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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fred chooses the blogosphere for his riposte to the DNC's fundraising email attack on him

Ed Morrisey had a neat scoop today at Captain's Quarters with an exclusive pod-cast statement from former Sen. Fred Thompson in which the almost-official candidate responded to the Democratic National Committee's fund-raising email this week attacking him as a lobbyist and "the ultimate Washington insider."

Here's a direct audio link to the recorded statement, and after that is my rough transcript of Sen Thompson's pithy but pointed remarks, followed by a few remarks of my own:

Hey, this is Fred Thompson. Been travelin' the last couple of days. I had a great day yesterday in Nashville. And got down to Franklin to see my momma. Today, a wonderful day in Columbia, South Carolina.

While we've been out on the trail, though, I've learned some interesting things about myself. Apparently, I brought down the savings and loan industry single-handedly, and supported Caribbean dictatorships!

The Democrats, looks like, have chosen a fella not even in the race yet to launch their attacks against. I don't know when I've been so complimented. But they point out that in 35 years of law practice, I had half a dozen or so lobbying clients. They don't mention my latest, when Judge Roberts was nominated to the Supreme Court, President Bush asked me to lobby on his behalf to get him confirmed. And I was able to help out on that project.

But I'd just say, "Keep it up, guys!" Ya know, these are the same things that you talked about in the 1994 campaign when I first ran. And it got you within 20 points of me.

There is some segment of the United States voting public who will react to Fred Thompson, in his distinctive down-home drawl, saying he "got down to Franklin" to see his "momma" by rolling their eyes and making some feeble, snotty joke that includes the word "corn-pone." They're lost to whoever is the 2008 GOP nominee anyway — even if the nominee were fast-talking, non-drawling Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. Me, I'm fixin' to go to go see my daddy next week over the holiday, and I'm just glad for Fred and his momma that they had a chance to touch base too.

In then-Circuit Judge (now Chief Justice) Roberts' testimony before the Senate, he seemed so polished and yet so natural that it's hard to imagine that it was the result of careful preparation — a role in which Sen. Thompson was reportedly involved (albeit probably as an unpaid adviser rather than a paid lobbyist). But Sen. Thompson served with, and knows well, many members of the Judiciary Committee, and I have no doubt that he was able to play "mock interlocutor" as a credible, inspired simulation for more than one of them. And Chief Justice Roberts was already, of course, an exceptionally skilled advocate for others' positions as an appellate lawyer whose full-time career consisted of preparing to face, and then answering critical questions from, folks much smarter and better prepared than the likes of Slow Joe Biden or even Fast Chuckie Schumer. If Sen. Thompson was also involved in quiet discussions with a few senators whose votes were in play, that's probably something neither he nor they will ever describe in much detail. But it's something that I'm grateful for as I survey this Term's SCOTUS decisions.

I'm sure that Sen. Thompson is prepared to address the subject of his other handful of lobbying clients in greater detail at an appropriate point in the upcoming campaign, and I expect that he won't be bashful or defensive about doing so. For purposes of this quick thrust-back via the blogosphere, however, Sen. Thompson's reference to the Roberts nomination — whose confirmation generated as close to a bipartisan consensus as we've seen on any domestic issue in years, and whose lingering impressions with the voting public are overwhelmingly positive (with the exception of a small group of hard-core Hard Left haters) — is a deft one, I think. It's a good example of how someone who was then outside government can nonetheless affect — positively and absolutely legitimately — something going on inside government, and not by peddling bribes or trading favors.

Posted by Beldar at 10:30 PM in 2008 Election, Politics (2007) | Permalink


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(1) Michael Adams made the following comment | Jun 28, 2007 2:11:14 AM | Permalink

I would be pleased to supposrt a Fred Thompson candidacy. What I have been lamenting for years is the lack of articulate expresions of Conservative thinking. Thompson would give us that. Conservatism is the natural American position, our default position. Crisis can frighten us away from it, demagoguery can draw us into its own snare, but it is our habit, historically, to believe that we do better with less interference from the governmant than with more. Many of our politicians, and most of our media and academics, have leaned in the other direction, but outlets have been found, since the mid-seventies, for the expression of this view. It may not be academically respectable, but a majority of our people do, in fact, hold to it.

BTW, I am one of those who made so many "futile clicks", had given up, and was utterly delighted to see you back.

(2) Carol Herman made the following comment | Jun 28, 2007 6:38:47 PM | Permalink


I'm not hard left. And, what I've noticed is that John Roberts was advertised as someone who could "mend" the split up on the Supreme's. Where Rehnquist went to his grave (having speeded up deliberations during "conference,") but ending up with opinions that come out like clashing pieces of wallpaper.

I'll guess, too, that Anthony Kennedy had already measured the drapes for the Chief's office; and? That means John Roberts has a rattlesnake to contend with, sitting on the court.

Going back to when I voted for Ross Perot, 1992. I did so because I thought Clarence Thomas was too much of an ideolog to have "been the search one did across the country," in order to find this man. It divides the court another way. And, it keeps Blacks from actually participating.

I'd say the same for the Ruth Bader Ginsberg appointment. Most women aren't communists. And, she doesn't attract a broad spectrum of support or adulation.

To Bill Clinton, it didn't matter.

On the other hand, my best laugh today, was watching, on the Internet, a recent interview with Ann Coulter, on some ABC show. She just wanted everyone to know that, in fact, Dubya IS a uniter! He's united the GOP onto the same page that held lots of Americans. All of us now waiting "for the nincompoop to leave office."

That Dubya picked him will be a stain on Roberts' court for years to come.

And, what happens if, soon, Ruth Bader Ginsberg goes the way of Rehnquist? Seems to me the GOP in the senate are as terrified of Arlen Specter, now, as they are of the "nincompoop" in the White House.

BOTH parties are minority parties. If you want to find mainstream; ya gotta leave party affiliations out of it.

Getting what you want? It's in the art of COMPROMISE. Tom DeLay's most insightful line, in his delightful new book.

Oh, yes. Fred Thompson is gonna be a front runner ON A SHOE STRING! WHich will scare the daylights out of the aristocrats; who always thought they were ahead, if their baker could make them cakes. They learned learned the Art of Starving For Votes. Before. While Fred Thompson's FRUGALITY will also be a winning point in his favor.

(3) Carol Herman made the following comment | Jun 28, 2007 6:47:29 PM | Permalink

If ya got that far, the last line above should read: They NEVER learned ...

Oh, when Ann Coulter was asked her "favorite candidate," she said "Duncan Hunter,but nobody's heard of him."

And, when she was pressed for a better answer, she said Sarkozy.

Well, it's obvious he's not an American choice. But France teaches lessons. It had a whole body of aristocrats that met the blade. As if the only way politicians could learn their decisions of ignoring public sentiments, needed their heads cut off to prove they were empty.

(4) DRJ made the following comment | Jun 28, 2007 10:37:31 PM | Permalink

I'm with Fred.

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