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Fred Thompson Drops Out:
The news is here. Having endorsed him, I can say, well, rats.
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
While he was number four on my list, I appreciated some of his more colorful moments during the debate and his commitment to running a very issues-oriented campaign. My family's thoughts and prayers are with him and his mother.
1.22.2008 4:56pm
Guest101:
So who's your second choice?
1.22.2008 4:56pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
Fred was a dead man walking from the start, before he even declared. He hadn't one iota of the energy needed to campaign full-time, and his staff was full of amateurs.
1.22.2008 5:00pm
quaker:
Very disappointed, too, and searching now for plan B -- probably Mitt or Rudy.

Thank you for trying, Fred.
1.22.2008 5:06pm
Pub Editor:
What happens to those delegates that he has already acquired?

Many ballots for Super Tuesday are already printed with his name on them. If Fred receives some votes on Super Tuesday, what happens to those delegates at the convention?

In other words, could Fred still be a kingmaker at a brokered convention?
1.22.2008 5:09pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Well, there's always a write-in for Stassen; lots of experience running and dead is no obstacle to being elected, vide Mel Carnahan.
1.22.2008 5:09pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
I think he realized that, with his energy level and temperament, he's much better suited to be Vice President. For those of you who absolutely have to support dead in the water candidates, there's always Alan Keyes.
1.22.2008 5:18pm
Cold Warrior:
All told, I watched 3 Republican candidate debates. I thought Fred "won" two of 'em. Shows what I know.
1.22.2008 5:19pm
Jacob Berlove:
How about going for McCain? Guliani is pro-choice, anti-gun, and would seem to have an unhealthy view of executive power. Huckabee reminds me of William Jennings Bryan (if that was his name), and has major problems with his view on the appropriate size of government. Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper and has bragged about not pardoning or commuting the sentence of even one person as governor!McCain may occasionally vote in ways that break with the principals of limited government and individual freedom, but seems very principled and would be a breath of fresh air to a Republican party dominated by those who go along with the establishment. McCain-Feingold is not the end of the world with our current Supreme Court, voting to protect the enviroment occasionally isn't too bad, and I think we can trust McCain that it's possible to protect our national security without being extremely anti-immigrant. And fiscal discipline on the federal level probably will help the interests of federalism in the long term as well.
1.22.2008 5:21pm
wfjag:
Having litigated against Mr. (later Senator) Thompson, I was looking forward to a candidate I thought was an excellent choice (rather than "the lesser of"). He was fully up on the complex legal and factual issues involved, had his associates well organized, was completely ethical and professional, and outside the court room a very interesting and likeable person (and inside it, zealously represented his client within the bounds of the law, and did so very well). Candidate Thompson failed to show anything like the work ethic that private lawyer Thompson did.
1.22.2008 5:26pm
Sarah (mail) (www):
"McCain-Feingold is not the end of the world with our current Supreme Court" is a great example of optimism, considering how long some of the Justices have been in there. Is McCain-Feingold still not the end of the world if McCain is appointing one or two (or even three) of our next set of Justices?

I was always "Romney or Thompson and, well, I'd have to seriously think about it and swallow awfully hard before voting for McCain or Guiliani." I still rather hope Thompson's the VP candidate, as he'd improve any of the others -- except for Huckabee, who as far as I'm concerned can't be improved upon, he's so bad.

Anyway, it's no wonder that even Rush Limbaugh is talking about sitting out this election.
1.22.2008 5:29pm
Dan Weber (www):
Thompson can delegates in Iowa (3), Wyoming (3), and Nevada (2), but those delegates aren't pledged (yet).
1.22.2008 5:30pm
Lonely Capitalist (mail):
It's probably too late to change the Florida ballots so I'll probably vote for him anyway next week just to show how much I dislike all the others.
1.22.2008 5:31pm
happylee:
It appears the news was too much for Heath Ledger.
1.22.2008 5:35pm
The Cabbage (mail):
I'm a broke law student, but I sent Fred a nominal sum. Sad to see him go.

That being said, McCain is a fine candidate. I was upset at McCain-Feingold, but you can't always find the perfect candidate. McCain>>>the B or C double threat
1.22.2008 5:36pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Mitt Romney is a flip-flopper


Not really, he's gone from being nominally pro-choice (although eschewing the label) to pro-life which makes him about as much of a "flip-flopper" as McCain promising to make permanent the very tax cuts he once voted against.
1.22.2008 5:39pm
andy (mail) (www):
Seeing that he didn't really "want" to be president, he can't be too upset about his poor showing.
1.22.2008 5:41pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Fred's second-biggest attribute as a candidate (after his devotion to federalism) was that he didn't really want to be president. That's what I like to see in a candidate, an absence of power-hungryness.
1.22.2008 5:59pm
Han Solo:
Duncan has dropped out....
Fred has dropped out......

