VP: Why not Fred? Update: No way, says Fred aide

posted at 12:30 pm on August 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

Good question, one I’ve asked before myself. A source close to Thompson told Jim Geraghty in late January that he isn’t interested in VP; au contraire, reported Carl Cameron that same day, it was VP that Fred had his eye on all along. He has more Senate experience than Obama, is close pals with McCain, would get the base jacked up like no one else, and would match up well with Biden in a debate between a guy no one knows versus a guy everyone who’s seen a few episodes of “Law & Order” recognizes instantly.

Drawbacks? The man famously doesn’t like to campaign — but then, he’d only have to do it for eight weeks. Americans won’t be thrilled having two guys on the ticket with a history of cancer — but it’s not like the left can run ads calling attention to that fact. He’s got money from Hollywood and his lobbying work — but he’s folksy enough that he doesn’t fit the stereotype of plutocracy the Democrats are trying to force on McCain. Centrists might blanch at his red-meat conservatism — but having Fred on the bottom of the ticket would give Maverick more room to be Maverick at the top. Good lord, I think I’m talking myself into this idea. Fred! Fredmania!

One minor problem. If he’s the pick, what’s he doing rolling out a new PAC this morning?

As I’m typing this, Byron York says the person to watch is Pawlenty. If you’re wondering what he’ll sound like in action as the VP nominee, here’s a clip of him from GMA this a.m. going off on the Emperor and his new clothes. Reads well if you transcribe it, but as delivered… Click the image to watch.

Update: Maverick claims he hasn’t made his pick yet, sources say otherwise.

Update: No dice, says Geraghty, citing a source close to teh Fred.

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TexasDan on August 28, 2008 at 1:47 PM
I meant it as a prediction, not saying she’s my pick.

Rodent on August 28, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Okay. We’re friends again.

TexasDan on August 28, 2008 at 2:12 PM


tommylotto on August 28, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Ah, good to see some bile never recedes. Now we just need csdeven and BKennedy and it’s a party!

By the way, I’d like to point out that every person here that is judging his potential on his looks is basically making the case for Obama.

MadisonConservative on August 28, 2008 at 2:16 PM

I was a Fred supporter for President, but I’m not sure he’d be a great boost to a McCain ticket.

On the plus side:
* he’s outstanding at delivering sophisticated political positions (particularly on constitutional issues) in an accessible way
* his recognition as an actor helps him, rather than hurts him, in my opinion — his roles have been reassuring, likable authority figures
* he is a good conservative on major issues, like immigration, where McCain is weak

But, he’s basically another Senator with some of the same weaknesses as McCain in terms of campaigning – both are better off the cuff than on the stump – who doesn’t really bring anything special on hot button domestic issues.

Between Pawlenty and Romney, I would definitely go with Romney, both in terms of experience and also delivery… Pawlenty seemed like he had to rush to get through his talking points and what’s with that blinking?

My first choice is still Palin, in large part because of energy and environmental issues. And, I agree with others who have said that Biden would have a harder time attacking her.

It is ok if the VP has less experience than the president — that does nothing to reduce the argument that Obama is too inexperienced to be president. We need to not get sucked into the “McCain is going to die in office” argument that somehow necessitates that the VP has to be an old senate warhorse, former general, or foreign policy wonk. If we think McCain is going to die in 7 months, then maybe we need Petraeus or Condi to protect us… but what about domestic issues?

I just think if we don’t address the energy issues that have turned the electorate’s heads this summer (I live in California and even here the regular folks are ready to drill) and present a positive, optimistic face through the VP running mate, we are going to lose this election.

Y-not on August 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM

I only just got over my last bout of Fred!mania….I nearly didn’t make it….close call.


Fred! F’n’A!

(I need a paper bag)

LimeyGeek on August 28, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Fred! would be great during the presidency. Who cares about the alleged effect of VP selection to election chances? Frankly a great deal of the conservative base would be motivated by the selection. But, with the exception left wing freebasers and crackheads, who really will pull the switch for Hussein? Even many who say they are voting for Hussein (to pollsters and at the water coolers of America) would never vote for him once they are behind the curtain. Reality dude.

saved on August 28, 2008 at 2:36 PM

As much as I love Fred! and think this would be a great choice, there is an image problem.

