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Denise

For me, it's also too soon to say if I like Fred or not. I like Giuliani when it comes to the war on terror and I like the fact that there was a significant drop in crime when he was Mayor of New York. I don't like his stance on abortion, though.

JF

Denise, I don't have a problem with Southerners in general, or even Southern Presidents, except for that fact that most of the Southern Presidents have been of the big-government variety.

I do have a problem with Southerners who elect other Southerners simply because they're Southern, as appears to be the case with FDT. I am a conservative who will try to vote for a conservative, but this is not the way we should select our candidates.

I don't understand how conservative Southerners can look themselves in the mirror and go crazy for the cult of personality that is FDT and then turn around and criticize Obama's and Edwards' lack of experience. I see all three of them through the same lens: inexperienced Senators with no notable accomplishments.

Hate John McCain for his stances, but at least he is an experienced Senator and war hero. Hate Romney for his flip-flopping and Mormonism, but at least he's an accomplished executive and turnaround artist (Olympics, Massachusetts). Hate Giuliani for his social liberalism, but at least he was a tremendously successful fiscal and law-and-order conservative mayor in an ultra-liberal city.

FDT, by any objective measure, doesn't belong in the company of these three individuals. He says the right things, and accomplishes nothing. But since he's a Southerner, he's up there. Have you seen his interviews? His oratory skills fall far short of the hype that his supporters have built up for him ("um.. uh.. umm..").

In these circumstances, why should I declare that I'll automatically support FDT if he's our nominee? His record is extremely similar to John McCain's, and I'd rather have the real thing if it came down to that. The Democrats ran circles around him when he was given positions of authority in the Senate. Why believe he'll do better as President?

Steevo

JF I would think you'd be wise enough to give a huge grain of salt for any 'interview' on Leno. That said, here's a few other comments:

"A very disappointing performance, I thought. Thompson was flat–low on energy, not very interesting, unengaged and unengaging. If this is the best he can do, he’s not going to be the factor many of us expected."

"Fred talks the way you’d talk to a friend. He doesn’t speak in politician platitudes and that strange meter that Hillary or Mitt do. If that’s low energy, so be it. I thought he was clear and direct in this interview."

"Fred’s sincerity and commitment was very evident. He is calm and deliberate. Fred can be depended on in time of a crisis and not react with a knee jerk decision."

More on this big interview here http://www.news2wkrn.com/vv/2007/06/12/early-report-from-the-fred-thompson-tonight-show-appearance/

You judge him negatively because he "doesn't covet the presidency". That's a positive to me and a lot of people who can relate exactly what he means. Its not disinterest in taking on the responsibilities, its disinterest in the adoration and glory. Leno asked him, “Do you want the job of president of the United States,” and he replied, “I want to do some things that only a president can do, so the answer is yes.”

And you know, maybe he was really tired before going on?

For an intelligent interview, the day after Leno, go here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3159570904069596210&q=hoover+institution+thompson

"I don't understand how conservative Southerners can look themselves in the mirror and go crazy for the cult of personality that is FDT and then turn around and criticize Obama's and Edwards' lack of experience." This can be applied with anyone in our country, on either party, giving 'reasons'. There's nothing exclusive to being born in the south which gives one a higher propensity to be self-serving and/or stupid.

"I do have a problem with Southerners who elect other Southerners simply because they're Southern, as appears to be the case with FDT." And I'm tired of Northeasterners who would never vote for a Southerner.

My point is it appears because you're a Southerner you're giving yourself license to stereotype because he's not your man. Are you implying most Southerners will vote for Fred because of his accent? That they're so narrow-minded, so prejudice? I'm not from the south but I am from 'our' country and I haven't heard any serious talk the reason for his growing support is because of non-thinking hypocritical Southerners? I'm not saying people haven't wanted to conclude this but this does sound more like a problem with you and what you wanna claim as a legitimate reality.

"But since he's a Southerner, he's up there." That's just lame.

