Open thread: Fred on “The Tonight Show”; Update: Video added; Update: GOP oppo researchers start digging

posted at 11:10 pm on June 12, 2007 by Allahpundit

If Karol’s staying up for this, it must be a capital-“e” Event. Likelihood of a surprise announcement: 20%. His aides were whispering about early July, but that could have been a smokescreen to set up a surprise tonight. Besides, why wait? He’s got poll momentum from the LA Times and Rasmussen. And there’s precedent here, with Arnold having announced on Leno and gone on to do fairly well for himself.

There’ll be video here later. Food for thought while we wait: “Right now, the Democrats’ best hope may be for the Republicans to veer right and nominate an erratic aging boy like the seedy Newt Gingrich or a Hollywood caricature of vintage 1910 American small-town life like the phlegmatically pithy Fred Thompson, whose homespun act feels tired and looks tired.”

Update: Nothing earth-shattering, but the Fredheads do get mentioned. Tonight Ragnar takes the Fred Thompson photo off his nightstand and sleeps with it in his arms.

Link: sevenload.com

Update: Karol stares into the abyss.

His jacket seemed too tight on him and, awkwardly, only one button was buttoned. He didn’t look at Jay very often, answering questions while looking off in the distance. The worst part is that he didn’t seem excited. I know campaigns are long and it’s hard to maintain that constant high energy, high enthusiasm personality. But his campaign hasn’t even kicked off yet. I needed to see some joy from him that he’s about to compete for the highest office in the land, in the world, some pride in the fact that he is a serious contestant for an office of that stature.

Between this and some of his speeches of late, he’s starting to get a rep for lackluster appearances. Eh. I thought he was fine with Hannity after the debate.

Update: Politico runs down the five points on which Fred’s Republican rivals are going to try to hit him. Three of them focus on his alleged centrism — his voting record, his support for McCain-Feingold, and his flirtation with a federalist pro-choice position, which ironically is belied by his actual voting record. I eagerly await watching Rudy McRomney trying to tar someone else as too liberal. As for the other points, his history as a lobbyist and his record as a trial lawyer, they’re less than meaningless. Particularly given that his most famous moments as a lawyer are (a) exposing corruption in Watergate, (b) exposing corruption in the Tennessee governor’s office, and (c) fighting corruption on “Law & Order.”


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Fred’s performance was pretty tentative. I don’t get the impression that he REALLY wants the job.

He says he wants to do things that only a President can do and I’m left wondering, as someone who has worked to limit the power of the executive branch, what is that exactly?

Rudy, on the other hand, is foaming at the mouth to get this gig and although I don’t agree with him on some issues, I do admire his drive and desire. Should translate well when it comes to prosecuting the GWOT.

CliffHanger on June 13, 2007 at 4:42 PM

Rudy, on the other hand, is foaming at the mouth to get this gig and although I don’t agree with him on some issues, I do admire his drive and desire.

That’s impressed me too, probably especially since I had doubts on that score b/c of the withdraw from the Senate race.

Spirit of 1776 on June 13, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Spirit of 1776 on June 13, 2007 at 4:20 PM

It’s his farwell address after his 2nd term…

doriangrey on June 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM

doriangrey on June 13, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Yeah, I looked it up, and frankly I’m embarrassed to say that I had too. I’ve quoted parts of speech with some frequency to prove the original intent of the fathers.

Of course, I don’t agree with you: ) as to whether it is arguable because it reminds me of Mr. Bennett’s? (I believe) extremely generous interpretation that Adams asked Jefferson to write the Declaration of Independence because he thought he was the better writer. Riiiight.

Having said that though, it speaks very well of you that you would take a man as his own witness, at his own word, especially when he is framing his own career in retrospect. The myth of the cherry tree is working out for him! But even Emerson said that no one could add or subtract of the luster to Washington’s name. He earned his place in history. Fred remains to be seen!

Spirit of 1776 on June 13, 2007 at 5:08 PM

Well, he’ll be up any minute and I’ll see for myself just how bad the train wreck was.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 12:58 AM

Yeah, that’s going in with an open mind!
/sarc off/

SSG Fuzzy on June 13, 2007 at 5:41 PM

Entelechy on June 13, 2007 at 2:42 PM

“Vacuous” is a cool word, :-)

BTW, did you know that you are my shill?

