News that Fred Thompson dropped out of the race today saddened me greatly. After all, the true Republican establishment was hoping beyond hope that Fred would be the man to pull together the Reagan alliance of Republican voters. Republican friends of mine warned me last year, 'watch out if Thompson gets in the race.'
Mary Matalin and many other R's painted a picture of Fred Thompson as a sort of unifying figure of Conservatism. For months, observers of politics waited for Thompson to decide whether or not he would enter the race. His poll numbers looked good, it was thought he could raise money, and that his appearance and 'plain spoken' nature would make him a force.
Instead of getting in the race when the media was interested, Thompson was the arrogant blowhard he has always been, wanting people to kiss his ass to get in. Well Fred got what he deserved,,,,, he got his ass KICKED instead. He got 1% of the vote in New Hampshire. To put it in perspective, that was less the the number of write-in votes. He was passed on the right after he got in the race for relevance by Mike Huckabee. For those who respect and follow John McCain, have to think Thompson as unloyal as Al Gore was to Joe Lieberman or John Kerry was to John Edwards by getting in the race against one of his oldest friends trying to capitalize on McCain when he was at his low point in the race.
Just like it is nice that the Democratic debates no longer have 8 people on the stage, I am glad that the four Republicans left standing will be able to debate head to head without Fred Thompson who always appeared to be sleepwalking through the debates.
Why devote an entry to slam an average Senator and even more average actor? Because he is just another example of hoping a politician is something that they are not. We are stuck with the ideas of consultants and kingmakers of the Republican party in the White House already. John Kerry was a candidate that many Dems thought was perfect because of his being a veteran. I myself was a victim of this for Kerry, going to work for him in the primary. Thompson's failure makes me hope we will no longer try to force tall, decent looking, and smart sounding politicians to become a transformative figure. Unfortunately, what they should be is what they are, the President of their fan club.