Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Wins, Who Loses: Fred Thompson Edition

Let's just get right down to business, shall we?


Rep. Zach Wamp: He was the one who put this sham of campaign together in the first place by co-chairing the Draft Thompson movement. To a degree you kind of have to admire the guy: he saw there was no clear GOP front-runner and did what he could to promote the candidacy of a fellow Tennassean. It was a bold and gutsy maneuver to try and play king-maker that would have propelled him from being a second-tier congressman to being a major player ... if it would have worked.

Rep. Steve King: He was going to endorse Mitt Romney, then at the last minute changed his mind and endorsed Thompson. Way to go, dipshit ...

The Pro-Life Movement: Largely put their support behind Thompson across the country, including here in Wisconsin. These groups may choose to eventually back another candidate, but there's little reason to expect that they'll have as much influence with a new guy since they weren't on board to begin with.

Rudy Giuliani: See Mike Huckabee below. Rudy will not only lose Florida, but he now may come in a truly embarrassing fourth place. Making matters worse is that now when journalists want to kick around a truly awful campaign, they'll look to Rudy.

Anyone who says this race is better for having Fred Thompson in it: Please ... Bill Kramer, Brandon Henak -- who are you guys trying to fool? No one drafted Fred Thompson into this race because they liked his stance on the issues. Quick, what was the major issue he was running on? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Beuhler? People turned to Fred because he was an actor and thought he might pull Ronald Reagan out of his ass. No one was looking for issues from this guy, they were looking for gravitas and presence, of which Fred apparently had little. Let's not try to pretend that the Thompson campaign was of any consequence other than a large waste of time.


Jeri Thompson: Where Fred disappointed, his wife did her all to pick up the slack. It was a valiant effort that underscores just how little Fred wanted to do this. We'll likely be seeing more of her, possibly even without Fred ... Some will point to her as the undoing of the campaign, but that's almost wholly immaterial. She demonstrated that she was the power behind someone who just couldn't be made to run for office.

Journalists, pundits and commentators who called Thompson lazy: Hey, when the media gets one right they deserve some credit and they got this one right all the way back in April. If anything, the press underestimated just how lazy Thompson turned out to be.

Mike Huckabee: Likely to be the beneficiary of the Southern evangelical voters that originally went with Fred.

Rep. Nathan Deal: Was planning on endorsing Thompson, but thought better at the last minute. Many of Thompson's congressional endorsements were so underwhelmed with his performance that some were speaking privately about rescinding.

Ron Paul: ... but only in a minor way. It now looks like Rudy won't last much longer after Florida, which will make his precipitous decline in the polls truly epic. I'm talking about the stuff of campaign legend, a ghost story political operatives will tell their interns when they want to motivate them. There's a good chance that Paul will last longer and round up more delegates to the GOP convention then Rudy, which makes Giuliani's taunting of Paul during the early debate seem foolishly unwise now.

Jim Mills & Mark Corallo: Thompson campaign staffers who were smart enough to jump ship back in September, before he had even announced his candidacy.

Linus Roache: When Thompson left Law & Order, Sam Waterson got promoted to District Attorney, thus creating an opening for an A.D.A. There isn't a struggling actor on Earth that wouldn't kill a busload of nuns for that role and the kind of exposure it comes with. I don't know if Roache exactly had to kill a busload of nuns, but he did land a coveted acting gig.

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