Fred’s like 6’6″ and would tower over the nominee. Not a great image at the convention, having to put Johnny McMaverick on a box so he doesn’t seem diminished by Fred!

DelD on August 28, 2008 at 2:51 PM

FRED! for supreme court. McCain should promise to make FRED! his first choice for SC. That would win over some conservatives, if you can trust his promises.

Corsair on August 28, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Although if New Orleans gets clobbered again, the Republicans probably don’t want to be partying at the convention while it’s happening regardless of the VP pick.

forest on August 28, 2008 at 2:08 PM

I heard Jindal on the radio this morning talking about all the hurricane prep (busses up and ready to go–take that Blanco and Nagin), shelters for special needs people spinning up, etc. Impressive, and really strange that they played it in Las Vegas. Really, a good tropical storm or 20 would be good for this place.

funky chicken on August 28, 2008 at 3:26 PM

I like Fred. But he’s just plain worn out. Remeber if they both die in office. OH LORD…… it’s Pelosi….

SAMIAMJAX on August 28, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Eh. I still like Fred for press sec’y

funky chicken on August 28, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Fred! for VP

HebrewToYou on August 28, 2008 at 3:27 PM

I mean seriously…. PELOSI the crypt keeper. 2nd in line to the Oval Office….

SAMIAMJAX on August 28, 2008 at 3:30 PM

“Joe, if you could stop your lips from flappin’ for just one minute, I could set you straight on the freight train of bull you just unleashed on everybody here.”

This quote followed by conservative principles and policy is why this would have been so wonderful.

IrishMcPundit on August 28, 2008 at 3:31 PM

Fred would be a great choice. During the primaries I hoped he would develop an effective campaign because the principles and positions he espoused were closer to my own than anyone else running. Unfortunately, his lack of enthusiasm for campaigning meant he never got off the ground, although personally, I find that a plus. I’ve always felt that candidates who are overly driven to be President are generally clueless about what the job really requires and are usually after the adulation rather than the responsibility of the job, Clinton and Obama being the latest examples of that phenomenon.
I’m sure he would wipe the floor with Biden, and he would be reassuring to the parts of the Republican base that having a tough time working up any enthusiasm for McCain. That being said, i don’t believe it will happen, which is a shame because I find myself among those not really fired up by Johnny Mac. Princess Di was widely referred to as the most beautiful woman in the world and she was an attractive woman, but I believe her exalted reputation for beauty came because she spent most her time amidst the British aristocracy where I’d have a shot at best in show. McCain is benefiting from the same phenomenon, next to Obama even Bozo the Clown would look like a hot pick.

djaces on August 28, 2008 at 3:32 PM

I love Fred!, I still have his Fred ’08 sticker in my car window, so him being VP would make it so the dream stayed alive and I wouldn’t have to remove the sticker. Also, Fred and McShamnesty are good buddies, and they both have that attitude of, “I don’t care what you think of my friend, he’s still my friend” and wouldn’t betray him even when McCain was looking down-n-out, which is something McCain would undoubtedly remember and values. He also supported McCain (and Feingold) with Campaign Finance Reform, which I’m not happy with. And, let’s not forget he got the endorsement of the National Right to Life PAC, which rated him perfect on Pro-life voting. Fred also has a decent foreign policy credentials and he is a recognizable/familiar face. He relates to the party well, speaks eloquently and folksy without being degrading, and would mop up the floor with any opponent (and the liberal MSM) in a debate. I would pay good money to see Fred! go head-to-head with KO and knock his far left-leaning, sycophantic butt out of the stadium, across the street and over the neighboring buildings…

That being said however, Thompson is *not* on board with Illegal Immigration Reform (Amnesty), nor is he buying the ManBearPig story on global warming. He isn’t likely be swayed into taking positions that he doesn’t agree with either. So, I think McCain will look for someone he can steer a little more than the Fred!. I agree with an earlier poster that suggestion Fred! would be an ideal SCotUS justice though…he’s 66, so 15 years in the robes would be about right.

Romney won’t get the nod because McCain does hold grudges (see 2000 + GWB), even though he does need his economic expertise.

I don’t see Pawlenty getting the nod because McCain probably doesn’t feel secure in naming someone in direct line for the presidency without the background and experience to do the job on their own.

I think the Maverick will remain Mavericky and pick Lieberman because his liberalism will overrule his common sense.