You think of yourself as a serious judge of presidential worthyness and yet you can try to justify this: "Whoa, I have to admit, HRC's refusal to apologize for voting for the war gives me hope. Whereas with FDT, I have no idea what to expect."

And when I point out the obvious that she's a darn Socialist your response is: "Finally, with HRC: I agree with you that she is calculated in her positions, and for that reason, I don't know what she believes. But looking long term, a Clinton presidency would greatly revitalize the conservative movement, as it did in 1992-1993. I would be willing to withdraw from this battlefield to win the war, and I think HRC would help us do that. There might be some short term damage, but I think she won't be as radical as many think, and a revived GOP would soon be able to block her."

I think you're very ignorant. That is nonsense and stupid.

I wonder how many enlightened voters will not want to vote for another 'slow-talking Southerner'. Frankly, even with conservatives I still see anti-Southern bigotry.


JF

Steevo, thanks for your reply. I was not only referring to his interview on Leno, I was referring to all of his interviews. His interview with Larry Kudlow on CNBC was atrocious, and the political commentators agreed that as far as pro-business Republicans are concerned, his answers were not attractive.

I watched the Hoover Institute interview, dyes. We clearly come away from watching that with different interpretations. In my mind, that was the friendliest possible interview FDT could ask for: an interviewer that complimented him incessantly, gave him softball, leading questions, summarized the "desired answer" after FDT rambled off point each time.. I wouldn't call it "intelligent," but we're clearly coming at this from different angles.

If FDT were disinterested in the glory but interested in the Presidency, he would be willing to risk some of his reputation by participating in the debates. It is easy to guess that he will underperform in the debates based on his low-energy, meandering rhetorical style, which is why he refuses to participate. I'm not sure I understand what is so courageous in such a stance, even if it is politically expedient.

"I don't understand how conservative Southerners can look themselves in the mirror and go crazy for the cult of personality that is FDT and then turn around and criticize Obama's and Edwards' lack of experience." This can be applied with anyone in our country, on either party, giving 'reasons'. There's nothing exclusive to being born in the south which gives one a higher propensity to be self-serving and/or stupid.

Absolutely correct. As I said, I don't have a problem with Southerners in general. To prove my point, I brought up Obama, who is not a Southerner, but rather a man who is equally inexperienced and equally beguiling to a certain set of people. Obama is a rock-star on the Left just as FDT is a rock-star on the Right, and it has nothing to do with their respective geographical bases. It has to do with naiveté on the part of their respective supporters.

"I do have a problem with Southerners who elect other Southerners simply because they're Southern, as appears to be the case with FDT." And I'm tired of Northeasterners who would never vote for a Southerner.

A strawman argument if I've ever seen one. Who said anything about this? You seem to have forgotten that Clinton, Carter and LBJ were Democrats. I, for one, am a Northerner, and I voted for GWB, a Southerner, twice.

You think of yourself as a serious judge of presidential worthyness and yet you can try to justify this: "Whoa, I have to admit, HRC's refusal to apologize for voting for the war gives me hope. Whereas with FDT, I have no idea what to expect."

You forgot to dispute my point. HRC refused to apologize for voting for the war, this is a fact. FDT wasn't in the Senate to be tested during the difficulties of the Iraq war, this is a fact. For you to claim that you know how FDT would have performed from 2003-2007 in an imaginary Senate term is sheer arrogance. You do not know, and you cannot claim to know any more than me. So how am I wrong?

And when I point out the obvious that she's a darn Socialist your response is: "Finally, with HRC: I agree with you that she is calculated in her positions, and for that reason, I don't know what she believes. But looking long term, a Clinton presidency would greatly revitalize the conservative movement, as it did in 1992-1993. I would be willing to withdraw from this battlefield to win the war, and I think HRC would help us do that. There might be some short term damage, but I think she won't be as radical as many think, and a revived GOP would soon be able to block her."

I think you're very ignorant. That is nonsense and stupid.

You say she's a Socialist, I agree and say that precisely because she is, she will damage her party and strengthen the conservatives, and you say I'm ignorant and stupid. That's a masterful and effective retort, Steevo. Great job addressing and refuting my argument. It's no wonder that people like you can support FDT, and why people like me cannot (at this stage).