Entelechy on June 13, 2007 at 3:41 PM

You haven’t watched it? As fred? might say, it weren’t purty.

…and won by the biggest landslide in Tennessee history, if I’m not mistaken.
Tennman on June 13, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Which one? The first one when he was swept in on the coat tails of the republican take over in 94, or in 96 as an incumbent?

I am not infatuated with fred?. I wouldn’t compare him to Washington, Reagan, or JFK. I refuse to inflate his superficial positives to the level of competence when it’s clear he is the least qualified candidate in or out of the running.

He is not going to survive his 20 year history as an arm twister for special interests. He loses. (abramoff)

He has flip-flopped on abortion which means he cannot attack Rudy or Mitt!. fred? loses.

He cannot question Rudy or Mitts! executive experience and Rudy and Mitt will hold their experience up against freds? non-experience. fred? loses again.

The minute fred? opens his mouth and does what he did last night, fred? will have driven the final nail in his own coffin. This ain’t the movies. You don’t get a second take at a scene. He appears to be confused as the difference between movies and real life. He loses once again.

Folksy rhetoric and suspect polls do not replace effective leadership and communicating your plan to America. It’s like he wants us to fill in the blanks for him. Another loss.

I am not going to lower my conservative standards for any candidate or non-candidate. He needs to show some stones and show me he is ready to lead.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 6:24 PM

Which one? The first one when he was swept in on the coat tails of the republican take over in 94, or in 96 as an incumbent?

Mad Hatter, you need a history lesson. Google it. (I love using that phrase. :)

Tennman on June 13, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Tennman on June 13, 2007 at 7:04 PM

I guess the guy just doesn’t impress me enough to care.

Who’d a thunk it?

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 7:21 PM

BTW, did you know that you are my shill?

Entelechy on June 13, 2007 at 3:41 PM
You haven’t watched it? (had to get up at 4:00 to drive to LA, from SD)

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 6:24 PM

I’m no one’s shill; nor does anyone else need to shill for me. I just tolerate you more than others, and like to tease :) Plus, I’ll love watching your reactions in 2008.

Entelechy on June 13, 2007 at 7:42 PM

I’m no one’s shill; nor does anyone else need to shill for me. I just tolerate you more than others, and like to tease :) Plus, I’ll love watching your reactions in 2008.
Entelechy on June 13, 2007 at 7:42 PM

Yeah, don’t tell me. I didn’t accuse you of it.

Reactions to what? The best republican candidate taking the nomination? WHY oh why would THAT be something to look forward to?

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 7:57 PM

fred? does not make me completely gag, like RUDY does, but I have some definite ideas on who my next President needs to be.

seejanemom on June 13, 2007 at 8:05 PM

Fred is the absolute best announced candidate so far, imho. How will he answer the whole cancer thing??? (He has cancer that is in remission.)

Lothar on June 13, 2007 at 8:21 PM

Just looked at the photo again in passing and Fred looks like a slightly-melted Kelsey Grammer.

Tancredo/Hunter 2008.

profitsbeard on June 13, 2007 at 9:22 PM

Tancredo/Hunter 2008.

profitsbeard on June 13, 2007 at 9:22 PM

Paul/O’Donnell 2008! Ohhhhhhhh in yo face!

RightWinged on June 13, 2007 at 9:42 PM

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 7:21 PM
I guess the guy just doesn’t impress me enough to care.

Saw somewhere else you’re a potatohead. Doesn’t surprise this Wyoming transplant.

Tennman on June 13, 2007 at 10:32 PM

csdeven, you are incredibly annoying.

I like Fred.
The future will show us if he is a good candidate or not. Good heavens,one appearance does not make or break a candidate (unless of course you are Howard Dean and bellow like a madman in public).
I do not trust Mitt, Rudy is waaay too liberal and McCain is an idiot. I, quite truthfully, thought I was going to have to sit this election cycle out, given the RINOs that have stepped up for the nomination to date. I am at least hopeful with Fred’s possible / probable run.

MITX on June 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM

Lothar on June 13, 2007 at 8:21 PM

can you point me to the article where he has announced he is an actual candidate?

