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fred_thompson

The Joy of Common Purpose

I planned to get new brakes on my car and to rearrange the storage room in the basement with my week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Solitary tasks.

Yesterday, though, like many of you, I read about the Blog Burst for Fred Thompson. I linked to Captain’s Quarter’s (where I first read the story), then to Rick Moran and John Hawkins, who seem to have launched the effort. For the rest of the day, I found myself e-mailing friends and posting updates about the effort to raise enough money for Fred to run a commercial in Iowa lead up to the caucuses.

My solitary plans fell asunder, as I took part in something larger than myself and my little goals.

With three and a half hours to go, it looks like Fred will get the quarter of a million dollars he needs. The money is only one part of his ambition; the other part is to close the 15-point gap between him and the Huckster. By comparison, the money raising has been a walk in the park.
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Helping, in a very tiny way, the noble aims of a larger group gives a satisfaction nothing else matches. Being a team sport athlete (hockey, baseball, basketball, football) and an actor, I am familiar with the feeling. Still, everytime it returns, whether it’s during the opening night performance of a musical or on the internet advancing a cause, I’m surprised. Surprised by joy, to steal a line from C. S. Lewis.

This is all a very long approach to thanking Sean, Rick, Fred, Captain Ed, and the others who’ve put this effort together. It cost me some time and a few dollars, but I’ve already earned interest in satisfaction. I’m sure others have, too. With all the complaining we do about politics, it offers an opportunity for ordinary folks to work on an extraordinary experiment in self-governance–the same experiment Lincoln spoke of “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

Well, 140 years later, that nation breathes on. A little worse for wear in places. Few of us remember why Jefferson, Washington, Jay, Hamilton, Adams, and others launched this experiment. The notion of small government, educated self-interest, and federalism have become concepts that some can define but few can feel.

Fred Thompson feels these tenets of freedom as vigorously as Hamilton and Madison ever did. The concepts that founded our experiment and to which we are so conceived and so dedicated endure in his heart and mind. They permeate his words.

By taking a few hours and a few dollars to fuel such a noble campaign is tiny sacrifice. With the world ready shovel into America’s grave, Fred–and, if I may be so bold, you and I–stand between the grave diggers and our beloved experiment, yelling “Stop!”

Thank you all.

***UPDATE***

Gribbit offers much deserved praise for John Hawkins efforts on behalf of Fred.

Also, Fred08 leads off with a video thanking you for your support and a request, from Fred himself, for the final few dollars to put the ad buy blog burst over the top.

He’s In! **UPDATES**

Even though he spoke the words much earlier during the Tonight Show’s taping, just moments ago, Americans heard it for the first time.  “I am running for President of the United States,” Fred told Jay Leno. 

If the audience in NBC’s Burbank studios represented a cross-section of the US, then Fred’s announcement is a welcome one.  The audience went wild.

I got the feeling Fred was a little tight just around the time he said he’s running.  He developed a distracting habit of slapping his thigh with his right hand at the end of every sentence, audibly enough that I missed the final word of several thoughts.  Hell, I’d be nervous, too.

His sense of humor is perfect.  “It’s a lot harder to get on the Tonight Show than to get into a presidential debate,” he said explaining why he skipped the New Hampshire debate.

After the break, Fred talked about the war on terror.  He said the kinds of things that, I think, we all wish President Bush had said and would say.  And balances his statements wonderfully.  When Jay Leno speculated as to why so many people around the world seem to hate America, Fred reminded him that part of that comes with being the most powerful and richest country in the history of the world.  He went on [paraphrasing], “I think we’re more unpopular than we need to be.  But  . . . our people have spilled more blood fought more battles for the freedom and liberty of other people than anyone else in the world, so I won’t apologize of our country.”  Thuderous applause.

Now, go watch the video at Fred08.com.  It’s you duty.

The Discerning Texan questions the venue Fred chose to announce.

**UPDATE** It appears Fred’s servers are overwhelmed by the demand for the video.   But don’t give up!  This is great news.  Everybody wants more of Fred. 

**UPDATE**  CNN.com has looping video of the Fred ’08 busses parked outside of a building.  This excellent streamcasting, people, the whole reason Al Gore invented the Internets. 

You’re Supposed to be Watching Leno

Fred Thompson will appear as a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.

Don’t miss it.  How often do you get to see the next President of the United States announce his candidacy live on a late night talk show?

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Maybe We Need a Lazy President

The MSM are tripping over themselves to publish stories about Fred Thompson’s supposed laziness. Newsweek decided to make the accusation head on (from CNN.com):

[A]s he prepares to formally begin his campaign for the White House this week, after months of “testing the waters,” the conventional wisdom in Washington is that Thompson doesn’t want it badly enough, isn’t willing to work hard enough-put bluntly, that he is lazy. Newsweek: Grin and Bear It

The last “lazy” president we had was Ronald Reagan. For those of you too young or too senile to remember, Reagan’s laziness was the stuff of legend. I found this beauty from Ralph Nader’s web site, written in 1985:

At first I thought that House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill (D-Mass.) had unfurled the white flag of surrender at his post-inaugural meeting with President Ronald Reagan. O’Neill told the president that “in my 50 years of public life I’ve never seen a man more popular than you are with the American people.” This is the same Tip O’Neill who called Reagan lazy, cruel and uninformed at various times last year.

