Two months ago, I wrote an article, “The Next Reagan,” in which I outlined many of the reasons why Fred Thompson will be the next Ronald Reagan. Events since then have confirmed my arguments. I predict that Fred Thompson will enter the Republican nomination, that he will win it fairly easily, and that he will also defeat Hillary comfortably in the presidential election. Why?
First, no Republican since Ronald Reagan draws remotely as much genuine enthusiasm among conservatives as a serious presidential candidate. Both of the Bush presidencies have been mild disappointments. Though respect for our current commander-in-chief is high, President Bush is simply not an effective communicator or articulator of conservative principles. President Bush, however, is light years ahead of Senator Dole, the 1996 nominee, and also better as a communicator and campaigner than his father. That is how bad things have been for conservatives since the Gipper left the White House.
Fred Thompson, in stark contrast, is a phenomenal communicator. His background as a film and television star combines perfectly with his background as a very persuasive trial lawyer so that he is not only comfortable in front of the camera or at the microphone, but his skills in rhetoric are unequaled in any major political figure since Senator Robert Taft over fifty years ago.
Second, Thompson has always walked the walk on ethical issues. When he was Republican counsel in the Watergate hearings – the same hearings in which Hillary cut her teeth in politics as a Democrat – Fred Thompson did not tolerate the corruption of the Nixon Administration. He can effectively point out that both Hillary and he were on the same side in opposing corruption when it was his political party that had problems. Thompson also, though, was unrelenting in his opposition to the corruption of the Clinton Administration and stood out as the lone Republican senator will real guts during the impeachment trial of Clinton. The combination of these two principled stands will allow Thompson to relentlessly condemn Hillary as an accomplice in her husband’s thoroughly corrupt eight years in office, to ask her point-blank about how she began the best investor in America (with no experience), and otherwise to do more than simply suggest that Hillary is a liar, a hypocrite and a bully.
Third, Thompson would unite the whole leadership of the Republican Party. No one dislikes him and almost everyone likes him. Although some conservatives may worry about his friendship and past support for John McCain, the critical fact is that friendship is reciprocated: McCain would be a very active and passionate supporter of Fred Thompson in the presidential election.
Fourth, the rap on Thompson is that he was “lazy” when he was in the Senate. This is precisely the same sort of rap that Leftists made about Ronald Reagan. In fact, this is strength. Because Thompson acts from principle, he does not need to engage in the Machiavellian machinations which pass for “work” in Washington. The reality is that it is absurd to consider Thompson, who has worked during his life in more real jobs than almost any politician in Washington and who today stars in two television programs as well as being the substitute for Paul Harvey and a frequent commentator in conservative periodicals is “lazy” at all. Like Reagan, he probably works harder than anyone in Washington.
Fifth, because he was an extremely popular Tennessee senator, Thompson would completely sweep the South, including problematic states like Arkansas, Florida and Virginia. Thompson, like Reagan, is one of the few modern candidates who has true regional drawing power. Thompson, though, would run very strongly in swing states outside the South like Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon and New Hampshire. His appeal to truly independent and undecided voters is very real.
Sixth, Thompson cannot be demonized. His whole life has been a study in how the American Dream works. His blue collar background, his constancy of moral purpose, his lack of ambition for power for its own sake, his palpable decency – all of these will make anyone who tries to slime him look awful and any attempt will backfire in sympathetic support for him.
Seventh, because Thompson cannot be hurt in the usual ways that Leftists hurt conservative Republicans, Hillary will have to campaign him on the issues. This will create an insurmountable problem for her because, like all Leftists, Hillary has no stands on any issues. She just wants power. Thompson just wants what is best for America. We have our Reagan.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenŐs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.