Monday, April 02, 2007
The Case for Fred Thompson
The Diversity King
STAR QUALITY. Today, Robert Novak is reporting that Fred Thompson is indeed serious about running for president. He says, among other things:
In just three weeks, Fred Thompson has improbably transformed the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. It is not merely that he has come from nowhere to double digits in national polls. He is the talk of GOP political circles, because he is filling the conservative void in the Republican field....
His statement to Wallace that he was ''giving some thought'' to a presidential run generated a reaction that surprised Thompson. In the first Gallup Poll that listed Thompson (March 23-25), he scored 12 percent -- amazing for someone out of public life for more than four years...
Thompson's political origin as a protege of Sen. Howard Baker, leader of the Tennessee GOP's more liberal wing, prompted hard-line Senate conservatives to consider him a little too liberal. Actually, his lifetime Senate voting record as measured by the American Conservative Union was 86 percent....
The principal complaint about Thompson concerns his work ethic. The rap is that he does not burn the midnight oil -- the identical criticism of Reagan, before and during his presidency. That carping may betray resentment that Thompson has emerged as a full-blown candidate without backbreaking campaign travel and tedious fund-raising...
I'm sure the political experts will now perform their usual routine of combing through the trivia of Fred Thompson's life -- his two terms in the U.S. Senate, his voting record, his policy positions, his experience as legal counsel in the Watergate investigation, etc. But this is America, and we the people have our own ways of assessing candidates like Mr. Thompson. Forget all that boring inside-the-beltway crap. What is it we can really know about this guy's qualifications and executive potential? Plenty. Here are some of the basics, plus a few unanswered questions we can all research in the weeks and months ahead:
Legal Career. Two terms -- 109 episodes! -- as DA of New York City on Law and Order. That's not even counting the midnight oil he burned on Law and Order: Trial by Jury (13 episodes), Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (11 episodes), and Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2 episodes). His record on successful prosecutions is, by my count, well above 90 percent. Not even Rudy Giuliani can compete with that. And he's no Nancy Grace, either. Before becoming district attorney, he was a brilliantly successful defense attorney named Racehorse Haines (Bed of Lies), who was famous for never losing a case.
Military Career. None of the other candidates in either party can measure up in this category. He served as a U.S. Army captain (Flight of the Intruder) and major general (Fat Man and Little Boy) in WWII , as a lieutenant colonel in Vietnam (China Beach), and as a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy (Red October) during the Cold War. Where else could we find a candidate who has been a senior officer in two different branches of the service? Nowhere.
Intelligence Career. Director of the CIA (No Way Out).
Law Enforcement Career. He served both as a police detective (Stay the Night) and as an FBI special agent (Baby's Day Out).
Political Career. U.S. Senator (Born Yesterday), White House Chief of Staff (In the Line of Fire), and President of the United States (Last Best Chance). That's more than the two Clintons put together can offer.
Business Career. Chief of research & development -- with a PhD. no less -- for a major U.S. auto manufacturer (Class Action). He also participated in a gigantic hostile takeover of RJ Reynolds (Barbarians at the Gate). Before that, he was chief of operations for the Dulles International Airport (Die Hard 2) in Washington, DC. He also had some experience as a business entrepreneur (White Sands).
The executive who presides over the U.S. government has to be calm and intelligent in crises, and he has to have the ability to work with a huge variety of officials and citizens from every discipline, level, and walk of life. It's hard to imagine a candidate with better credentials of this sort than Fred Thompson. The list above demonstrates that he's worked, and succeeded, in virtually every kind of profession. He's also shown -- particularly in his terms as district attorney -- that he can get along with people of every gender, race, and ethnic background, including obnoxious, humorless feminists and the flaming lefties who write and star in Law and Order. If you can be nonpartisan in that crowd, you can be nonpartisan anywhere. Moreover, he's proved beyond doubt that he reacts spectacularly well in a crisis. Faced with a ballooning terror plot in Die Hard 2, he recognized almost immediately -- when no one else did -- that the only solution was to put blind faith in Bruce Willis. How many of us would have done the same? Well, okay, all of us, but that's only because we already saw Die Hard 1, which Fred's character obviously wouldn't have. So you can see how smart he had to be.
All in all, we'd have to rate his executive potential as A+++.
You know how politics is. No matter how sterling your credentials and evident character, the opposition and the mainstream press (i.e., the opposition) will work tirelessly to uncover any possible hint of scandal or personal wrongdoing. That's where you guys come in. There are some potentially serious questions that will be asked about Fred Thompson, and his campaign needs you to come up with plausible answers. (No one here knows the answers because that would mean watching all the episodes and movies, which would be a lot like real work.) If you don't, he'll be destroyed as surely as McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and all the other declared GOP candidates are certain to be.
Here are the questions. (Don't show this list to your liberal acquaintances. Please)
1. Didn't Fred fire a female assistant prosecutor on Law and Order? Was he being sexist or what?
2. Was he being kind of corrupt during his senate term in Born Yesterday? What's up with that?
3. The White Sands movie. He was an arms dealer? Whoa.
4. All those episodes on the Wiseguy. Was he mixed up in organized crime somehow? That doesn't sound good. At all.
5. If he finished up as a major general in WWII, why was he busted to lieutenant colonel in Vietnam? Was it related to his arms dealing or his mob ties? And is that why he started his military career all over again in the navy? The whole thing is worrying.
6. Did he really approve making an unsafe vehicle because it was cheaper to settle legal claims than fix a defect in Class Action? It's true that lawyers can be expected to do some dirty things, but Fred just seems better than that. If there isn't a good answer to this one, his goose is really cooked. If there's anything the MSM hates more than Republicans it's hard-hearted corporate executives (i.e., Republicans).
7. Wasn't there a highly placed Soviet mole in the CIA when he was serving as director? Wasn't it Kevin Costner? How could you miss a thing like that? Doesn't that raise some basic questions about competence?
Well, that's all for now. Get to work and post your answers here. Fred will appreciate any help you can provide.