Fred Thompson Wakes Up — and Wakes Me Up


Fred Thompson chose the Enlightenment over the Dark Ages in an interview today with Tim Russert.
I heard that the entire interview was excellent — including the section on Iran which I don’t have yet. But on social conservative taboos like gay marriage and the Terry Schiavo case, Thompson sounded ideal.
If I was a registered Republican voting in a primary tomorrow, he’d have my vote for his performance today.
Agree with Thompson or not — I hope that a lot of other Republican faithful take the time to listen to and think about Thompson’s commentary.
— Steve Clemons


16 comments on “Fred Thompson Wakes Up — and Wakes Me Up

  1. B.N. says:

    Thompson is an old, old guy with no energy and mediocre abilities–even as actor. The fact that he was more alert than normally and less right-wing than his Republican competitors on the Meet the Press stage does not fundamentally change his qualification to become president. On second thought, not being qualified may be the best way to win–as we have witnessed in the past.


  2. Lurker says:

    I used to loathe Thompson, but I thought he did a good job on Meet the Press — he didn’t seem to have the BS factor that I had expected given his past statements and interviews.
    It might have been because Thompson’s modeling himself on Ron Paul, after watching Paul’s success across all parties.
    I would suspect, though, that Thompson might just be trying to be Ron Paul’s mini-me, and why settle for Thompson, a wh-Ack-tor, when we can have the real thing, Ron Paul?
    Plus the *Free* Republic crowd is solidly behind Thompson, which in one word means “UGH”


  3. eCAHnomics says:

    Thompson is a buffoon.


  4. Frank says:

    Being a mayor of Cleveland and taking on and winning, over the electrical utility conglormorates in Cleveland is not a pacifist’s M O.
    Kucinich is a fighter. He is the only politician denigrating the “impeachment is off the table” mantra voiced by a real pacifist amd in my lifetime, the quintessential evil enabling speaker of the house Pelosi. History will record her shameful chamberlainion leadership.


  5. pauline says:

    Fred Thompson has indolent, non-curable lymphoma that has a high likelihood of recurrence. In which case it would have to be treated with chemotherapy.
    “I’m not one who actually thinks that presidential health is all that important, and certainly don’t think that such illness/treatment should in any way be a disqualifier.” blogger Duncan,
    I’m actually going to disagree here. While I appreciate the restraint of those who haven’t gone through the experience, as someone who just got out of a four month round of chemotherapy I do think there are serious questions that need to be asked about this. And I’d be saying the exact same thing about a Democratic candidate.
    It’s one thing for a potential nominee’s family to be in chemotherapy (Elizabeth Edwards) but it’s quite another for the candidate himself. During chemo we joked that about 50% of my IQ had been shaved off, and I’d say that was a pretty realistic assessment. I couldn’t remember anything from one moment to another, had no ability to read an average-length newspaper article and recall what it said at the beginning by the time I got to the end. It also made me really emotional and affected my judgment. It was important for me for a variety of reasons to keep blogging but I could not have done the kind of detail-oriented, in-depth kind of stuff I used to do during the days of Plame any more than I could fly. My posts got short and I had to check them with people before I put them up to make sure I hadn’t made some big mistake and left out something huge. I’m only now starting to get my brain back and my concentration is still poor eight months after I started chemo.
    People in cancer treatment want to live their lives to the fullest, and there’s no reason for anyone to question Elizabeth Edwards’ qualifications as a mother for supporting her husband during treatment except for sexist claptrap. But that doesn’t mean you’re qualified to do anything in the midst of it. The fact is that nobody is asking Fred Thompson about a condition that could very seriously impair his ability to run the country. And I think there are several good questions that Fred needs to answer:
    Did your doctors call your cancer stage 4?
    Your doctors already acknowledged your cancer is likely to return, do you think it’s fair to the American people to enter the White House knowing you will need more chemotherapy?
    When was the last time you had chemotherapy?
    While I understand that people’s experience with chemo brain may vary, it’s a very real phenomeon and its effects can linger 10 years after treatment. And if the job of the press is to help the public make informed decisions and not just fawn over candidates who clearly have some cognitive issues to begin with, they really need to hop to it.
    more at —


  6. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — send me some links privately at my email of some of the best material from Ron Paul. Kucinich too if you like — but his and my take on the world are really at odds. I’m not with the pacifist crowd on foreign policy, and that is where I tend to see Kucinich.


