Thursday, September 06, 2007

What's the big deal?

So I'm conducting a cultural experiment. No, it doesn't involve launching myself into outer space and watching cheesy movies. Instead of waking up to the sounds of MPR in the morning, as is my normal routine, I turn on the TV to one of those "wake-up" shows, featuring some seriously perky anchors yapping about nothing in particular. The goal of my grand experiment is to know what the hell "other people" (as in, those who don't listen to public radio) are thinking about.

Anyway, today this got me to thinking: why is everyone so hyped up on Fred Thompson? Yes, he's an actor, and he just announced his candidacy last night, but what's the big deal? I don't know where he stands on any issue, and somehow this guy is the next Gipper? Is it because the rest of the field is so weak?

So I decided to do a bit of research. On his official campaign website, when you hover over the "Principles" menu bar, there is only ONE item. FEDERALISM. Okay, that's pretty sweet, I can get down with that. But, uhhh, is that the only thing you take a stand on? And how do you work Federalism into a campaign for PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?

According to the Washington Post's kinda cool issue tracker, this guy's bread and butter issue is abortion. Stick with the classics, right?

Also, while he was a Senator from 1994 to 2003, he never really introduced much legislation. He took Al Gore's seat and just kinda rode in on Newt Gingrich's Contract with America.

I also like how this guy skipped a GOP debate last night and ran an ad during it instead. That tells me something: this man is not afraid to spend money instead of arguing.

Oh, and I just found a transcript of a commercial he was in. Good stuff:
"With all the criticism of our president's policy on Iraq lately, Americans might ask, What should we do with the inevitable prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands of a murderous and aggressive enemy?"
Would any American really ask that question? Well, this commercial was from early 2003, during the PR phase of the war, so I'll let it slide.
"And when people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask, what had the 9/11 hijackers done to us -- before 9/11?"
I dunno...this guy just seems like the last candidate the GOP fielded for President - has no issues, few stances, and zero fresh ideas. Doesn't debate. Says cryptic shit. Pro-life. High name recognition. Is that all a candidate is these days?

If the Dems are going to lose this one, I'd prefer the devil I know (Giuliani) to one that I don't.

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