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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

No Wonder the Ladies Love Him

We've all heard the story of how all of Fred Thompson's ex-girlfriends having nothing but good things to say about him. Now we know why - Fred! is a good listener, or so says Patrick Ruffini, posting on Hugh Hewitt's blog.

Patrick was actually commenting on FDT's recent successful appearance before the Young Republicans. It seems that Thompson scored major points by showing that he has, and will in the future, listen to the grassroots of the party. Here is the heart of Ruffini's post:

How much of the 50%+ Thompson is getting in blog straw polls, factoring out Ron Paul, is due to stuff like this -- flattering the blogosphere, making it about "you?" I'd bet more than a few points. And by all appearances, the feeling is genuine. FDT is very closely acquainted with the power of television, but when it comes to making major announcements, he goes to the blogosphere first. He doesn't have to do that.

I don't think anyone should decide who to vote for based on choice of medium, but I like it all the same. The base is dispirited. It feels like what it thought were its friends have tramped over it. And it needs someone to believe in again. In that kind of environment, a little flattery goes a long way.

Contrary to what some may believe, I'm not a sycophant for candidates who tell me what I want to hear. A candidate should speak his mind, and lead, not follow, in bold directions. But I do want candidates who are all that -- and listen. And paying attention to the blogosphere is a good way of listening, because bloggers are usually the ones waving Republicans off of untenable political ground. I can't help but wonder if we'd had leadership with its ear a little closer to the ground, we would have avoided extra-curricular boondoggles like Medicare Part D and the Senate immigration bill. Knowing what's going on in the three-ring media circus and being able to respond effectively might be a desirable quality for the next POTUS, and not just for stylistic reasons.

Thompson demonstrated his awareness of the grassroots, demonstrated that he has been "listening", during an interview yesterday on the Sean Hannity radio program. Interestingly enough, he addressed almost precisely a point raised by G-man in his post below:

The media and Democrats are all whipped up now about carnage in Iraq, attributing it to our presence there. If we took their counsel and pulled out, with even more carnage ensuing, they would then howl about that and demand action. Damned if we do, damned if we don't - there's going to be no pleasing these people.

Fred Thompson is obviously plugged into the true network of opinion drivers on the GOP side - the blogs and talk radio hosts like Hugh Hewitt, et al. There is no stench of inside the beltway consultants about Thompson - the fools who got the GOP into it's current mess do not have his ear, it seems. He appears to be informed by grassroot sentiments.

I believe that aspect of the Thompson "campaign" is felt by listeners, though I'm not sure they understand why they react so positively to his message. He is, in effect, feeding back to his audience the things they've already heard elsewhere. You could say this is manipulative - you could also say that he's merely demonstrating his willingness and ability to listen.

Update:

Here's the Thompson exchange with Hannity, via Jim Geraghty's Campaign Spot at NRO:

"Now we're in a position where the worst thing in the world we could do is appear to be weak. Strength does you no good if you appear to be weak! (applause) If our allies can't count on us in the area, or allies around the world don't think that they can count on us, it's gonna make for a more dangerous United States and a more dangerous world in the long run. The media gives and takes away... (applause) The media right now is portraying every bad thing they possibly can, you know. Every day, every night, around the clock, depresses people and so forth, but if we leave out of there, and the wholesale slaughter takes place that everybody says that will happen, we'll get the same pictures of the same innocent people dying day after day after day and then people will be asking, 'where is the United States now?'"

Hannity: Yeah, good point.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrifty Scot,

I would think a thrifty Scot would like Ron Paul's penny-pinching campaign more than FDT's...

To be honest, I don't get the impression FDT wants to run. Why hasn't he announced?

7/11/2007 1:00 PM  
Blogger Thrifty Scot said...

The Scots have always been a fighting people. Ron Paul's positions in that regard are incompatible with Thrifty Scot's beliefs.

I don't think Fred wants to run for 2 years like some of these other guys are attempting to. That's an insanely long time to be in campaign mode.

7/11/2007 1:45 PM  

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