The only conservative left is Ron Paul.


Thats who is getting my vote.


These loosers the Republican party puts in front of us are all big-government-pro-war-socialist-democrats in R clothes. No way I am voting for one of them.

I am a conservative first, and a republican first. I am not leaving the republican party, the republican party is leaving us and becoming "Democrat-lite".
1.22.2008 6:06pm
Mr. X (www):
1.22.2008 6:10pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

There's still time to join Governor Gary Johnson on the Ron Paul bandwagon.


Yes, I hear that the rubber noses and floppy shoes are optional finally.
1.22.2008 6:21pm
hawkins:
"Fred's second-biggest attribute as a candidate (after his devotion to federalism) was that he didn't really want to be president. That's what I like to see in a candidate, an absence of power-hungryness."

I agree that its an endearing personal characteristic. But that's what you want in a presidential candidate?!? We dont need anymore 30 hour work weeks in the White House.
1.22.2008 6:22pm
MarkField (mail):
I guess all the Conspirators will now have lots more free time for posting.
1.22.2008 6:32pm
OrinKerr:
Hawkins writes:
I agree that its an endearing personal characteristic. But that's what you want in a presidential candidate?!? We dont need anymore 30 hour work weeks in the White House.
I'm not so sure. There are certainly times I wish George W. Bush had put off decisions because he needed to take a long long nap.
1.22.2008 6:35pm
wekt:
That's sad news. Fred Thompson was one of only two candidates whom I truly supported (the other being Ron Paul). Unless a miracle happens on Feb 5, I guess I'll be voting for the lesser of two evils or a third-party in November. :-(
1.22.2008 6:37pm
Bill R:
We dont need anymore 30 hour work weeks in the White House.
If the President is unable to do his/her job in 30 hours per week, what is the minimum necessary work week? What happens as the Federal government (including the administrative branch) continues to control more and more and the minimum necessary work week approaches 210 hours? Will we amend the Constitution to provide for "co-Presidents" to share the crushing workload or will it suffice to tap talent with exceptional work ethics from Canada and recruit Mobina Jaffer?

Generally, Fred's interest in federalism seems consistent with a shorter Presidential work week (the less the Federal government gets in involved in State's issues, the less work Fred would have needed to do).
1.22.2008 6:45pm
Kazinski:
Mitt has not showed any constancy of position over his political career, which puts him near the bottom of my list. I was a Thompson guy, but now I think I'm going for McCain. McCain is not a movement conservative, and he takes some troubling positions. He has been great on the war, on spending which are two pretty important issues for me.

Romney may very well be more conservative than McCain, right now. But who would you have picked as more conservative in 1990, David Souter or Anthony Kennedy? Most people probably would have thought Souter was the more conservative. My guess is that Romney if he wins the nomination would tack immediately left and run on his record as the moderate governor of a liberal state, and end up governing that way if he won.

I'm afraid Mitt Romney is the David Souter of the Republican Presidential candidates.
1.22.2008 6:47pm
Mike Gallo (mail) (www):
I'm voting for Fred anyways. I've only been able to vote in two presidential elections, and ended up having to choose Bush both times; hopefully the first time, and in spite of my better judgement the second. How is it that a 26 year old can feel like he's going to go through life never getting to vote for a candidate he likes?
1.22.2008 6:48pm
Kazinski:
The positive thing about McCain, for me, is some of the people that are for him. The fact that Phil Gramm and Tom Coburn have endorsed McCain should be enough that other conservatives should give him a serious look, regardless of the fact that McCain has some flaws. I wouldn't be surprised if Fred Thompson is the next bedrock conservative to endorse him. If McCain can get right on immigration without appearing to do a backflip; a mea culpa would be credible, a rationalization and revision of his previous postions wouldn't be.
1.22.2008 6:59pm
KeithK (mail):
How is it that a 26 year old can feel like he's going to go through life never getting to vote for a candidate he likes?

I assume it just means that you are realistic.
1.22.2008 7:23pm
bittern (mail):
Is this thread about Mitt? As a semi-un-re-constructed liberal in MA, I never thought Mitt was all that bad. He appointed some good people, upped annoying fees across the board to help balance the budget, bought into the full health insurance scheme, surrendered running most of the state to the legislature, claimed to support "smart growth" planning, and went off on his tour of the country making fun of his state. Whatever, dude. True, he hasn't got enough self-awareness to know what his beliefs are, versus what's just campaign drivel. But other than him throwing underlings under buses whenever some controversy got anywhere near him, which was extremely tacky of him, I don't have all that much to complain about. OTOH he's no David Souter, Kazinski.

