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Thompson-Giuliani Race Would Benefit GOP

When I look at the averages of the polls for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations at Real Clear Politics, on thing which strikes me is that neither party’s frontrunner (Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton respectively) have ever managed to climb about 40%. Indeed, over the past two months, each has shown a steady drift downward.

Despite her name recognition and the acclaim in which her party still holds her husband, Hillary Clinton still hasn’t managed to capture the support of a majority of her party’s faithful. And it seems she owes her fundraising success largely to her husband’s machine — and his presence. Would she have raised as much as she had had he not headlined her events?

At the same time, Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, while holding strong in the GOP polls, doesn’t seem to have built upon his lead. While many conservatives are warming to him despite policy differences, many remain wary. His latest “gaffe” on federal funding of abortion has increased the skepticism of some social conservatives.

In short, while each enjoys a comfortable lead over his opponents, neither has won over his party.

No wonder many Democrats are turning to a freshman Senator from Illinois, a man without any executive experience. And no wonder many conservatives are waiting to see if former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson enters the presidential contest.

While it’s clear that Rudy could better unite the nation than could any other politician enjoying national prominence at this time, it appears Fred Thompson would have an easier time uniting the GOP. (With some Democrats are clamoring for former Vice President Al Gore, Jr. to enter the race, it seems the unknown factor in the presidential race is whether two men who held the same Senate seat are interested. In 1994, Thompson was elected to fill the remaining two years in Gore’s term.)

While I remain a Giuliani man, I would have no problem supporting Fred Thompson should he win the GOP nomination. He has a presence and rhetorical skills which are almost Reaganesque.

It’s odd that with nine months to go until the first caucuses, some wonder if it’s still too “late“* for Thompson to enter the race. I think that by delaying his decision, he actually increases his chances. When he tosses his hat into the ring (should he choose to do so), he’ll get a lot of free publicity — and closer to the time when most people are beginning to make their minds up about the contest.

The bottom line is that while both Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton enjoy comfortable leads for their parties’ respective nominations, neither has yet closed the sale, understandable this far out. If Fred Thompson joins the GOP race, I believe he will make it a two-man contest, taking much of Mitt Romney’s conservative support as well as rallying uncertain conservatives to his side.

With Giuliani’s record of leadership and Thompson’s ability to articulate conservative ideas, a Thompson-Giuliani contest could only redound to the benefit of the GOP, helping rally a dispirited rank-and-file and reminding the nation of the real strength of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

*Via Instapundit and Real Clear Politics.

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28 Comments

  1. “It’s odd that with nine months to go until the first caucuses, some wonder if it’s still too “late“* for Thompson to enter the race.

    Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich may be onto to something not jumping into the race right now. There is a lot of political fatigue, people just don’t want to deal with a presidential election so soon.
    And yes, I think I’d really like to see a Fred Thompson/Rudy Guilliani ticket, not sure which one I’d prefer as president.

    Comment by Leah — April 6, 2007 @ 8:07 pm - April 6, 2007

  2. Romney – wrong on guns
    Giuliani – way wrong on abortion, and over-rated
    McCain – wrong in immigration and on McCain-Feingold – he’s done
    Gingrich – lousy personality but right about everything
    Fred Thompson – right on everything I have heard, thus far

    Comment by bird dog — April 6, 2007 @ 8:39 pm - April 6, 2007

  3. Here’s what kind of sealed the Thompson deal for me (contingent upon his entry, of course).

    When he appeared on Fox News Sunday in an interview with Chris Wallace, not only did he invoke Reagan’s name (which every Republican does now, just as a matter of course), but he also mentioned another name, one which would tend to indicate a deeper commitment to, and knowledge of, the real small-government conservatism he says he supports. He mentioned Barry Goldwater.

    Comment by PSUdain — April 7, 2007 @ 2:15 am - April 7, 2007

  4. Fred Thompson would never run with a liberal, even a GOP liberal … especially a GOP liberal.

    If you insist on a liberal on the GOP ticket, at least pick one who’s strong on the war on terror and defense — Joe Lieberman.

    Julie the Jarhead

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — April 7, 2007 @ 8:26 am - April 7, 2007

  5. I think it’s entirely selfish and unseemly for Thompson to wait so long to announce. I’m sticking by Rudy. Not only would Rudy be a much better candidate, and more electable, at least he announced early.