Steevo

Yes it was a friendly interview but more serious from my angle to draw further insight into where he stands. I will assume more than Leno, from which you were the most specific in your appraisals.

Because a person has not put their hat in the ring, yet, does not mean they're disinterested. I think because people have jumped in so early and indeed it has been very early for the party nomination, doesn't imply their intentions are any more honest, brave and with genuine sincerety for good seeking the highest position in the land. You seem to know what's in his mind and what isn't without any legitimate basis other than presumption: "It is easy to guess that he will underperform in the debates based on his low-energy, meandering rhetorical style." Well OK, it is clearly easy for you to judge his performance. But also, motivations.

"Obama is a rock-star on the Left just as FDT is a rock-star on the Right, and it has nothing to do with their respective geographical bases. It has to do with naiveté on the part of their respective supporters." I like him, probably like Romney and Giuliani but from a different perspective just as its different with each of them. I think, like with many others that's been explained well enough. You deduce it down and paint a derogatory picture which is not true. I'm not overly emotional going gaga. Many prominent and intelligent people who like him are not either.

You stated: "His southern accent may be enough for the Southerners, but it's not enough for the rest of us in the North, Midwest, and West."

You stated: "I prefer Romney with Giuliani as a close second, but I get the feeling that the Southerners aren't satisfied with only having 4 of the last 8 Presidencies, and want to inflict another Southerner on us. It almost makes me want to vote Democrat."

You stated: "I do have a problem with Southerners who elect other Southerners simply because they're Southern, as appears to be the case with FDT."

My response: "And I'm tired of Northeasterners who would never vote for a Southerner."

Your response: "A strawman argument if I've ever seen one. Who said anything about this? You seem to have forgotten that Clinton, Carter and LBJ were Democrats. I, for one, am a Northerner, and I voted for GWB, a Southerner, twice." I misread you and thought you were from the south, also being critical of Southerners. I may have given you more credit. Regardless... my point: I'm also tired of people having a very narrow view on who they want and don't want, based on geographical location and its not just from the south.

You are 'tired' of Southerners voting only for those from the south but that premise can be made just about anywhere with any people, to only vote for those who speak, sound or look like them. To claim Southerners are any more prejudice, simple-minded or whatever in this regard is not fair. Besides, Thompson is liked all around our nation.

"You forgot to dispute my point. HRC refused to apologize for voting for the war, this is a fact." I didn't forget. You didn't respond directly to my repsonse to you. Why Hillary most probably voted for the war was because it was the thing to do considering the majory sentiment in our country. Then, when all the questions about no WMD dominated the media, she said if she had known better she wouldn't have voted for us to go in. Now... since it appears to me most moderate voters don't want us to just cut and run, well... its no big mystery where she stands.

"For you to claim that you know how FDT would have performed from 2003-2007 in an imaginary Senate term is sheer arrogance." When did I claim that?

"You say she's [Hillary] a Socialist, I agree and say that precisely because she is, she will damage her party and strengthen the conservatives, and you say I'm ignorant and stupid. That's a masterful and effective retort, Steevo. Great job addressing and refuting my argument. It's no wonder that people like you can support FDT, and why people like me cannot (at this stage)."

Your words: "Whoa, I have to admit, HRC's refusal to apologize for voting for the war gives me hope. Whereas with FDT, I have no idea what to expect." That to me means you may prefer her to him.

Your words: "Finally, with HRC: I agree with you that she is calculated in her positions, and for that reason, I don't know what she believes." Since she is a Globalist and Socialist, and calculating, she will do what she can through what the MSM will accomplish when influencing our majority to go to the Left. I think the intent and desired policies will not be a mystery.

"Ignorant and stupid" is not masterful nor desiring an effective retort. I merely think its accurate.