Geministorm on August 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM

it’s Lieberman…

Kaptain Amerika on August 28, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Fred–umm no. I wonder why myself, but, really he is mostly an actor… Reagan was a politican who made his money acting. But Fred was an actor who dabbled in politics. That is the difference.

petunia on August 28, 2008 at 1:07 PM

Not really. Thompson is a lawyer/prosecutor first, serving as the assistant US Attorney from 69-72. He was Howard Baker’s campaign manager in 72 and then he was appointed to the minority counsel at the Watergate hearings. He later got governor Blanton of Tennessee removed from office for a clemency-for-bribes scandal. The scandal became the subject of the 1985 movie Marie, in which Fred! was cast as himself…that is how he got his acting gig started.

So you see, Fred! was actually involved in politics and law for over a decade before his acting career began.

Meanwhile, RWReagan began his career as a radio broadcaster and then actor (1937). It wasn’t until 1964 that he became more involved in politics by campaigning for Barry Goldwater.

Geministorm on August 28, 2008 at 4:04 PM

“Update: No way, says Fred aide” Why does Fred have an Aide?

multiuseless on August 28, 2008 at 4:25 PM

I dunno, I was all hot for Fred when he ran, then he disappointed me. Not sure I can say Fred!, but I can say Fred, Eh.


Fred, Eh.

RobertInAustin on August 28, 2008 at 4:34 PM

I think the Maverick will remain Mavericky and pick Lieberman because his liberalism will overrule his common sense.

Geministorm on August 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM

i think you may be more correct than you think.

Fred, Eh.

RobertInAustin on August 28, 2008 at 4:36 PM

I’m a 1000% Fred supporter, but to beat FauxBama I think the team needs to pick someone else for VP.

Fred for SCOTUS seat though, big time!

electric-rascal on August 28, 2008 at 5:09 PM

I would rather have two ‘old geezers’ for pres. and vp with health issues in the WH than bho in for two minutes or four or eight years.

letget on August 28, 2008 at 5:36 PM

FRED! :swoons:

I’m seeing a lot of ageism on this thread, unfortuneatly. I personally would like the country in the safe hands of my grandfather. I grew up when Reagan was President and loved the grandfatherly feeling I got from him.

I’m confused by all the talk of Pelosi getting in should both McCain & Fred bite the dust… um, they wouldn’t both go in the same day, stats are against that, and the one left would choose a *new* VP way before Pelosi would get near the reigns.

I’d dearly love Fred to be the choice :) I’d be happy with Palin, Romney, Cantor, or Jindal. I’m not feeling Pawlenty for his global warming crap, or K B-H for her being pro-choice.

Aslans Girl on August 28, 2008 at 6:28 PM

My first choice: Romney. A close second: Fred!

Actually it might be more accurate to say my first choice would be Fred but I just feel like it’s too unlikely.

Well, I’ll find out tomorrow I guess.

OneGyT on August 28, 2008 at 7:45 PM

Fred? I would have my own tingle going up my leg if were only true.

Mojave Mark on August 28, 2008 at 7:58 PM

No, No, No and No! I do not want Fred as VP.

He would be much better as Attorney General. He’s a good proecutor and believes in the Constitution. He would keep the Justice Dept out of areas where they don’t belong

schmuck281 on August 28, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Just out of curiosity, why does Fred have an aide?

freevillage on August 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

It is ok if the VP has less experience than the president — that does nothing to reduce the argument that Obama is too inexperienced to be president.

Y-not on August 28, 2008 at 2:27 PM

Interesting point! If the opposition attacks the Republican choice of VP as being too inexperienced, the obvious retort would be that the nominee for VP(R) was still more experienced than the nominee for Presiten (D).

YiZhangZhe on August 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Ooops, sorry:

“more experienced than the nominee for President(D).”

So much for my use of the preview.

YiZhangZhe on August 28, 2008 at 9:17 PM

When it comes to FRED DALTON THOMPSON, all I’ve got to say is, if it can’t be POTUS in MUST BE SCOTUS!

No compromise, MOLON LABE!

GUNSMOKE on August 28, 2008 at 9:53 PM

Just out of curiosity, why does Fred have an aide?

freevillage on August 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

The better to assist him, dear.

RushBaby on August 29, 2008 at 3:12 AM