    It’s way, way, way too late in the game. Thompson should have announced 2 to 3 months ago, if he wanted to run. People have already committed to candidates, and have already donated and worked their asses off for them.

    I’ve got way too much invested in my candidate, as I imagine others do, as well.

    I like Thompson. But he’s not too far removed from Rudy on the issues. In fact, they’re almost identical. I remember when Thompson first ran for Senate from Tennessee back in the early 1990s. He ran as a Pro-Choicer!! People seem to forget that.

    Rudy is the real thing. The Islamo-Fascists fear him. Fred is too mild mannered. I prefer a President who has a bit of a crazy (scary) streak about him. Rudy has it. Fred seems to downhome, mild and quite frankly, nice.

    Eric Dondero, CEO
    MainstreamLibertarian.com

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 7, 2007 @ 8:38 am - April 7, 2007

  6. For those who say Rudy is “wrong” on abortion, you should know that not every Republican is Pro-Life. There is such a thing as a Pro-Choice Republican. And we’re very happy to have a candidate FINALLY to back in this race.

    Funny how you all have seemed to have forgotten that Thompson ran as a Pro-Choice Republican back in the ’90′s in Tennessee.

    Not bashing Fred. I like the guy.

    But last time I checked Fred Thompson was Pro-Choice.

    And what’s the deal with him supporting McCain-Feingold??? Yuck!!! That’s a major downer for him. Once he declares you don’t think people are going to bring his support for McCain/Feingold up?

    Which would you rather have? Your Free Speech Rights, or Pro-Life?

    Even if I was Pro-Life, I’d want to keep my Free Speech Rights, which McCain/Feingold eliminates.

    Comment by Eric Dondero — April 7, 2007 @ 8:42 am - April 7, 2007

  7. How about Thompson-Gingrich? At least you have two people who have had their mettle tested before hostile Dhimmicrats and told them to STFU.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 7, 2007 @ 11:06 am - April 7, 2007

  8. Thompson is a rare example of a true conservative who is willing to compromise to further his agenda. (Neo-cons take note.)

    The problem is, he has zero charisma. In the interviews I’ve seen, his speaking delivery has no energy, no charm, and while he appears a pleasant person, he lacks wit and pointed humor — the qualities that made Reagan so effective. There will never be another Reagan and all candidates suffer by comparison to varying degrees, but Thompson is avuncular at best and deadpan at worst. Reagan was able to sell the direction he wanted to take this country and we have to recognize that the GOP should never stop selling its vision, whomever its standard-bearer. Simply agreeing with a candidate isn’t enough. If it were, we would have enjoyed two terms of Steve Forbes.

    Comment by HardHobbit — April 7, 2007 @ 12:22 pm - April 7, 2007

  9. When is the first primary? How anyone can say that right now is “too late” is just getting all too wrapped up in the moment… come fall no one will remmeber anything about this time.

    Comment by Vince P — April 7, 2007 @ 12:43 pm - April 7, 2007

  10. I am a “Rudy-Condi” man. I love the possibility of this couple at the White House. On the other hand, I don´t have any problem whith Fred, should he be the “one”.

    Comment by Juan Otero — April 7, 2007 @ 1:46 pm - April 7, 2007

  11. I really don’t think people are fighting about small goverment vs big goverment anymore, people want goverment to work. The last couple of years we have seen the failure of government, like when it comes to New Orleans and the previous failures of the Iraq War, which is finally going in the right direction it seems with the surge and all. I read a article not long ago that was talking the issue of universal health care, which people support by a majority. They also believe that Democrats are the ones who could deliver on that issue, so what does that tell you if health care is a major issue in 08? The republican nominee has to offer mroe than small government, he needs to offer a government that can work at any size. Rudy has the edge in that situation I believe when it comes to nation wise electablity.

    Comment by DarkEyedResolve — April 7, 2007 @ 2:14 pm - April 7, 2007

  12. I have a really hard time believing anyone who professes to be personally opposed to abortion, but at the same time supports unlimited access to it. How could one be morally opposed to abortion at all unless one believes it really is the termination of innocent human life? And if one believes that, how can one then say that termination of innocent human life for convenience ought to be subsidized by the state, allowed for any reason, and at any stage prior to birth? It’s like saying “I’m personally opposed to drunk-driving,” while voting to abolish the drinking age and providing free liquor to teenagers.

