly is a “main-street” type town, and the newspaper office was right there on the main street of town surrounded by businesses.
The press aide also claimed that “ice and snow on the streets presented a safety issue,” but Halperin and I had no problem walking on the mostly well-shoveled avenue, both before Thompson arrived and after he left. (In fact, we went into a local store on Bremer Avenue, where there were a number of shoppers Thompson easily could have greeted.)
When he was supposed to go out and find voters in shops and diners, talk to them and answer their questions, he decided to skip it and get back on his luxury bus instead.
That’s not retail politics. That’s not Iowa. And that’s not laconic. That’s lazy.
Fred gives off the impression that just having to shake hands with potential voters is more work than he is willing to do and that it is a burden to campaign for votes. This type of attitude may be able to sift him through to the top of the GOP race; he has other candidates that will do his dirty work for him by pulling each other down. But in a general election race he would get destroyed. One cannot be lazy and avoid campaigning in a one on one race against a candidate with the support and funding of a Hillary or Barack.
The GOP can ill afford to choose a candidate of such ilk. Two other candidates virtually hold the same positions as Fred – Mitt Romney and John McCain. Both of these candidates are better choices. Mitt is the smartest in the race, has the most money, best organization, and is out working everyone. John has the military background, works harder than Fred, is quite authentic, and polls the best against the dem candidates. So why on earth are people even considering Fred? It is completely baffling to me. What a wasted vote. A Fred nomination is a guaranteed loss in the general election. Not to mention that he would have a sub-par Presidency in the event he was elected.