Contrast the images of Bill Clinton holding all night “wonk” session with these images of Reagan, who bragged about “burning the midday oil” and giving orders to the Secret Service that if a military crisis develops to wake him up “even if I’m in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.”

During his eight years in office, Reagan’s laziness resulted in curing inflation and stagflation, a 50 percent cut in the cost of gasoline, a mammoth cut in taxes, a rejuvenation of American pride, the rebirth of the American military, near-perfect victory over the Soviet Union, and freeing American business from a labor union strangle-hold (m/m).

Clinton, on the other hand, given the same amount of time managed to lose the Congress to Republicans for the first time in more than 30 years, pass sweeping Republican welfare reform, disspirit the military, and get a b.j. in the Oval Office. I’ll take lazy.

Getting back to the Newsweek article for a moment, it’s worth the read. I get the feeling that author Holly Baily set out to write a hit piece on Thompson designed to derail his campaign even before it starts. But, as so many journalists found when attacking Reagan, the story of the man turned her heart. For instance, Baily, here, attempts to demonstrate Thompson’s lazy selfishness at the Minnesota State Fair. In this scene, local politicians are impressing the former Senator with the fair’s Butter Princess–a statue of a woman made entirely of butter:

A Minnesota politician offers to introduce him to the sculptor. “No, no,” he demurs, trying to look disappointed. “I wouldn’t want to get in the way.” At the moment, Thompson is interested in only one thing-the giant strawberry milkshakes being sold a few yards away.

You gotta love it. Reagan, by the way, once refused to have his picture taken with a group of disabled kids during his 1975 run against Gerald Ford. Instead, after the press wandered off, Reagan rounded up the kids and spent half an hour talking and posing for private photos. He didn’t want to use their handicaps for his election.

Later, Baily treats us to what will likely become one of the defining stories of Fred Thompson.

He was interested in sports, and if Freddie Thompson wasn’t what you’d call a finesse player-he was a mess of arms and legs running with a ball-he managed to lead Lawrenceburg High to the state championships in basketball and football. Yet even on the field he was a clown. During one football game, Thompson took a hard tackle and didn’t get up. It looked as though he’d been knocked out. When his coach and teammates rushed over, Fred-die opened his eyes and grinned. “How’s the crowd taking it?” he asked. He kept still a few beats longer, then sprang to his feet and took in the cheers from the stands. Thompson was voted most outstanding athlete, but he never received the award. The school’s teachers, fed up with his classroom antics, demanded he be stripped of the prize.

I assure you that Bill Clinton was never stripped of a prize in high school without a fight to the Supreme Court. Fred Thompson simply moved on.

When Thompson begins campaigning in earnest, the qualities that some call laziness will pay big dividends. If a man or woman cannot do the job in a 60 hour week, then he or she cannot do the job at all. Clinton worked 120-hour weeks because the job was beyond him and he lacked focus. Reagan worked 40-hour weeks because he was larger than the job and focused on the important things.

I don’t know that Fred Thompson changed Holly Baily’s mind. She might have liked the guy before she began the article. What I do know is this: she likes him now. She and her contributors end the piece the way countless writers ended countless articles about Ronald Reagan. In fact, if I had Lexus/Nexus, I’ll bet I could make a case for plagiarism:

Thompson, who has already been president three times in the movies, is about to find out how much harder it is to play commander in chief when you don’t have a script.

Fred Thompson To Announce September 6

I guess this makes it semi-official. Fred Thompson will announce his candidacy for President of the United States by WWW on September 6.

Now, I’ve been blogging for Fred since there were only about a dozen and a half bloggers for Fred. All I’m saying is that, when he’s trying to fill his Cabinet . . .

I expect his official entry to change the dynamics of the GOP race dramatically. The bottom tier will drop out. Newt Gingrich, apparently, will endorse Thompson. McCain will be in deep trouble, and I expect him to quit the race by the end of October.

What’s more important is the people. As I’ve written before, I believe that Thompson will energize a lot of people. I also believe Thompson is the only candidate or potential candidate who can create a wave and provide coat tails.

I don’t know about you, but I’m jacked up over this. For the first time since 1988, I have a horse in the race.

Democrat Apparatchik Files Complaint Against Fred Thompson

A Democrat apparatchik named Lane Hudson has filed a complaint against Fred Thompson with the Federal Election Commission, according to WaPo.

The lefty claims that Thompson is violating the law by operating like a candidate without declaring his candidacy. 

Hudson plans to file similar complaints against George Washington, who spent much of the Revolutionary War traveling through critical electoral states, like Pennsylvannia and New York, without declaring himself a candidate for President.  “Not only was Washington campaigning illegally, he presided over the Constitutional Convention that created the job he would later seize,” Hudson said.  Hudson hopes the FEC will overturn the results of the 1788 election, making Al Gore the first President of the United States and stimulating the dormant American History textbook business.

Clearly, this weasel needs something to do. 

(Sorry for linking to a moonbat blog, but the complaint and the moronic babble in the comments are funnier than Blazing Saddles.)

Update:  Thanks to USAToday for the link.

Update:  Both of my regular readers will notice that I failed to lead the story with a dateline, as is my wont want when pieces contain satirical content.  My oversight.  It began as a series piece, but this Hudson guy is such a pathetic absurdity that satire seemed the only fitting style.