Fred Thompson: The Next Reagan?
I think Hugh Hewitt has the answer to that question:
One reason I suspect the Fred boom may be over before it has even really begun is the recognition that on the stump Fred will be seen as the southerner he is --slow, folksy, plain spoken. In a year when an anti-Bush may be needed, a Brookyln-born Mob-busting tough guy, or the hyper-intelligent, hyper-eloquent investment banker turnaround executive may emerge quickly as far more likely to be the "something completely different " that Reagan was in 1980 . . . .I think that what excites the GOP base about Thompson (and that base is not enough to win a general election) is that he is a tough-talking Southerner. Well, we've had one of those for the last 6 years, and although "W" is not nearly as articulate as Fred, I wonder if the rest of the country wants a replay.
A lot of people also see Thompson as Arthur Branch, the D.A. on "Law and Order."
What I see is a man who served one full (and undistinguished) term in the U.S. Senate; who has never run anything other than his Senate office and committees; who voted for McCain-Feingold; who was McCain's 2000 presidential campaign co-chair; who is a protege of Howard Baker -- no conservative, he; and who had an American Conservative Union rating, in his final year in the Senate, of 86-- placing him in the same neighborhood as such conservative lions as Mike DeWine (83), Chuck Hagel (84), John McCain (84) Robert Bennett (88), Frank Murkowski (83) Charles Grassley (83) and Peter Fitzgerald (87).
I may be wrong, but I am not sure how well this candidate is is going to fare in the intense light of media and voter scrutiny -- which he has so far avoided.
Update: More at Evangelicals for Mitt.
And here's a more statesmanlike take from K-Lo:
Romney and Thompson will wind up in the same administration — one of them as president, the other as...something important and influential. It's a relatively fearless prediction because I'm not making any public bet on who comes out on top. But they strike me as leaders. I think they probably both get it — conservatism, the war, what's important in life (including life). And they both probably have the interest of the country seriously weighing on their minds. As do their families. They both strike me as good men who believe in a lot of the same things and neither is particularly keen on attacking the other. They both will have very good people who will work for them — and conservative people at that. If Romney and Thompson are what it comes down to for the GOP, that will be a good thing for America.And Hugh Hewitt comments on whether Thompson is Reagan's heir:
Fred Thompson arrives with many on the sidelines whispering Reagan. Perhaps, but just perhaps. President Reagan was a Californian, not a southerner, an upbeat and sunny optimist who had spent 16 years on the chicken circuit helping the party, and having made one unsuccessful run for the GOP nomination. Few Republicans every thought to raise questions about Reagan’s fire in the belly.