Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fred Thompson's Debut - Upstaging the Opposition

Although Fred Thompson wasn’t present in New Hampshire last night, his absence spoke in a voice almost as powerful as his own. While avoiding the debate prevented Fred from sparring directly with his fellow Republicans, the eight other presidential candidates seemed disappointed in him for not being there to debate the tough issues. "Maybe Senator Thompson will be known as the no-show for the presidential debates," said Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas. Senator John McCain quipped, “Maybe we’re up past his bedtime.” His fellow candidates may have been disappointed in his absence, but only time will tell if voters felt the same way.

Following the debate, Thompson appeared on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and announced to the world his decision to run for president, a decision politicos have speculated and anticipated for many weeks. While some say he is too late in entering the presidential race, Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee, believes that voters will not hold it against him. American foreign policy ruled the discussion, but Thompson attempted to hint at his conventional conservatism and historical record. His website,, offers more of his positions on the issues.

The next few weeks are critical to the Thompson campaign. He will count on his movie star aura, rich voice, and direct, personable character to attract as many supporters as possible. More importantly, he must use those skills to attract what really wins elections; MONEY. So far, the Democratic candidates have raised a combined total 177 million for the presidential election. The Republican candidates, however, have only raised 118 million. What does this mean? There is a lot more republican money out there just waiting to be collected!

In the following weeks, Fred’s campaign should focus his message toward federalism, a principle touted on the website, a message many Republican politicians have long forgotten, a message many Republican voters are dying to hear. Secondly, Fred Thompson is not Ronald Reagan, nor should he try to be. The campaign should quickly define Fred Thompson as Fred Thompson, and it should do it before the other candidates have a chance to. Avoid Reagan comparisons at all costs. Yes, they both have experience in Hollywood. Yes, they do share some similar stances. However, comparing the two will eventually lead to noting the differences. Fred might not be able to measure up. Crystal glass is beautiful, but next to a pile of diamonds, it can appear disappointing. Thirdly, Thompson should continue to answer questions directly and honestly. Voters can tell when they are being fed a rehearsed line – cough-Hillary-cough – Don’t dodge and deflect the questions.

Over the past months, Republican voters have continuously expressed their opinions about the lackluster field of Republican candidates. They continued to be unimpressed by last night’s debate. Scandals, mistakes, mismanagements, and unfulfilled promises have plagued the party for the past few years. The voters are afraid that the Republican Party will enter this presidential election without a strong candidate. They are looking to be inspired. They are looking for a conservative leader. Many are looking for another Ronald Reagan. Give them Fred Thompson, but make sure he doesn’t disappoint.

- Kevin Hoggatt


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