The PoliBlog

The Collective
Thursday, September 13, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via George Will (Is a Fred Thompson Campaign Necessary?):

Sean Hannity, who is no Torquemada conducting inquisitions of conservatives, asked Thompson: “When you look at the other current crop of candidates — Republicans — where is the distinction between your positions and what you view as theirs?” Thompson replied: “Well, to tell you the truth, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time going into the details of their positions.”

The Torquemada line is classic and the Thompson response to Hannity’s question is utterly pathetic.

Will’s next paragraph qualifies as runner-up for Line of the Week:

He [Thompson] also is unfamiliar with the details of his own positions.


And the final paragraph also was in the running:

New Coke was announced on April 23, 1985, with the company’s president piling on adjectives usually reserved for Lafite Rothschild — “smoother, rounder yet bolder.” Almost 80 days later, the public having sampled it, the company pulled the product from stores. Perhaps Thompson’s candidacy will last longer than New Coke did.

We shall see.

I have been skeptical of Thompson from the beginning, and nothing about his launch has disabused me of that position.

Much of the piece is about Will’s least favorite legislation of recent decades, McCain-Feingold. In that discussion we have a statement from Thompson, the type of which got John Kerry killed in the press in ‘04:

Thompson, contrary to his current memories, was deeply involved in expanding government restrictions on political speech generally and the ban on issue ads specifically. Yet he told Ingraham “I voted for all of it,” meaning McCain-Feingold, but said “I don’t support that” provision of it.

At least Kerry voted against something he didn’t like after he has votes for it. Thompson voted for it despite not supporting all of it. Lovely.

The piece is interesting insofar as it correctly notes that the campaign finance rules that Thompson supported in general, and whose virtues he recently extolled on the Laura Ingraham show (as quoted by Will), are the same rules that make a late entry such as his own a longshot in terms of success.

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