Or is this thread about Fred? My favorite ex-Republican says Fred's campaign was like Terry Schiavo. Not that that breaks any new ground, admittedly.
1.22.2008 7:25pm
EH (mail):
I think it was supposed to be a riff on the 30-hour workday in the other story, but with a flubbed punchline.
1.22.2008 7:29pm
Dodsworth:
"The positive thing about McCain, for me, is some of the people that are for him."

An endorsement from a courageous libertarian antiwar/anti-WOD, pro-second amendment guy like Gary Johnson (former governor of New Mexico) is worth all of these combined. He endorsed Ron Paul.
1.22.2008 7:30pm
Wugong:
Happylee,

That was rather disgusting of you. Did Keith Ledger do something to piss you off enough that you decided to make light of his death a few hours after it occurred?
1.22.2008 7:44pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
"Did Keith Ledger do something to piss you off enough that you decided to make light of his death a few hours after it occurred?"

Man... I just went to IMDB to pick some bad movie to make a joke about, but looking back on it, all of his movies were OK. Too bad.
1.22.2008 7:56pm
Maassive (www):
So.... You need a new dark horse candidate?

Well, you're in luck. In Arizona, there are several dozen candidates to choose from due to a strange provision in the state's election law. To get on the primary ballot, you only needed to file an application.

If you visit ProjectWhiteHouse08.com, you can read (and watch!) the policies of all the dark-horse candidates, from the eye-patch-wearing Republican Sean "CF" Murphy to the ultra-lib, trash-talking, conceptual-artist Democrat Libby "Doctress Neutopia" Hubbard.

And all of them are competing in a "reality journalism" experiment for the Tucson Weekly's endorsement.

Tomorrow night's the official Project White House debate, which you can watch online through ProjectWhiteHouse08.com

Stop on by!
1.22.2008 7:57pm
Kazinski:
Wugong:
At least Happylee got his name right.
1.22.2008 8:01pm
Fiftycal (mail):
Sorry to see Fred go. I gave him money, won't do that for any of the others. I'll have to go with Huckabee out of the remainder of the field. Romney/RUdy are big government liberals and have pledged to ban guns. How is that different from the dimorats? McCain will be a replay of the Bob Dull, it's my turn campaign. Either will result in a dimorat win.

And a dimorat win will bring us back to the brink of another jimma carta Presidency. Hopefully lasting no more than 4 years and hopefully the country survives.

My first issue is guns. Once that is settled, I'll look at other factors. Right now, Huckabee is my only choice.
1.22.2008 8:05pm
Syd (mail):
Daniel Chapman (mail):
"Did Keith Ledger do something to piss you off enough that you decided to make light of his death a few hours after it occurred?"

Man... I just went to IMDB to pick some bad movie to make a joke about, but looking back on it, all of his movies were OK. Too bad.


Well, The Brothers Grimm was a mess, but Ledger was good in it. Gilliam was the one who messed that one up.
1.22.2008 8:08pm
Pluribus (mail):

Fred's second-biggest attribute as a candidate (after his devotion to federalism) was that he didn't really want to be president.

I don't want to be president either. And I love federalism. Would you consider endorsing me?
1.22.2008 8:18pm
OrinKerr:
Fiftycal,

It seems your keyboard is stuck -- the term is "Democrat," not "dimorat." If you'd like to comment here, I think you should probably check your keyboard and make sure it's working properly.
1.22.2008 8:18pm
Wugong:
Kazinski,

Got me there. Sorry for the typo.
1.22.2008 8:20pm
Jam:
next to go ... Guliani.
1.22.2008 8:40pm
Owen Hutchins (mail):
Don't you have to actually run for an office before you drop out of the race? He consistently acted like he didn't want to be President. I had planned on honoring that.
1.22.2008 8:41pm
JRL:
It seems your keyboard is stuck -- the term is "Democrat," not "dimorat." If you'd like to comment here, I think you should probably check your keyboard and make sure it's working properly.

I think you have to call them Democratics now. They get really bent out of shape if you say "Democrat."
1.22.2008 8:43pm
teqjack (mail):
Drat.

