Friday, September 14, 2007

Fred, From All Angles

I know that Hugh Hewitt is a Romney partisan, but isn't this taking wishful thinking a bit overboard?:
This [George Will] column is going to leave a mark.

This week's focus on General Petraeus and the success of the surge has largely obscured the campaign (except for Hillary's radioactive money and incredible silence on the smear of the general over whom she seeks to become commander.) The third quarter fundraising is coming to an end, and so has Fred Thompson's honeymoon, leaving one of three people as George Bush's successor - Senator Clinton, Mayor Giuliani, or Governor Romney.
Now heaven knows I got tired of waiting for FDT to get into the race. He seemed to have missed his window of opportunity back in July and the hovering on the outside of the arena slipping furtive glances, and the occasional wry interjection, in the open windows was getting stale in a hurry. And Fred did indeed take his lumps for skipping the GOP debate in New Hampshire last week. But does any of that justify such a summary, blithe, and reckless dismissal of the former Tennessee senator, on the part of either the tiresome, gone-native Will or the occasionally purblind Double-H?

Not to be a wedge-driver or anything, but Hugh's protege, Dean Barnett, isn't consigning FDT to the "straight-to-video" bin:

10) So is it Fred’s campaign to lose?

I wouldn’t go that far. What I’ve been saying for months is that if Fred’s got game, he’s going to be tough to beat. The same still applies.

11) Does he have game?

Why do you care what I think? He’ll be on the trail now. He’ll be making public statements. He’ll be appearing in the debates. Whether or not he has game will be self-evident in a few weeks time. If he’s got game, then there’s a really good chance he’ll be my nominee and I’ll support him enthusiastically. If he doesn’t have game, it will come down to Mitt vs. Rudy.

That, my friends, is the difference between wanting and observing. Hugh wants Fred to be an also-ran, so he's made up his mind that's what Fred is. DB wants Fred to be an also-ran but recognizes that that may not happen. Horse, cart; cart, horse.

At the other end of the spectrum is Richard Allen, a long time Reagan advisor who casts FDT as, if not the Gipper's reincarnation, then at least his understudy:
It is undoubtedly too early to attribute the same comprehensive and plain-spoken vision to Fred Thompson, although his out-of-the gates speeches and remarks are very reminiscent of Reagan. But if they are there in Thompson they will reveal themselves; the Reagan qualities cannot be feigned or sustained for very long. Deep conviction will always be apparent as a campaign wears on, and the scarcity of it thus far in the wildly early presidential race has been conspicuous by its absence....
Hmmm; wonder if that'll leave a mark on Hewitt's guy.
....There will likely never be another Reagan in our times, but in my own experience, lawyer-senator-actor Fred Thompson may well be providing the closest approximation for 2008, and that’s not an unworthy or invidious comparison.
And an old Reagan hand would know, wouldn't he?

Since his announcement a week ago, Fred has rebuilt a high single-digit lead in the only national poll that matters, and he has four months to cut the legs out from under Mitt Romney's "trampoline". If he doesn't "have game," he'll start to fade again before too long.

But if he does, Hugh Hewitt will have Harriet Miers-magnitude egg to sandblast off his face.