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 10:58 PM

I am not going to lower my conservative standards for any candidate or non-candidate. He needs to show some stones and show me he is ready to lead.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 6:24 PM

But you’re willing to lower them to vote for Mitt or Rudy? Neither of which is even close to conservative.

Gianni on June 13, 2007 at 10:58 PM

Gianni on June 13, 2007 at 10:58 PM

That’s not inconsistent. It’s nuanced.

Spirit of 1776 on June 13, 2007 at 10:59 PM

I like Fred.
MITX on June 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM

What ever blows yer skirt up.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 11:03 PM

Gianni on June 13, 2007 at 10:58 PM

Fair enough.

For the primary, what would you have me do…..stay home or vote for the republican that has the best chance at beating the dem?

For the general election, what would you have me do…..vote for the democrat nominee, stay home, or vote for the republican nominee?

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 11:10 PM

I would have you not say you won’t lower your conservative standards just so you can attack someone you don’t like when you obviously, by your own words, will to vote for someone who is clearly not a conservative.

As for the election, if the nominee is Rudy McRomney there’s a good chance I won’t vote, and I know I won’t be alone. Anyone but a Dem didn’t cut it in ’06, and it won’t in ’08 either. I did vote for my own congressman in ’06, but he is also one of the more staunchly conservative out there, if he was a RINO he would not have won.

Gianni on June 13, 2007 at 11:21 PM

I would have you not say you won’t lower your conservative standards just so you can attack someone you don’t like when you obviously, by your own words, will to vote for someone who is clearly not a conservative.

As for the election, if the nominee is Rudy McRomney there’s a good chance I won’t vote, and I know I won’t be alone. Anyone but a Dem didn’t cut it in ‘06, and it won’t in ‘08 either. I did vote for my own congressman in ‘06, but he is also one of the more staunchly conservative out there, if he was a RINO he would not have won.

Gianni on June 13, 2007 at 11:21 PM

Well then we are really just debating the nuances between what my standards include and what yours include. I have a minimal level of commitment and experience I expect from a candidate. fred? so far has failed miserably on those points. After that I am a total pragmatist because I believe any republican is better than any democrat any day.

And just to let you know, staying home, for my standards as a conservative, is just not an option.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 11:51 PM

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 11:51 PM

I am not going to lower my conservative standards

You don’t have any damn standards, a fact your consistent dishonest diatribes against Fred have incontrovertible proven.

doriangrey on June 14, 2007 at 12:13 AM

The spineless nature of Bush and the Military is captured beautifully here. Why Bush won’t let us win.
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/archives/002532print.html

pat on June 14, 2007 at 1:28 AM

And just to let you know, staying home, for my standards as a conservative, is just not an option.

csdeven on June 13, 2007 at 11:51 PM

What do I gain if I vote for Dem-lite? All we are going to get if we continue to vote for RINO’s is more of the same. I’m tired of voting against someone, it’s really getting old and gets us absolutely nowhere, in fact I believe it sets us back when we vote for someone who does not follow conservative principles, as the Republican’s learn nothing and continue to veer left.

I want someone I can vote for. If Fred ends up not being what he is made out to be then there’s Hunter or Tancredo. I doubt I will totally stay home, but I won’t be voting for a RINO either. If the choice is between Dem and Dem-lite I will write in whoever I decide would best represent what I believe.

Gianni on June 14, 2007 at 9:01 AM

Gianni on June 14, 2007 at 9:01 AM

They don’t care about you when you vote that way. Regardless of a conservatives break from the party line, he is still better than a dem. In case you are unaware, in 1992 the conservatives felt this way and voted Perot. We got 8 years of Clinton and the possibility of at least 4 years of Hillary. We got the war on terror and the events that lead to the Iraq war. We got liberal judges appointed.