But Mr. Thompson has, really, only himself to blame for his poor showing and now withdrawal. As Hershey discovered when upstart Nestle came from nowhere to near-par with the giant back in the Fifties, ignoring the market (ie, not advertising or finding some other way to get notice) can be a very bad idea.
1.22.2008 8:55pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
Good! At least now there is some chance we won't all be forcibly Verichipped!!
1.22.2008 9:22pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
"next to go ... Guliani." ----> That's good, too! He was best known as the most-sued defendant under Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act while Mayor of NYC, for his inhumane treatment and cruelty to qualified individuals with HIV. e.g., Nidia v. Guiliani.
1.22.2008 9:25pm
Humble Law Student (mail):
Can we style this the VC curse? Perhaps, whomever the VC majority endorses is doomed to failure?
1.22.2008 9:28pm
Laura S.:
Hopefully he'll stump for McCain.
1.22.2008 9:34pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
heh.. In TN, early voting for the Super Tuesday primary started last week. I know a fairly large number of people (including myself) that have already voted for Thompson.

R/
Pol
1.22.2008 9:43pm
wekt:
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano said at 1.22.2008 9:25pm:

Good! At least now there is some chance we won't all be forcibly Verichipped!!

Umm, Fred Thompson (a believer in the 10th Amendment) dropped out, not Rudy "surrender your liberty for security" Giuliani.
1.22.2008 10:08pm
Jake (Guest):
It's not too late to write in Zombie Reagan.
1.22.2008 10:08pm
Dbot:
DavidBernstein, I agree completely. I never saw a lack of enthusiasm to be a world leader as a detriment. The presidency should be a burdensome yoke, not a golden lottery ticket. The giddyness with which most politicians accept their power is scary.

Add in Thompson's solid positions on issues, and you have the ideal Republican candidate.
1.22.2008 11:43pm
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano (mail):
wekt, this may come as a surprise to you, but regardless of Fred Thompson's views on the 10th Amendment, he was Mr. Verichip himself and advocated for the Verichipping of all Americans.

I don't know about you, but I would not want to be forcibly Verichipped. Have you ever seen or handled one?

I have, and they're nasty, migrate to all sorts of places in the body from the injection site, can threaten vital organs, and wreck havoc in the human body.

And the injection needle is big enough for an Elephant. I know, I have seen a horse Verichipped.

Nasty!
1.22.2008 11:46pm
Ted10 (mail):
Before anyone claiming to have libertarian leanings votes for Mitt you should check out his thoughts on executive powers. He doesn't want to be President, he wants to be King of America!

1.22.2008 11:50pm
Ted10 (mail):
Don't know why the link doesn't work, but to see his views go to boston.com and search for the Dec. 22nd article called Candidates on executive power: a full spectrum
1.22.2008 11:53pm
federal farmer (www):
Yes, it is too bad that the village idiots let the media pick their candidate for them.

Fred had all of the conservative strong points of all his opponents and very few of their weaknesses.

He ran a very Madisonian campaign and I had hoped that the populace would be intelligent enough to pick up on that, but sadly, that proved to be wishful thinking.

I plan to vote for Ron Paul or some third party candidate. I refuse to vote for the lesser evil. How will they learn if you play into their game?
1.23.2008 12:03am
Truth Seeker:
I've been a political junkie since the 1960s and Fred's the first candidate I've ever given money to. Depending on the nominee I will either hold my nose and vote Republican or vote 3rd party.

And to those of you who say a 3rd party vote is wasted, I'd say that just like if Hitler were running against Stalin a 3rd party vote would be a message that I don't like either, if Huckabee runs against Obama I will vote Libertarian.
1.23.2008 12:22am
wekt:
Mary Katherine Day-Petrano said:

wekt, this may come as a surprise to you, but regardless of Fred Thompson's views on the 10th Amendment, he was Mr. Verichip himself and advocated for the Verichipping of all Americans.

Are you sure? I quickly Googled this, and only found pages saying that TOMMY Thompson (not FRED Thompson) wanted to implant RFID chips. Please post a link if you have one.
1.23.2008 1:20am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
I view Fred Thompson's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the campaign as a feature, not a bug.

Perhaps I missed it, but I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen any references here to Arthur C. Clarke's novel Imperial Earth ...

By the time of the 500th anniversary of the American Revolution, the President of the United States is no longer elected. Instead, he or she is chosen by lottery from the general pool of qualified citizens. One of the most important qualifications is that the candidate must not want the job.
1.23.2008 3:02am
Thoughtful (mail):
I think Mary Katherine DP is rapidly becoming the Emily Litella of VC...save she never uses the punch line...

