Up until the last week, the adjectives most often used to describe Fred Thompson’s alleged campaign for president might have been “lazy,” “indifferent,” “invisible,” and “disappointing.” I’m one of millions of Republicans who were excited all summer by the prospect of Thompson running for President, only to be disappointed in the fall by his failure to run an effective campaign.
Now it appears that Thompson has finally gotten interested. Lately he’s been going negative at every opportunity. His attacks on Romney have been getting louder and more shrill, and he lashed out at Huckabee in last Thursday’s Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, SC. Thompson seems to have discovered a hidden talent for mixing sarcasm and scorn. Unfortunately for Fred, sarcasm and scorn aren’t too difficult to dismiss. Huckabee did it pretty effectively by joking the next day that Fred seemed a little out of sorts and could have benefitted from a dose of Metamucil.
Is this newfound attitude of combativeness too little, too late? I wouldn’t say it’s too little, but it’s the wrong kind of progress. Back when I supported Thompson it was because I thought he would be an effective communicator, but all he’s communicating now is contempt for his fellow Republican candidates. Do we really want our Republican nominating process to be a fight to the death? The risk is that the last man standing will have been mortally wounded in combat with his teammates. And like millions of other conservative Americans who have discovered Mike Huckabee since October, it is too late for me.
No thanks, I think I’ll pass on a second helping of Fred. And I hope that you will, too.