Is Fred In It To Win It?

by John Hawkins | November 6, 2007 3:00 am

Fred Thompson doesn’t seem to have any serious baggage, he has proven that he has the requisite charisma to be President, he is raising a lot of money, he is without question the most conservative top tier candidate, and he is definitely in the thick of the race.

However, I find little incidents[1] like this to be worrisome,

Even Fred Thompson doesn’t think he will become president. Chatting off-air to a television reporter, a stunningly candid off-the-cuff quip from the Hollywood actor cemented the impression that his heart is not in the 2008 race.

Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: “The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep.” Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr Thompson interjected: “And so do I.”

As some Thompson aides looked bemused and others cringed, a taken-aback Mr Cameron, Fox’s chief political correspondent, exclaimed: “You can’t do that kind of stuff!”

This brings to mind something I wrote way back in May[2] after reading an article that said Thompson wanted to run for President, but wasn’t too keen on working really hard at it because he wanted to spend a lot of time with his family,

…Let me translate what this statement means: “Because of (Fred’s) name ID, he doesn’t have to go diner to diner and church to church.” It means that Fred Thompson likes the idea of being President, but he doesn’t want to do the hard work it takes to grab the brass ring.

Saying you want to be President, but you don’t want to spend your time meeting with the citizenry is like saying you want to be a professional basketball player, but you don’t want to go to the gym every day to practice.

It may be understandable that Thompson feels that way, because he currently has a very comfortable life, but if that’s his attitude, the Republican Party would be better off if he didn’t get in the race in order to ensure that someone who has the work ethic it takes to be President can capture the nomination.

Most of the troubles Fred has had since he got in the race have been a result of him getting in a couple of months too late. That’s why he has made some early flubs and his speeches have been panned as being a bit too meandering (the other candidates were making similar mistakes, but people weren’t paying very close attention back at the start of the year).

On the other hand, Fred has come across as being every bit as lazy as he was rumored to be before he got into the race and when he makes little jokes about how he’s not going to be President, it really makes you question whether his heart is in it.

Fred is absolutely capable of winning this race — in fact, I think he has the best chance of winning if he wants it bad enough to put in the grunt work — but he really needs to start working harder to give people the impression that he is in it to win it.

  1. little incidents:
  2. wrote way back in May:

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