There’s a sports adage that the most popular man in town (at least to sports fans) is the second string quarterback. He symbolizes potential and more importantly he’s NOT the guy goofing up as a starter, or he’s NOT the once great leader who now needs to be replaced.
Part of the charm of Fred Thompson, at least right now, is that he’s not McCain, Guiliani, Brownback, Gingrich, Romney and especially not George Bush. Each of those others has serious flaws that may not be fatal but are certain to be exploited in the ramp-up to the election.
McCain could play panderer ping-pong with Hillary C. and the game could go on for weeks. Guiliani WAS the man after 9/11, but when it comes down to poll tacks, he doesn’t feel strongly enough that gays are sub-strata to the red meat crowd. Brownback is going to face the backlash against the religious zealotry that got us into some of the mess we’re in now. Gingrich is too much of a hypocrite and too full of himself to have a chance. Romney could rival the fabled Fosbury for the top of the flop patrol and the country is truly tired of the Bushies.
So what do we have left..a bunch of no-chancers and the man on the bench wearing the white law n’ order hat. Is he conservative enough to win the nomination? Right, said Fred, and the congregation said amen!
Thompson doesn’t care what a lot of us think, and he has a brain, and honestly that’s a combination that has only been fifty percent in place for the last few years. If he was a true pol he would have calibrated his position on the Iraqi war to show that he had a modicum of doubt, but Fred don’t play that game.
I disagree with him on the war and probably a lot of things, but I can say that I don’t respect anybody running any more than I respect Fred, and that’s from either side of the aisle. He’s not a charmer charmer chameleon and he understands the effectiveness of the plain spoken word.
His Achilles heel is that he probably really doesn’t want to be President badly enough, and quite frankly, that’s one of the biggest compliments I could give any politician.