Look, on most issues I agree with you JF and am certainly glad to be here with you. But your take on our presidential race has really got me scratching my head. We'll see how Thompson does. You've largely prejudged him and his compitence to make your case. I think we need to wait and take him serious, as he plans to. His views are sound to me, not everything but almost. And he doesn't have an ego problem for the limelight. He's not a rock star to me either but I am glad he's there for one more choice to wait, and see.

I think you need to control some of your sarcasim and if you percieved me as getting too harsh... sorry. I don't wanna offend you.

JF

Steevo, I appreciate the further insight and will do my best to respond.

You seem to know what's in his mind and what isn't without any legitimate basis other than presumption: "It is easy to guess that he will underperform in the debates based on his low-energy, meandering rhetorical style." Well OK, it is clearly easy for you to judge his performance. But also, motivations.

I wasn't sure if this was meant to be a criticism or not, but I'll just say that he underperformed in his California Lincoln Club speech and his interview with Larry Kudlow, which indicates he's not as good off the cuff. As I said, it's easy to guess, based on these lackluster performances, that he won't do well in the debates. Do I know? I freely admit I do not know.

You deduce it down and paint a derogatory picture which is not true. I'm not overly emotional going gaga. Many prominent and intelligent people who like him are not either.

Ok, then this should be easy. What are the arguments for FDT based on concrete data? I have only seen (from you and other supporters of FDT) emotional arguments: that he connects with people, he has gravitas, that he seems to be a common-sense conservative. Good and well, but this is all based on an emotional judgment. From a more concrete perspective, I haven't heard good arguments. When he was asked what his greatest accomplishment in the Senate was, he replied "leaving." Fine, maybe it was a joke. But I haven't yet heard the real answer. What was his greatest accomplishment? And why would that make him a good President?

You are 'tired' of Southerners voting only for those from the south but that premise can be made just about anywhere with any people, to only vote for those who speak, sound or look like them. To claim Southerners are any more prejudice, simple-minded or whatever in this regard is not fair. Besides, Thompson is liked all around our nation.

A few things here: many Southerners do not consider Northern Republicans to be "true" conservatives. Red State, a Southern conservative community site which aspires to be the right-wing Daily Kos, is heavily biased against Northern Republicans; just type "RINO" in their search field to see what I mean. If anything, by voting in so many Southern Presidents, I don't feel the burden is on Northerners to prove that they are not biased against Southerners, but rather the reverse. Do you find it coincidental that FDT's strongest polling numbers are in the Southern states?

Why Hillary most probably voted for the war was because it was the thing to do considering the majory sentiment in our country. Then, when all the questions about no WMD dominated the media, she said if she had known better she wouldn't have voted for us to go in. Now... since it appears to me most moderate voters don't want us to just cut and run, well... its no big mystery where she stands.

This is a case of the devil that I know vs. the unknown that I don't know. As I said previously, FDT has said many of the right things, but so have many pundits. Clinton is a fairly inexperienced Senator, but I have to admit that she has shown some spine by standing up to her own party for the sake of the greater good. I wouldn't ask FDT to defy the Republican party to prove his worth (he already did that with McCain-Feingold, hardly a plus for him), but it's easy for him to sit on the sidelines and make vague statements about how he would do a better job running the country. Will he survive scrutiny? We won't know until he does us the favor of entering the race and participating in the debates. I just don't know enough about FDT as a politician. As a pundit, I agree with many of his views, but then, we don't elect pundits.

"For you to claim that you know how FDT would have performed from 2003-2007 in an imaginary Senate term is sheer arrogance." When did I claim that?

You said: You think of yourself as a serious judge of presidential worthyness and yet you can try to justify this: "Whoa, I have to admit, HRC's refusal to apologize for voting for the war gives me hope. Whereas with FDT, I have no idea what to expect." In other words, you imply that FDT is worthier than HRC. With an undistinguished Senate record, you are giving him the benefit of the doubt when I believe that isn't warranted. Why should his undistinguished Senate record trump her undistinguished Senate record?

Your words: "Whoa, I have to admit, HRC's refusal to apologize for voting for the war gives me hope. Whereas with FDT, I have no idea what to expect." That to me means you may prefer her to him.