    I think the “I am personally opposed to abortion, but I support the right of a woman to choose” is a bullshit position. You either think abortion is morally wrong, or you don’t. You’d never hear a politician say, “I’m personally opposed to car-jacking, but I support the right to shoot a driver and steal his car if that’s someone’s choice.” Well, maybe John Conyers or Maxine Waters would say that. (In fact, Maxine Waters did say something like that after the Rodney King riots), but in general, no.

    Realistically, I know abortion is not going to be abolished in my lifetime barring a dramatic cultural shift, and I would prefer to spend my time and energy working to bring about that cultural shift rather than expect any politician to change the law. So, a politician’s position on abortion is not a litmus test for me, although it tells me a great deal about the content of a politician’s character.

    Comment by V the K — April 7, 2007 @ 7:14 pm - April 7, 2007

  13. And it is passing curious that “liberals” of both parties don’t seem to mind in the least when politicians force their moral views on smoking, alcohol, trans-fats, or environmentalism on the public-at-large, but they only get outraged when the morality involves protecting human life.

    Comment by V the K — April 7, 2007 @ 7:19 pm - April 7, 2007

  14. DER: Maybe some people aren’t fighting about big vs. small government anymore, but I am. And I will continue to. And I’ll tell you what; just about every young conservative/Republican who I know shares this commitment. I wouldn’t sign the death certificate on this set of issues quite yet, if I were you.

    Comment by PSUdain — April 8, 2007 @ 12:31 am - April 8, 2007

  15. PSU: Hear hear! The Fight for the small Federal Govt is the fight to retain America as the beacon of Freedom she has been.

    Repeal the 17th Amendment!

    Comment by Vince P — April 8, 2007 @ 4:18 am - April 8, 2007

  16. V the K: I understand your point, and I think I have the same problem accepting that specific rationalization.

    I could accept the view that one can be against abortion but is cedeing to perceived public support of it.

    Comment by Vince P — April 8, 2007 @ 4:20 am - April 8, 2007

  17. #8 The problem is, he has zero charisma.

    Fred Thompson is the most charismatic of all the candidates. When he speaks, people do listen. I read just today that someone expressed shaking hands with him was like shaking hands with Mt. Rushmore.

    While I could vote for Guiliana, Romney, Gingrich, or Hunter, I’m still waiting on someone to enter the race who I think can actually win the election. Just because the “frontrunners” jumped into the pool early doesn’t mean it is too late to enter. If Fred enters the race, for the first time in my life 50+ year life, I will contribute to a political campaign.

    To learn more about Fred, go to http://www.Fred08.com.

    Comment by windybon — April 8, 2007 @ 6:35 pm - April 8, 2007

  18. GOP LOSERS:
    Romney – gun control will defeat him.
    Giuliani – amensty-guest worker program, abortion and gun control will also defeat him
    McCain – amnesty-guest worker program will defeat him.

    POSSIBLE GOP WINNERS:

    Gingrich….. is in the run.

    Fred Thompson ……..maybe in the run if he will state his platfrom on immigration amnesty-guest worker program, gun control and abortion. Have requested his platform twice and still no word…………….

    Tancredo……..probably the best male conservative Republican American, but needs more charm………………

    Condi……….the best female conservative Republican American…………she needs to be VP to Thompson, Gingrich or Tancredo which would be a winning ticket. VP first then President.

    will be interesting over the next year, if the next year does not end first…………..

    Comment by The Texican. — April 8, 2007 @ 10:30 pm - April 8, 2007

  19. abortion is murder by licensed health caregivers….

    if an individual causes the death of a pregrant woman, he can be tried for murder of the woman and the unborn child.

    if a doctor murders (aborts) an unborn child it is not murder……………….

    how sand and how far our nation has fallen in lack of respect of life.

    Comment by The Texican. — April 8, 2007 @ 10:37 pm - April 8, 2007

  20. Dan, while a healthy, vigorous pre-primary contest for the GOP or Democrat Party is a good thing, I would argue that the race right now is for 2 inside-the-ballpark bragging rights: 1) best access to $$$ (which means further access to $$$ later) and 2) hiring/nabbing the best campaign workers (paid professionals and volunteer, local leaders).

