Mitt Romney

In the Presidential Primary System, the People are Represented by Two Separate yet Unequally Lucky Politicians.


Reasonoid and Giuliani fan Ryan Sager has a prediction: If Fred Thompson enters the GOP presidential race, Mitt Romney will be left by the side of the road like a proxy-baptised corpse.

Mr. Thompson is pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and anti-tax — like Mr. Romney. But he has one advantage over the former governor: He didn't just come to these positions over the last year or so, in a "Road to Des Moines" conversion.

On virtually every issue, Mr. Thompson is as far right, or further, than Mr. Romney, and he has been for some time. Mr. Romney's claim to fame so far in the campaign has been that he's the "true conservative" in the race — in contrast to Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain. If Mr. Thompson jumps in, however, the rationale behind Mr. Romney's candidacy drops out.

"Romney would want [Mr. Thompson] in the race the least," the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Peter Brown, told me yesterday. According to Mr. Brown, Mr. Thompson "potentially has the profile that no other candidate in the race has yet demonstrated, to appeal to the mainstream conservative."

The Thompson boom is the GOP's version of the Obama boomlet—a surge of support for a candidate whose record his supporters couldn't care less about, but who looks and sounds so much more appealing than the candidates they've gotten so far. In a GOP field that includes Tommy Thompson and Ron Paul, this seems awfully immature… but it's happening.

Sager's Reason corpus is collected here.

NEXT: Bongwater Into Whine

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I wonder if he will put a HEMI in that red pickup truck for his drive across America?


  2. The hair. Don’t forget the hair.

  3. 8:25 AM, and I’m reading the phrase “left by the side of the road like a proxy-baptized corpse.”

    I won’t be needing that second cup of coffee.

  4. The hair. Don’t forget the hair.

    The truck. Chicks love the truck.

  5. Romney has executive experience as a Governor, a plan for health care that won’t ruin it, he’s younger, better looking, he is considered a financial guru, he has shown he can win a blue state, I’ve never met a mormom I haven’t liked, and he has a full head of thick black hair. Fred can’t touch him.

  6. Fred almost killed Bruce Willis at Christmas time.

  7. What is it with Republicans and former actors (not to mention athletes)? If there’s a former actor turned politician, 9 times out of 10, they’re a Republican. Yet Republicans are always the ones freaking out about Hollywood liberals and how clueless actors are.

    So what is it? Are actors intellectual lightweights who should stay in Hollywood or are they just like any other profession and Republicans just need to stfu about their profession and talk about their ideas?

  8. Mo-

    Actors know how to get attention. An actor who goes for the same team as all of his fellow actors won’t stand out. He’ll just be part of the supporting cast. OTOH, when an actor goes for the other team the reviews write themselves: “Ground-breaking performance!” “Dares to be different in his stunning new role!” “An unprecedented move in a career full of surprises!” “Two thumbs up!” “If you see only one candidate this fall, see him!”

    They may have genuine beliefs, but they surely know that going for the unexpected team has its benefits. And surely the ones who stick to the home team know that they’ll always be part of the supporting cast because they don’t stand out.

  9. Mo,

    Nuance is important here. The world is not black and white.

    If it is some actor/performer who also did other things in a manner that is appealing to Republicans they like then they are liked. I doubt that we will see Dennis Miller elected to anything, good bright fellow that he is.

    Now, Fred did a few things that you might not be aware of, so check his bio.

    Jane Fonda, Baabs and their pals, on the other hand, are loved by the Left for nothing more than spewing negitive things and hatred toward anybody with a R behind their name. When they do something productive, get back to me, but they are still enemies of freedom.


  10. Mr. Thompson is pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and anti-tax

    And a true oddity: an actor who isn’t also a leftist retard.

  11. Remember when all those leftist retards said the Iraq War was a bad idea?

    What a bunch of tools! You sure showed them, ed.

  12. ed – ‘cept the first two positions are retarded.

    And without spending and cuts in gov’t, “anti tax” is fairly meaningless.

  13. What’s his campaign slogan going to be?

    “Law and Order: Special Interests Unit”


    “I was a better actor than Reagan”

  14. VM-

    First two positions, or first and third?

  15. “pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and anti-tax”

    Thoreau – thank you – #2 is not only good, it’s important. I apologize for missing that.

    Just for that, I won’t adorn my antlers with festive spring attire. Nope. Won’t do it.

    Ed – ‘cept that the first and third positions are retarded. Anti tax without offsetting reductions in size, scope, and intrusiveness of government is fairly meaningless.

    Hat Tip to Dr. T!

