Wednesday, December 12

I Could Swear The Banner Said Leading Candidates

WaPo: It's Fred Thompson Day!

IT'S apparently part of a series. So I'm guessing. The difference between reading The Washington Post, former newspaper, former employer of professional journalists, and visiting my dear gray-haired mother, former cognitively functioning member of society, is that I care about what my mother has to say, however addled. Otherwise, they make roughly an equal amount of sense anymore.

So I'm not quite sure how I stumbled upon this thing. There are six, yes, six, I'm serious, six separate pieces on the Unstoppable Downhill Log Roll that is Fred Dalton Thompson, not counting video and bullshit polls. The big question they raise is: just how badly do these people need jobs? And the answer is: enough to chew the Used Squeak Toy of Conventional Wisdom So Beslobbered The Dog Won't Even Touch It Anymore. Short survey:

The 2700-word bio (Joel Achenbach):
There are presidential candidates who are congenitally ambitious, having started campaigning for votes shortly after leaving the womb. There are other candidates for whom being presidential timber is a birthright, something inherited, along with a famous name and a jaw line and maybe a beachfront compound.

Then there's someone like Thompson -- a reluctant candidate, not terribly interested in stumping, slow to enter the race and so laid-back that he declines to take a wide-open shot at an opponent during a televised debate.

The Rib Tickler (the abominable Robin Givhan):
If one simply heard Fred Thompson speak and did not have the benefit of seeing him, it would be forgivable to assume that he, with his slow-as-molasses, just-us-regular-folks drawl, might be wearing overalls and a pair of muddied work boots after moseying in from the field.

The Real Tinsel Underneath (Dana Milbank):
Is it possible to be too folksy? Thompson seems determined to find out. The big man with all those Hollywood roles is trying to slow-drawl his way to the GOP nomination. To the extent that Thompson has a pitch, it's that he doesn't change his views like, say, Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani. "Where I stand does not depend on where I'm standing or what political office I happen to be running for," he asserts.

The Excuse Me Senator, But Where You're Standing Right Now Is "In A Pile Of Bullshit" Faux-Balancer (John Solomon):
2. Thompson loves to tell voters about his support of the right to bear arms, his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association and his A grade from the gun lobby during his Senate career. Thompson, however, didn't join the NRA until 1994, the year he ran for political office -- the U.S. Senate -- for the first time. And recently he noted that he hadn't been hunting in a very long time.

The "Don't Blame The Media Because The Guy They Called 'The New Reagan' For Six Months Turned Out To Be The Old Earl Dodge" Explainer (Michael D. Shear):
Thompson's team waited because he wasn't ready. His late start meant he had to build a campaign organization in a fraction of the time others took. And Thompson, a policy wonk, wanted to contemplate the big issues before he jumped into the fray, former aides and advisers say.

Okay, hold it right there. I'm not sure if this attack of vertigo comes from reading all the above or just the sudden drop in air pressure from that "wanted to contemplate the big issues" bit. Name me one single stance of the Thompson campaign that couldn't have been predicted a year ago by anyone with any understanding of domestic politics. Or, for that matter, by a Thompson supporter.


heydave said...

OK, that is one steaming pile o' richness you found there.

It makes me laugh!

punkinsmom said...

The fact that this man is considered (by some) a viable candidate for the Republican nomination speaks volumes as to how desperate they have become.

And by "they" I mean the WaPo.

kate said...

I'm younger than you and of course not quite as read as you or many of you. But I remember reading somewhere of the greatness of what was the WaPo and then picking it up sometime in the late 90's and scratching my head in wonderment. I kept thinking, is it me? Is there some deep meaning I'm too dumb to pick up on?

Possibly there is, possibly we can read the WaPo op-ed pages into an old reel to reel, smoke a bowl and play it backwards. Maybe then we'll get the real deep meaning.

yellojkt said...

You are being way unkind to Joel Achenbach who is funny and acerbic and may have even e-mailed me once or twice.