BTW, if you go to NBC.com and look at the blog for Law &Order, you'll find the following comment from a few days back: "I really miss Fred Thompson. What ever happened to him?" Somehow fitting, don't you think?
1.23.2008 3:07am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
If McCain wasn't toast before, he is now. He ain't gonna pick up a lot of votes from Fred's base, much of which dismisses the AZ senator as a RINO.
1.23.2008 10:59am
PLR:
I view Fred Thompson's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the campaign as a feature, not a bug.

And in turn, I view Senator Clinton's enthusiasm for the campaign as a bug and not a feature.
1.23.2008 11:23am
Ben P (mail):

And in turn, I view Senator Clinton's enthusiasm for the campaign as a bug and not a feature.


and I'll just say that Senator Clinton's Enthusiasm for her campaign bugs me.


I hadn't really made a decision either way on thompson because frankly I didn't expect him to be a leader in the polls, but my initial impressions of him were considerably more favorable than many of the other candidates.
1.23.2008 1:00pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Thompson's campaign left him positioned as an acceptable VP choice for several of the GOP candidates, as well as a possible Cabinet member (e.g., AG). [He was already well positioned for a federal judgeship, if he wanted one.]

You can come out of a campaign far worse.

Nick
1.23.2008 1:14pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"I think you have to call them Democratics now. They get really bent out of shape if you say "Democrat.""

What "they" object to is the formulation "Democrat Party," which is inaccurate and designed to conjure images of vermin and is a common usage among certain right wing radio hosts and politicians. There's nothing wrong with calling a member of the Democratic Party a Democrat. The insulting equivalent on the other side would be something like "Rethuglican." Both pretty juvenile.
1.23.2008 1:19pm
Kazinski:
NickM,
If Thompson's main flaw was that he didn't want to be President enough to debase himself into jumping into the campaign with both feet, what would make you think he would be eager to wear the vice-presidential clown suit?
1.23.2008 1:43pm
Maureen001 (mail):

Thompson's campaign left him positioned as an acceptable VP choice for several of the GOP candidates, as well as a possible Cabinet member (e.g., AG). [He was already well positioned for a federal judgeship, if he wanted one.]

You can come out of a campaign far worse.

Nick


DINGDINGDING!! We have a winner!

Fox News' Carl Cameron has written in his blog that Fred's campaign was a trial balloon for the Veep position, and that the amount of support surprised him. Tradition holds that at least one part of the ticket comes from the south or west. Huckabee alienates more than he unites; that puts Fred Thompson in a pretty good position to get the nod.



NickM,
If Thompson's main flaw was that he didn't want to be President enough to debase himself into jumping into the campaign with both feet, what would make you think he would be eager to wear the vice-presidential clown suit?


Kaz: Two reasons I can think of; 1) to be poised for the next go-around and 2) to have some influence in the upcoming administration. Fred Thompson didn't play media games and in response they turned him into the Invisible Man. Only, a whole lot of us out here are still waiting to vote our support, in spite of the media's attempt to erase him. Personally, I found his lack of frenzy and his calm, well-thought out comments on issues to be reassuring and inspiring. Rush Limbaugh mentioned something about Thompson's mother being seriously ill and that her health is most likely a factor in his withdrawal. I sincerely hope she gets better. There's plenty of time for her recovery before the Convention, at least I hope the time is sufficient.

Romney is a consumate business manager. But there's a whole lot more at stake in the country right now than finance issues. (Cabinet position, perhaps?) I admire McCain's patriotism, but his joining at the hip with Feingold, for heaven's sake, and Ted Kennedy, and the rest of the whackos, does NOT inspire confidence. And heaven help us if we are threatened with attack and the good senator decides the action needed to be taken is tantamount to torture or something like it. Country be dam*ed, he won't respond. As to Mr. Huckabee, there is no chance whatever I will vote for someone from Arkansas. Period. Nothing ANY politician from that state has done has improved its standing in education, productivity, quality of life, or anything else vital in a state. It continues to rank at the bottom of just about everything (although California has worked really, really hard to bump it off the bottom in education) and to bleed the exodus of young people out of there. There is nothing in the Arkansas track record that commends Huckabee to the nation. As to Ron Paul, he may have left his Capital 'L' Libertarian Party for the Republican Party, but not his views. Libertarians serve as the conscience of this nation, reminding us how very far we've strayed from the plan of the Founding Dads. What they DON'T have is a roadmap to return us to that plan without instigating chaos and massive rioting. It's not enough to sniff mightily and point out our political infidelity. You have to have a gameplan to fix the problems as well.

Process of elimination leaves Giuliani for me, and the need to watch him closely on abortion and gun rights. And that's where Fred Thompson can shine.
1.23.2008 8:15pm