  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, sorry for harping, but here we see you complementing a mainstream candidate’s comments, in regards to Iran, despite the fact that you didn’t even hear them. Yet, (heres the harping part), you have completely avoided commentary on Ron Paul’s or Dennis Kucinich’s positions regarding Iran, (or any other issue, for that matter).
    When consistently presenting us with this kind of favoritism and bias in your commentary, it should be readily apparent to you why some of us occassionally accuse you of being a salesman for the status quo.


  8. Steve Clemons says:

    p. lukasiak — i only saw this section of the interview. I didn’t find anything that Thompson said about state’s rights and about either gay marriage issues — or the Schiavo case to be consistent with the neocon crowd. But send me what you have if you have the transcript on the international side. But please admit that you do see a difference between what this guy is saying — and where most evangelical conservatives are.
    best, steve clemons


  9. hayduke says:

    he is an old smoothy, for sure, but his stands smack of Cheney and Bush directly (remember compassionate conservatives?). Run in the center, govern at the right fringe. Anyone who shared info with tricky dicky from yorba linda in re Watergate, doesn’t measure up for me. Hell I hope he stays off tv too…


  10. pauline says:

    Thompson vs. Hillary?
    “Law and order” vs. “Cold Case”


  11. p.lukasiak says:

    Enlightment over the Dark Ages? Did you read the freaking transcripts. Steve?
    Everything that Thompson said was right out of the neo-con handbook. The fact that he isn’t howling-at-the-moon crazy like Giuliani doesn’t make him enlightened….
    Of course, in ClemonsWorld, as long as you speak in measured tones you are a “serious person” regardless of how insane your policy prescriptions are — and those who are, and have been, right all along but have been “shrill” are considered “not serious”.


  12. Steve Clemons says:

    Hey folks — apparently, I had a bad link to the Huffington Post item which I have now fixed. Sorry for the confusion.
    Steve Clemons


  13. Barbara G says:

    Huh? Another president who sleeps thru meetings? No thank you


  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve describes Thompson as giving a good “performance”. I have to agree. But I miss his props. Couldn’t his PR crew find a red pick-up truck this time around?
    This guy is a fake as a three dollar bill.


  15. Ben Rosengart says:

    What kind of juice does a guy have to be sentenced to mere probation for crimes like those? I smell quarter-century-old muck …


  16. Kathy K says:

    The ‘Enlightment’, you say? Looks more like ‘dim bulb’ to me…these were public records. Maybe Freddo should have done some oppo before flying??
    ‘Wash Post’: Fred Thompson Flying High With Convicted Drug Dealer
    By E&P Staff [Editor & Publisher
    Published: November 04, 2007 12:15 AM ET
    NEW YORK In a front-page report on Sunday for The Washington Post, Matthew Mosk reveals that one of the closest campaign associates of GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson is a businessman who has a criminal record for drug dealing.
    Philip Martin is one of four campaign co-chairmen.
    “Thompson’s frequent flights aboard Martin’s twin-engine Cessna 560 Citation have saved him more than $100,000, because until the law changed in September, campaign-finance rules allowed presidential candidates to reimburse private jet owners for just a fraction of the true cost of flights,” Mosk details.
    “Martin entered a plea of guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979; the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was charged in 1983 with violating his probation and with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from a plan to sell $30,000 worth of the drug, and was continued on probation.
    “Thompson’s campaign said the candidate was not aware of the multiple criminal cases, for which Martin served no jail time. All are described in public court records.”
    The full article is at
    E&P Staff


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