Supreme Court Justices are the most important reason to vote for a republican. ANY republican. The SCOTUS has the biggest effect on our lives. We are one president away from killing Roe V Wade. One nomination and Roe v Wade will be overturned.
So, stay home or split the vote. You’re cutting off your nose to spite the RINO’s. But a RINO will still nominate conservative justices and a dem will nominate a justice that will be on the court for the next 20 years. That’s another 42 million abortions, many of them partial birth abortions.

csdeven on June 14, 2007 at 9:46 AM

They don’t care about me when I vote for them either. We kick enough of them out and they will either figure it out or a conservative third party will become viable. I will however continue to vote for my congressman and my Republican senator as they have proven themselves to be true conservatives.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that Rudy will nominate conservative judges regardless of what he says, and I’m getting the same feeling about Romney. The most important issue to me right now is immigration and I absolutely do not trust Rudy McRomney on that issue. Look who is pushing the amnesty bill right now. It’s not the Dems, they would be content to let it go at this point. What good is all of that other stuff if we don’t have a country left? Besides, you do realize that Conservatives in the South and the Mid West WILL NOT trust a NE liberal Republican right? If they are the nominee the Dems will win regardless of how I vote. There is a reason that all of the recent Presidents have been from the south and west. I guarantee you if one of the RINO’s gets the nomination, Iowa, which is the state I live in, will go blue. It’s pretty close as it is, and there will be enough conservatives in the western part of the state that will not vote that the liberal east side will take it.

Gianni on June 14, 2007 at 10:10 AM

The Republican had a choice between Gerald Ford and Reagan in the ’76 election. They chose Ford and lost.

We shouldn’t make the mistake of nominating a RINO this time around. Mitt is all over the map with his positions, Rudy is too lib, and McCain is too old. Answer: Phred.

I’ll still pull the lever for a RINO over a Dhem but this is getting old. The SCOTUS is too important this time around.

Mojave Mark on June 14, 2007 at 11:36 AM

All conservatives need to participate in the primaries and vote for the candidate who best represents their views.

If your candidate does not win in the primary, you have a responsibility to support the candidate who most closely represents your views in the general election.

If you’re pissed off at the prospect of a RINO running, there are other ways to register your disappointment and anger than by helping to ensure Hillary becomes President. They are:

1) Change your Party affiliation.
2) Stop donating to the RNC.
3) Support your conservative candidate in the Primary.
4) If your candidate loses in the primary, vote for the “lesser of two evils” in the general election.

Got it?

Anyone who says they will not vote for a Presidential candidate in ’08 because a so-called RINO is running demonstrates a level of immaturity that warrants the wrath of other commenters.

Do you love your Country enough to prevent Hillary from becoming President?

CliffHanger on June 14, 2007 at 12:04 PM

Gianni on June 14, 2007 at 10:10 AM

I understand your concerns, but fred? is a career lobbyist. I don’t know about past presidents and their lobbying past, but I know that the recent history of abramoff will cast a very long shadow on fred?.

But even at that, nothing is impossible. The first Catholic was elected because he convinced people it wasn’t a problem. A lobbyist like fred? could get elected in this atmosphere as could a NE moderate conservative. The trick is convincing the voters. But you keep missing the point.

Any dem WILL, 100% guaranteed, nominate total liberal judges.

With Rudy you have his promise, that he will nominate constitutionalist judges, so at least you have a chance.

csdeven on June 14, 2007 at 12:42 PM

I’m not knocking Rudy either. Rudy is a great leader under stress. He also has balls of steel. He’s just socially liberal as far as nanny state laws are concerned and I actually fine with that. I honestly think if Fred does well in his campaign that Rudy and Fred still may both end up together. By the way, Where’s John Bolton in this race? Thompson/Guliani does not sound as good as Thompson/Bolton.

Egfrow on June 14, 2007 at 5:28 PM

Bolton will be the Secretary of State in the Phred Universe.

Mojave Mark on June 14, 2007 at 7:01 PM

His jacket seemed too tight on him and, awkwardly, only one button was buttoned. He didn’t look at Jay very often, answering questions while looking off in the distance. The worst part is that he didn’t seem excited. I know campaigns are long and it’s hard to maintain that constant high energy, high enthusiasm personality. But his campaign hasn’t even kicked off yet. I needed to see some joy from him that he’s about to compete for the highest office in the land, in the world, some pride in the fact that he is a serious contestant for an office of that stature.

Geezus H. Chriminy…did she miss that his lazy eye seemed to be more active too?

I think there are a few Killjoys in the audience and the blogs and a few killjoys to excited to alert or make killjoys.

Great. Typical Conservatives – eat your own, Nothing like actually starting a news cycle that was NOT there.

Topsecretk9 on June 15, 2007 at 2:11 AM

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