Tomorrow is the Florida primary. Before I leave for work I’ll walk across the street and cast my ballot. That means I have about 25 hours to figure out which candidate will get my vote.
I hope that’s enough time.
Part of the decision making is easy. There never has been a chance that I would mark Ron Paul’s name on my ballot. His position on the war is the biggest reason I could never vote for him, but not the only one. And frankly, who would want to be associated with the wacko supporters he has attracted?
Mike Huckabee is out as well. His sound bites sound good, but sound good is about all he has going for him. His record in Arkansas speaks louder than the one-liners from the trail, and that’s not good at all.
That eliminates the two that thankfully won’t be causing me a November dilemma.
Leaving me with a choice of McCain, Giuliani, and Romney.
John McCain has much to recommend him, and much more to eliminate him from my picks. BCRAp is a horrible piece of legislation, but although it bears his name he is hardly alone in foisting this on us. Too many people, from all three branches of government, are responsible for that fiasco.
His leadership and support of the gag (no, that’s not a misspelling) of 14 was a huge mistake, but nothing can top his stance on illegal immigration. It doesn’t matter how many times he says that the position he supports isn’t amnesty. It is. More importantly, he still stands behind that position.
[. . .] an open-borders, put Mexico first fanatic. He’s a Texas born dual citizen who also served as Director of the Office for Mexicans Living Abroad in Vicente Fox’s administration.
Bull Dog Pundit sums up my thoughts very well.
Certainly McCain’s failure to disavow Gonzalez’s awful views and allowing him to volunteer for the campaign is a slap in the face of conservatives, and belies his claim that he “learned his lesson” on immigration reform, and raises serious doubts that if elected President he won’t push the same kind of amnesty bill that got defeated last year.
It just boggles the mind that McCain, who up to now has been able to weather the illegal immigration issue as well as can be expected would have this radioactive clown anywhere near his campaign when he needs every conservative vote he can in the upcoming “closed” primaries.
That leaves only Giuliani and Romney.
Giuliani is only slightly ahead of McCain when it comes to illegal immigration. That’s mostly because his influence on the issue was confined to the “It wasn’t a Sanctuary City” Sanctuary City of New York, not the national stage. Gun Control and social issues play a part in my elimination of Giuliani as well, but eliminate him I must.
So, I’m left with three choices — stay home (although I haven’t missed a chance to vote in years), vote for Fred Thompson (who I strongly wish was still a candidate), or vote for Mitt Romney.
Staying home really isn’t an option. It solves nothing and leaves me without a voice in the outcome. I strongly believe that voting is one of the most important things we do as citizens. It doesn’t matter if it’s a primary, the general elections, amendments, or for the proverbial dog catcher (who I can never remember seeing on a ballot). I won’t be staying home.
Some might say that casting my vote for Fred Thompson after he has dropped out of the race is the same as staying home. Maybe. But it sure would feel good. I still believe that he was the candidate that stood closest to the positions I feel strongly about. His policies, well thought out and articulated, are what I think would be best for America. I hope that he still plays a part in this election.
I won’t have to hold my nose if I decide to vote for Mitt Romney. His strength on economic issues is real and I am impressed with his real world experience in that regard. I don’t hold any animus for his change on the right to life issue. His explanation for his change is both understandable and credible. My one big worry is his stance on health care. If he doesn’t try to port what was done in Mass. to the nation it should be ok.
So, I’m now down to 23 hours to decide. I’ll let you know after I do.
Of course it’s nothing but wishful thinking. So?
If McCain loses in Florida, the Republicans may well be headed to a deadlocked race and convention. And history teaches us that the likeliest candidate to emerge in that scenario is someone like Warren G. Harding: the prototypical, less-than-stellar candidate to which conventions turn when the going gets rough.
This year’s Harding? Believe it or not (are you sitting down?), despite the fact that he’s withdrawn from the race, is Fred Thompson.
Post author Steven Stark goes on to give a bit of a history lesson on Harding.
The big vote getters that year were General Leonard Wood, California senator Hiram Johnson, and Illinois governor Frank Lowden. In Montana, Harding challenged the front-runners and finished fifth with less than three percent of the vote, and then withdrew from New Jersey because he was already running out of money. He barely held his own state of Ohio as a favorite son. In neighboring Indiana — deemed a must-win by Harding because he had the support of both senators — he failed to win a single county and finished a very weak fourth.
In fact, Harding’s showings were so atrocious that he had to be continually convinced not to drop out of the race by his advisors. Sound familiar?
Of course the interesting part, at least to those who would dream of such a scenario, is his analysis of the current campaign season.
Think about it: the GOP establishment is scared to death of Huckabee, the outsider who has the allegiance of the evangelicals. The only way he’s going to get nominated is if he can win a majority of delegates in the primaries. Ditto for Giuliani: his personal life, social liberalism, and New York background make it unlikely that he can win the GOP nomination any other way than through the primaries (which, unless he can win Florida, is a long shot).
McCain? The GOP establishment and mainstream Republican voters have never really trusted this maverick, either, given his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance legislation, his friendship with Democrats such as John Kerry, and his current stance on immigration. McCain can win over a few stray delegates committed elsewhere. But unless he’s close to a majority as the convention approaches, he’s unlikely to be the acceptable second choice of most delegates.
Romney? Parts of the GOP establishment (i.e., the National Review crowd and Rush Limbaugh) like him, but he has the highest negatives of any candidate in the race. Evangelicals don’t trust him, perhaps unfairly. And the other candidates can’t stand him, which, if a deadlock should occur, will hardly leave him the likely beneficiary of any efforts they might make on someone else’s behalf.