    To argue that because Rudy or Hillary or others haven’t climbed above 40% is to suggest dissastifaction in the ranks is to miss a fundamental aspect of arithmetic… “x” number of candidates split up the %ages and a minimum number of undecideds will remain so until late in the pre-pre-primary process –even for GOPers who often bleed early, bleed deep.

    Thompson or Newt can jump in anytime but it means the smart people may already be nabbed to work for the competition. With the likelihood of a sizable batch of large state primaries earlier this cycle, it could mean “waiting” is the kiss of death for 2008. Every candidate would like to appear to be “drafted by the People”… but in modern politics, that’s a luxury reserved to perennial wanna-b’s.

    Frankly, I think FThompson is all about ego right now and little about helping the Party… like the Hollywood media whore he has trained to be, ANY publicity is good for his acting career… and being portrayed as a “savior” of conservatives suits the axiom that any publicity is good. He runs a risk in this gambit, tho… sometimes called the “JeannieKirkpatrick Effect” after her late timed blusters in ’80… if you wait too long get to the dance, when you do make the decision to go, you just may find everyone’s dance card is filled with another name.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — April 9, 2007 @ 8:39 am - April 9, 2007

  21. I did a search on “Paul” both on the main page and in this comments section and got that disappointed bleep sound before I even finished typing four letters indicating it was nowhere to be found. I know Ron Paul has no chance of winning, but is no one here even interested enough to discuss his chances of getting into a debate or two during the primaries? Afterall, he is technically Republican now and holds office. He’s not some obscure third party candidate. Despite his stance against the war, which many here probably take issue with, I’d think most would appreciate what he has to say on just about every other issue, and more importantly that he has the guts to say it.

    Ron Paul Info

    Comment by Dalebert — April 10, 2007 @ 12:06 am - April 10, 2007

  22. I found Ron Paul credible in the past but today he comes off as a loon. IMHO.

    Comment by Vince P — April 10, 2007 @ 12:33 am - April 10, 2007

  23. I may have spoken too soon. Fortunately, Nancy Reagan doesn’t appear to agree with Vince P. about Ron’s “loon” status. He was, afterall, one of only 4 Republicans to endorse Ronald Reagan in 1976. The other Republicans probably also thought Reagan was a loon until he ushered in a new era of true conservatism for the country.

    Excerpt from PR Newswire article
    Candidates Confirmed for First GOP Presidential Debate

    SIMI VALLEY, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire/ –
    The following candidates have accepted Mrs. Ronald Reagan’s invitation
    to participate in this debate: Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Rudy Giuliani,
    Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Tommy Thompson.
    The May 3 debate will air exclusively on MSNBC cable, with full
    coverage on http://www.MSNBC.com.

    Comment by Dalebert — April 10, 2007 @ 12:58 am - April 10, 2007

  24. I come to my own conclusions.. with due respect to Ms. Reagan.

    If you’re such a believer in Freedom you wouldn’t be attacking me for my own view.

    Comment by Vince P — April 10, 2007 @ 1:42 am - April 10, 2007

  25. What attack are you referring to?

    Comment by Dalebert — April 10, 2007 @ 2:04 am - April 10, 2007

  26. Dale: Sorry, I was distracted listening to the radio and totally misread what you typed.

    I think Paul should definately be at the debates.

    Comment by Vince P — April 10, 2007 @ 2:16 am - April 10, 2007

  27. And for those of you who thought Newt Gingrich would be the true conservative choice for 2008, think again.

    Apparently, Newt caved in his environmental debate with John F-ing Kerry.

    Just what we needed. Sheesh.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 10, 2007 @ 4:26 pm - April 10, 2007

  28. Thomson and Guiliani———not likely
    Thompson and Gingrich———highly probable

    A Republican ticket with two social liberals, your recommendation, will not meet the criteria for the social conservatives in either party. My suggestion, would appeal to social liberals and social conservatives. The prime reason being, that Thompson is the only potential candidate to address the speech codes in the legal and medical codes of ethical conduct.

    Comment by Bob N — April 17, 2007 @ 9:40 am - April 17, 2007

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