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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Monday, January 07, 2008

Is Fred Thompson's Campaign Dead?

I've been following presidential races since 1964, and this one is the toughest to handicap. I don't know who the 2008 Republican nominee will be, but I'll make this prediction: it won't be McCain or Giuliani. I've said recently that, by the process of elimination, the nominee will be either Romney or Huckabee, but I'm now wondering if I haven't been overly-influenced by the news media's assessment that Fred Thompson's campaign is going nowhere.

Following last night's five-candidate Republican debate on Fox News-- to which Ron Paul was not invited-- Frank Luntz presented his focus group of undecided New Hampshire Republicans. The big majority thought that Romney won the debate, and many said that Thompson seemed detached. Fox News's Fred "Beetle" Barnes joked that Thompson finishing third in Iowa meant that he had to stay in the campaign.

In 1976, before the front-loading of the primaries, Ronald Reagan lost all of the early contests and was written off by the news media and others. Then, on March 23, with Sen. Jesse Helms's strong assistance, Reagan won an upset victory in the North Carolina primary. He then swept the Southern primaries and went on to nearly capture the nomination over President Gerald Ford.

The polls say that McCain will win tomorrow's New Hampshire primary. If he does, the South Carolina primary will become crucial. If Thompson does well in SC, he may then be on his way to winning the nomination. We should know before much longer.

by Lisa Fabrizio | January 7, 2008

Back in the early days of the 2000 presidential campaign, right after John McCain beat George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary, there were many dire media predictions along the lines of, "If Bush doesn't turn things around quickly it could turn into a McCain rout." I thought: what in heaven's name is going on here? Bush has all the endorsements, a terrific organization and wads of money. Could his candidacy be blasted out of contention by the machinations of the mainstream media?

Unfortunately for the media, the answer was no. Despite their best efforts, Bush regained his momentum in South Carolina--which, of course, prompted charges of dirty dealings--and went on to easily capture the nomination. Because once the process moved out of the realm of the polls and the punditry, conservative voters made their voices heard at the voting booth.

This time around, the nagging questions have returned. Before a vote has been cast or a caucus convened, pundits of all stripes are touting a two-candidate race between former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, virtually ignoring worthies like Duncan Hunter (who was not campaigning in Iowa) and especially the eminently electable Fred Thompson. It's enough to make one wonder, that if a conservative makes a point and it's not acknowledged by the media, does he make a sound?

While this type of treatment from the liberal media is expected, it is profoundly disturbing to see ‘conservative' pundits ignore or dismiss Thompson's candidacy so lightly. Typical of this non-coverage for the true conservatives in the race is a piece in the Wall Street Journal which stated: "None of the Republican presidential candidates have captured all three wings of the party's base: defense hawks, economic conservatives and social conservatives." I'm not sure anymore what the Journal considers ‘conservative', but they might want to check out Thompson's video message to Iowa voters for a clue.

Likewise, even Fox News--which is so feared by liberals as a right-wing organ that Democratic candidates are too cowed to even appear at their debates--seems to be with the program. Although they do get air time, Hunter and Thompson have long been written off by Fox's Republican pundits. And while it's certainly understandable that the leading candidates get the most attention, consider that Fox's own national poll has Thompson within 10% of the leader, Rudy Giuliani. Don't forget, Bush lost New Hampshire to McCain by nearly 20 points [49% to 31%] and still rebounded.

But in order to convince conservatives that they really know what's good for them, the media has dusted off its favorite Reaganism...Keep reading>>>


Anonymous Flaxen-headed Strumpet said...

I'm beginning to think that Fred Thompson really doesn't want to be President from mid-Jan. 2009 through mid Jan. 2013. And no thinking man would really want to be President of this country either.

Mon Jan 07, 05:29:00 PM CST  
Anonymous WB said...

Is Fred Thompson's Campaign Dead?

Campaign for what?

Tue Jan 08, 06:32:00 PM CST  

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