That leaves Fred.
Hat tip to Curt at Flopping Aces, who expresses my feelings as well.
While its fun to speculate about a brokered convention, I doubt it will come to pass.
But for us Fredheads who understand the man was the only true conservative in the race it sure is nice to dream.
Not very likely, of course. In spite of that, it sure would have been much more interesting if Sen. Thompson had remained in the race through tonight’s debate. More on that shortly.
This is truly disappointing news:
Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.
Sad news for conservatism and conservatives.
Thompson supporters are anxiously waiting to hear “what’s next” from their candidate. The fact that Senator Thompson hasn’t made any new announcement as he checks on his ailing mother has allowed the media and pundits to offer all sorts of speculation.
Chief among the rumors yesterday was the report that Thompson could drop out as early as today, that he will not participate in Thursday’s Florida debate, and that he’s only been interested in a VP slot all along.
Rumors. None have been confirmed.
If you feel, as I do, that Fred Thompson is still the best candidate to lead our country, please consider signing this petition urging him to remain in the race.
Polls in South Carolina have been open for around an hour. If the opinion polls are correct John McCain and Mike Huckabee are battling for the win while Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney are virtually tied in the fight for third. Weather and turnout will play a part as well.
I have little expectation that what I write here will change that. I have no expectation that what I write here will even be read by enough South Carolinians to have any impact at all. Still, let me make my case:
If you live in South Carolina and are about to vote in the Republican primary there please don’t vote for McCain or Huckabee. They are not men who would advance conservative ideals important to you and the rest of the country.
As much respect as John McCain deserves for his service to the country, that does not make him the best person to lead the country. His support of such non-conservative initiatives as McCain – Feingold and the “Gang of 14″ should weigh heavily as you look elsewhere. Please don’t inflate his military service into the idea that he would lead conservatively.
Mike Huckabee would be an even worse choice. In spite of his words on the campaign trail his record in Arkansas should be quite enough to send you looking in a different direction. His convenient conversions on immigration and fiscal policy coupled with his view of the roll of government are just scary.
While his observation that God’s laws don’t change is absolutely correct, the idea that it is the role of government to implement God’s law is contrary to our nation’s history and plain good sense. Fred Thompson’s quote from a few days ago, “Christ didn’t tell us to go to the government and pass a bill to get some of these social problems dealt with. He told us to do it,” is quite the better way to understand the role of each. At the core this should be the big difference between the liberals and conservatives, the left looking to the government for the answers to societies ills (and solving them in their own frightening way), the right should continue to support what we have historically stood for — the primary importance of the individual.
One final appeal; please don’t base your vote today on who appears to be winning, or the notion that the candidate you support may not seem to have a chance. Look at the stands they have taken and the record they have amassed and then come out of the voting booth with the confidence that you supported the very best person to lead our nation.
Thanks for listening.
OK, it’s David, not Rush, but the reasoning is sound and David carries a lot of weight among some conservatives in his own right.
But as I’ve stated before, I believe Fred Thompson is a reliable, consistent conservative. There are others in the field I could support, but not without some reservations. The more I learn about Fred and observe him in action, the more convinced I become that he’s the right choice.
I was among those who urged Fred to step up and prove to the people he wanted the job. Regardless of whether Fred actually had “fire in his belly,” the unmistakable perception out there was that he did not, so I encouraged him to add a little spring to his step.
But I’ve also appreciated Fred’s unwillingness to be somebody he is not. He will not respond like a puppet when a debate moderator tells him to raise his hand to signify a childishly simplistic approval or disapproval of a certain policy. He will not be goaded by interviewers into saying things he doesn’t feel comfortable saying. He won’t divide us with class envy or pretend we can be friends with rogue regimes or terrorists. He does not promise a chicken in every pot or pander to liberals on global warming.
He will not otherwise tailor his positions to suit the demands of particular constituencies. For example, he has the courage to preach that Social Security is in trouble, but unlike most others, he doesn’t surrender to the oppressive populist seduction to urge government fixes for it or for health care. Instead, he courageously tells us — if we’ll listen — that the answers lie in greater market forces. (Listen up, conservatives.)
These are among the things I like about Senator Thompson as well. How refreshing it is to listen to a candidate who doesn’t pander for votes, but instead asks for them honestly without having to stick is finger in the air to check wind direction.
David also makes a good point regarding electability.
We tell ourselves a candidate is not inspiring, then pretty soon we’re convinced he’s unelectable, and, voila, he almost becomes so. Yet, at that very moment, he’s proving to us that he is quite presidential, quite electable and quite motivated for the job — if we can only shed our predispositions against his “electability.” Since electability is often a matter of collective perception, it can turn on a dime, as with the reversal of the respective fortunes of screaming Howard Dean and somniferous John Kerry in 2004.
This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The “experts” continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can’t they be wrong about Fred, too? It’s time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies.
One Limbaugh down, one to go?
Take a look at Fred Thompson’s latest ad running in South Carolina. It will air in nearly all SC markets around 6:30pm this afternoon. You can see it now.
Keep the Red Truck rolling by adding your donation.
The first two weeks of 2008 have been very good for Fred Thompson. Funds have come in at a rate of nearly $100,000 per day. As of this writing the Red Truck shows $1,038,231 surpassing the million they had set as a goal to raise before midnight last night.
The latest Rasmussen poll in South Carolina shows a four point gain for Thompson (and a five point decline for Mike Huckabee) putting him in a statistical three way tie for second.
He is also running this new ad:
A good start to a new year.
The idea is to raise $1,000,000 for Fred Thompson by midnight tonight. We’re not going to make it. We just blew by that at 9:15 Eastern!