First, I questioned whether the left-leaning New York Times has shaded the truth, taken moments out of context or otherwise distorted their reporting. And, then I saw the same reports appearing on other media outlets; some of which was captured on video. Each and every political outing made me wonder when Thompson would catch fire. When he would move beyond polite banality and attack the opposition? When he would start distinguishing himself from his own party's opposition?
What I got was another "Gentleman Politician," apparently a character in a '50s movie. Polite, considerate, soft-spoken. Speaking in patriotic generalities. Never disparaging his colleagues.
This is not what I want. I want to see some passion, some indication that Thompson actually wants the Presidency. That Thompson is willing to fight for the Presidency and, by extension, the people of the United States.
While it is possible that Thompson's handlers have positioned him as the antidote to shrillness and confrontation, I have my doubts about any politician that appears to "go along to get along."
From the New York Times...
Milking the audience for applause...
"Twenty-four minutes after he began speaking in a small restaurant the other day, Fred Thompson brought his remarks to a close with a nod of his head and an expression of thanks to Iowans for allowing him to 'give my thoughts about some things.'”
"Then he stood face to a face with a silent audience."
“'Can I have a round of applause?' Mr. Thompson said, drawing a rustle of clapping and some laughter. "
“Well, I had to drag that out of you,' he said."
Energy, enthusiasm are the very basic expectations of a politician...
"Mr. Thompson is a former United States senator, a television actor and a Watergate investigator. His entry into the presidential race was highly anticipated by many Republicans, who saw or hoped to see in him outsized political talent and a commitment to conservatism that would enliven a Republican field that many found lacking."
"But as Mr. Thompson campaigned across Iowa this week, he was something other than the dynamic presence that some in his party have been yearning for. Iowans saw a candidate who is subdued and sonorous, a laconic presence who spoke in soft monotone, threw few elbows and displayed little drive to distinguish himself from his opponents. "
Did you ever see a politician who did not play to the crowd, shaking hands, kissing babies, smiling and cracking jokes?
"Mr. Thompson told few jokes and, while an easygoing presence, he did not appear to have much interest in the small talk that is a staple of retail campaigning. As he defined his candidacy, Mr. Thompson spoke in broad generalities about the conservative principles that he said had informed his political views — in particular, federalism and cutting government spending — and led him to run for president."
"In the process, he often lulled audiences into the kind of stillness that engulfed the room when he finished talking at the 'Lunch with Fred Thompson' in Marshalltown."
Platitudes and generality...
“On prosperity, I have a real novel approach, a real creative approach,” he said in Coralville the other night. “Let’s continue doing what works and quit doing what doesn’t work in this country. Tax cuts work.”
"Turning to what he said would be a second priority of a Thompson administration, he said: 'High, high high on our lists of concerns for anybody who would think about becoming president of the United States is the security of this nation.'”
And this is the problem...
"Voters who came out to see him as he traveled through Iowa — even while expressing admiration for his views and intense interest in his candidacy — said they were struck by how little energy or passion he appeared to bring into a room."
I do not expect Fred Thompson to rise to the intellectual capabilities and personality exhibited by a master politician like Bill Clinton. Perhaps Thompson is biding his time. Which begs the question, what is the correct time to show passion? But I do not want another "gentleman" politician like George Bush the elder. There is still time left for Thompson to rise to the occasion. If not, there is always Mike Huckabee waiting to pick up the pieces.
What can YOU do?
We have had a succession of lame politicians who have pandered to the opposition as well as the special interests. They have, in the tradition of backroom politics, hidden their actions behind a veil of secrecy -- aided and abetted by the events of 9/11. We can not afford to continue this practice at this historical moment in our country's history.
Continue to observe and test the words and actions of all political candidates. They may not be the best or the brightest, so we also have to look behind the curtain to also consider their associates and supporters.
Do not credit "celebrity" as a quality and remember it is the celebrities who, by training, can play a variety of roles with earnest conviction. Substituting style for substance. Up close, even the least observant person among us will note that Harrison Ford is not Indiana Jones.
Do not vote for any candidate or current politician who is willing to subvert the safety, security and sovereignty of the United States for personal power, prestige or profits.
May fortune smile upon the citizens of American as we elect the representatives who will do our collective bidding without further damaging the safety, security, sovereignty and economy of the United States.
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS