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« The Great Fall Of China | Main | False Security from PPP Recalculation »

Routing Around The Disruption

Fred Thompson bypasses the MSM:

I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I donít do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have.

When this talk first originated from people around the country both directly and through polls, liked the idea of me stepping up and of course, you always look better from a distance.

But most of those people are still there. I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage really has to be talked into the marriage, it probably ainít going to be a good deal. But if you mutually decide itís going to be a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

Iím offering myself up. Iím saying that I have the background, the capability and concern to do this and do it for the right reasons. Iím not particularly interested in running for president, but I think Iíd make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I donít know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I donít know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, itís all about fire in the belly.

One of the reasons that Washington was an excellent example as the first president was that he was a reluctant president. He could have been an American king, but wanted nothing more than to serve his country and, like Cincinnatus, return to his plow, setting the precedent for two terms.

I've never been a big fan of the "fire in the belly" theory myself. I don't trust a man (or woman) who has wanted to be president since they were a child (e.g., Bill Clinton, John Kerry--there are almost certainly Republican examples as well, but none come immediately to mind). I think that there is something wrong, almost pathologically so, with such people, and that they cannot be trusted with power.

There is an old saying that some people want to be something, and others want to do something. Ronald Reagan wanted to accomplish things that he could only do as president, whereas George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton wanted to be president, and had no particular goals in mind other than that, as far as I could ever tell. One of the reasons that I like Thompson is that I have a sense that he sees real problems with the country that he thinks he knows how to fix, or at least make a start at it, but he's not consumed with the ambition of being a president.

Unfortunately, our system (particularly in modern times) is set up such that the qualities required to be a good and winning candidate aren't necessarily those required to be a good president (as Bill Clinton proved decidedly). I hope that Thompson can overcome that intrinsic hurdle of a modern democracy.

[Sunday evening update]

In a Reaganesque manner, Fred Thompson is appealing to Democrats:

You know, when I'm asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn't matterÖThese days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. Theyíre all NEA-MoveOn.org-ACLU-Michael Moore Democrats. Theyíve allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.

So this election is important not just to enact our conservative principles. This election is important to salvage a once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It's time to give not just Republicans but independents, and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once-proud party of working people.

So in seeking the nomination of my own party, I want to say something a little unusual. I am asking my fellow Republicans to vote for me not only for what I have to say to them, but for what I have to say to the members of the other partyóthe millions of Democrats who haven't left the Democratic party so much as their party's national leadership has left them.

The other interesting thing is that he's doing it not in soundbites, but a seventeen-minute video. He's respecting the intelligence of the Iowa voter. You can hear it here.

What's interesting is that this is a primary message--in which the Democrats can't vote for him. It's really a message to Republicans that he's gong to try to reunite the country, and that it makes him the most electable of all Republican candidates that continue to maintain conservative principles. We'll see how it plays.

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 30, 2007 02:02 PM
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