Right now, I do. To me, it is a weakness of character that FDT doesn't subject himself to scrutiny. As things stand today, I wouldn't vote for FDT under any circumstance, because he's treating the election like a coronation. That could change once he shows he has the skill to campaign and debate, but he hasn't done that yet. It doesn't take courage to sit back and be drafted by ardent supporters, it doesn't take courage to sit back and let money pour in from online donations, it doesn't take courage to refrain from debate and yet critique current policy.

Since she is a Globalist and Socialist, and calculating, she will do what she can through what the MSM will accomplish when influencing our majority to go to the Left. I think the intent and desired policies will not be a mystery.

We'll see. Bill Clinton's triangulation meant that he ended up less left-wing than many feared, and it's possible that HRC's triangulation will yield the same result.

"Ignorant and stupid" is not masterful nor desiring an effective retort. I merely think its accurate.

And yet you still haven't substantiated why you think so. So I have to ask if this was a joke on your part.

You've largely prejudged him and his compitence to make your case. I think we need to wait and take him serious, as he plans to. His views are sound to me, not everything but almost. And he doesn't have an ego problem for the limelight. He's not a rock star to me either but I am glad he's there for one more choice to wait, and see.

Hey, that's all I ask. It's impossible to support him as he currently stands, because he hasn't proven his case. I may yet end up supporting him, but he's going to have to earn it (as will every other candidate). Many have already declared their support for him based on pure emotion, as far as I can tell. When he declares, begins campaigning, and participates in the debates, anything is possible. But right now, it's difficult to support him from any objective standpoint other than he's not Giuliani, Romney, or McCain. That's not enough for me to support FDT.

Steevo

"'Ignorant and stupid' is not masterful nor desiring an effective retort. I merely think its accurate.

"And yet you still haven't substantiated why you think so. So I have to ask if this was a joke on your part." If you really think it was a joke you make me wonder even more to put it more polite.

I don't believe much of what you've said is substantiated. From your narrow and judgmental views on Southerners regardles of a web site, to not knowing how Hillary will (or maybe I should just say wants to) vote, to your current preference for her as President over your current opinion and non-choice of Thompson, to then believing she could be so bad, enough so Americans will really wake up and vote conservative in the next election.

I'm only gonna answer that because you've directly challenged. Maybe we can agree to disagree. All the other points are not worth going back and forth unless you insist. Believe what you will and when further discussion over him comes up we'll probably have more to share. Its always in motion.

I'd be satisfied if we cut off the east and west coasts and the north, and took a chance with our remaining voters on who would become our next elected president. But you can consider that a joke, of sorts.

Have a good evening.

JF

Steevo, I agree we're getting nowhere on this. FDT will eventually decide to be a serious candidate, or he won't. If he does, we'll be able to evaluate him, but until then, it's impossible.

The South can always try seceding again, if that's your contention. It may just work this time.

Denise

Well, I am from the South, Georgia to be exact, and I have to admit that I had never heard of FDT until recently and on this blog at that. Maybe it's because I've been too busy to hear anything about him.

JF, on one hand, I can see what you mean. Or at least I think I do. If any political party gets a Southern candidate to run, thinking someone like me is going to vote for that candidate just because he or she is Southern, then yes, that would annoy me, too. Political parties do that all the time, though. They think that if they get a woman to run, they'll get all of the women's votes and the same goes for black candidates. They must think that we, the American people, are that stupid. It is about and always has been about what the candidate stands for. And the sooner both parties realize that, the better off they and the rest of us will be.

Steevo, you make some good points, too.

Denise

As for FDT, I will have to know more about him before I make any decisions.

Chris

Born and bred Southerner here, and certainly not "ignorant" enough to vote for a fellow Southerner simply because of that distinction.

I'm looking forward to Fred's take on all issues. To pre-judge is a waste of type, time, and true debate.

Speaking of debate--what happened to real debate? Why does everyone call the recent "debates" debates? It's not debate, it's pandering.

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