Former Senator Fred Thompson

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

For those who have managed to avoid the “Law and Order” TV series all these years, the recent Presidential boomlet for Fred Thompson – who plays the DA, to whom the protagonists go for wisdom and tough choices – is probably not a big deal. But let me tell you, this guy is so palpably appealing that it is very scary.
I don’t mean just a “recognition” carryover from his being a TV star. It’s that his demeanor will be the same in a campaign; it is very natural to him: steady, wise, avuncular, likable, reasonable, the very figure of a Statesman President. So, there it is, it could just be me, but maybe not.
I think he would be a far stronger Republican nominee than any of those currently in the field, and a far more formidable opponent for the Democrat. I have no idea what he has to say about Iraq, Bush, abortion rights, gays, or anything else. Hopefully, he would get himself in trouble over something.
But it’s hard to see how such troubles could be worse than what McCain and Guiliani already face. McCain’s problem’s are going to keep on getting worse because of the war (and his lack of a Surge Suppressor). Guiliani is going to be set back hard because of himself. The better he is known, the worse he looks, including the social issues and personal history/scandals. And his honeymoon period with the press is already ending.
Thompson could beat them both. I’m hoping that he’s had dozens of divorces and sordid affairs. If Thompson is reasonable on social issues, that could complicate things within the party. But, on reflection, it may not be just happenstance that the two current leading contenders are to the left of their party’s traditions. It’s possible that if Thompson came out as a True Conservative, that would hamper him, either in the primaries or in the general election.
The other hope is that deeply entrenched powers in the Republican Party – money-sources, local political machines, influence peddlers and the companies and industries they serve – have too much at stake already, are too committed, to allow someone new to take all the marbles.