WaPo's Chris Cillizza is posting a two part piece on Fred Thompson for president. Today's entry was the "Case for Fred"
It's been only a week since former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) acknowledged that he is considering a run for president in 2008.
But in that short time he has managed to generate considerable interest among grassroots activists and the national media alike. The question now is, will Thompson actually run? Today we make the case why he should. Later this week we'll argue the opposite.
I think it interesting that Fred's womanizing is totally disregarded. This puts Fred on the same plane as Rudy and John, whenever we want to discuss the hypocrisy of "family values" within the GOP.
Chris then focuses on Fred's recognition. That will help Fred nationally, but in a sense, I'm a little disgusted at being lumped into the star-struck-voter.
Don't underestimate star power as a factor in politics. Look at California, where the state's voters have twice elected Arnold Schwarzenegger -- a larger than life celebrity who had never before held public office -- as their governor. California is atypical of the country as a whole, but Americans are easily starstruck, and Thompson, frankly, looks the part of a president.
While I personally may be different, I stopped watching Law & Order when Thompson entered the picture. I don't like his character, or how his character subverts the law. However, there is no denying that face and name recognition can be a huge asset for Fred. But, this does not address his ability to lead the US, no matter what his conservative ratings were. His ability to lead should trump his recognition factor, or so one would hope.
I believe that leading the US on an international basis, will be a huge issue for the nation next year, after Bush has entrenched us into long-term wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When 60% of the people want our troops out of Iraq, that's a damn strong statement that Bush continually ignores. Fred will be questioned closely on that.
I'll be interested in reading why Chris thinks Fred shouldn't run. So far, all of the reasons that Chris puts forth for a Fred run are not compelling enough for Fred to be able to put on a teflon veneer, meaning all of it is disputable to Fred's detriment.