  16. Fred Thompson: As homey and folksy as two old guys hawking wine coolers……and thank you for your support!

  17. On the other hand, Fred Thompson looks like a President out of Central Casting.

    Sort of like John Kerry.

  18. I was hoping we’d get another candidate long on ideology and short on experience.

  19. I wonder what percentage of voters in America base their decisions on what they see on network tv. Most folks I talk with dont dig any deeper than he sound bites they get before election time. These people will see that Fred was tough on crime with a high level of statesman-like fairness. Mitt is a mormon.
    Image is everything here.

    My prediction is that by Christmas,(can I use that word still) people are gonna be real burned out on the current crop of candidates.
    Someone reasonably viable wil pop up around january and take the country by storm.

    Bob Riley, Gov. of Alabama?
    Maybe a strong social democrat from Oregon.
    Maybe even a Ray Nagin?

    The dogs in the hunt right now dont stand a chance. Our collective attention span is way too short for a 2 year race.

  20. Someone reasonably viable wil pop up around january and take the country by storm.

    I think that is way too late given the way this Super Duper Primary looks to be shaking out next February.

    I hate to say this, but if someone doesn’t have the infrastructure in place now (or very very soon), they won’t be able to raise enough money in time to be a factor.

  21. Al Gore could join the race on January 2, raise $50 million by January 4, and win every primary in the second half of the month.

    Of course, he’s got an eight year head start.

  22. Jane Fonda, Baabs and their pals

    ah yes, those hollywood juggernauts creating timeless contemporary classics like Monster in Law and Meet the Fockers.

    titans they are! titans!

  23. The remark about the baptized corpse is rather funny – I would even laugh, except for that it points up the one reason why Thompson could catch Mitt Romney. Anti-Mormon bigotry. Because if it weren’t for that problem, Romney would already be garnering tremendous support. The man has an incredible record.
    Just finished reading Hugh Hewitts new book “A Mormon in the White House…” Highly reccommended.

  24. David, is there really such thing as anti-Mormon bigotry?

  25. “Anti-Mormon bigotry. Because if it weren’t for that problem, Romney would already be garnering tremendous support.”

    Why would people be anti-Mormon? Sure, they proclaim “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues and so forth.” Is that any worse than virgin birth? And what’s so wrong with bigamy? Heck, the whole “Latter Day Saints” means that they want to live under a church as people did in the first century AD. What could possibly be wrong with that?

  26. Dan T,

    According to a recent Gallup poll, 24% said they would not vote for a Mormon candidate for president, compared to 5% who said they wouldn’t vote for a black candidate and 11% who wouldn’t vote for a woman.

  27. Dan T.,

    i live in the Illinois/Missouri region of the country. It’s full of history of anti-Mormon sentiment.

    There’s actually some interesting happenings in Nauvoo, IL (a town where the Mormons once settled before being driven out) where Mormons are returning to the area and have been joining chambers of commerce, running for office, etc. The residents appreciate the tourist dollars, but my understanding is that there has been some tension (though not violent) about the changing character of the area.

  28. “There’s actually some interesting happenings in Nauvoo…. there has been some tension (though not violent) about the changing character of the area.”

    Isn’t that because of the Trade Federation’s blockade?

    cut to the chase downstater – you a Cards fan? (that would be the best baseball fans in the nation)

  29. My theory on Romney’s success in MA:

    I think Romney was popular in Mass because mormons are wicked good lacrosse players.

  30. VM,

    does a wild moose shit in the woods?

    i grew up with Whiteyball. How do you not love the Cards after that?

    oh, and we have the best baseball player on the planet.

  31. cool!

    (oh that was Naboo, grin)


  32. So, how do you guys think the November 2008 Al vs Fred vote will go?

  33. yes, cheers.

    maybe you can make it to our sterilized soulless laboratory of a new stadium for a game.

    though tickets are hard to come by when the sCrUBS are in town.

  34. Al Gore could join the race on January 2, raise $50 million by January 4, and win every primary in the second half of the month.

    And lose the election on November 2.

  35. Somehow I think Rudy will turn Fred into mincemeat. Something like, “are you going to vote for a fake NY prosecutor or a real one?” 9/11 hero or man who ran from the Senate? etc.

  36. Completely

    We were at the last cubbies games at old Busch. Loved it. Stayed across the street at the Westin. Amazing. What a great vibe. What a great tradition and history. Stan the Man! It’s a bummer that KMOX doesn’t carry their games anymore. That’s my fall back for day games.

  37. Lamar,

    I doubt that Rudy can get the nomination over Fred, the fellow who’s daughter’s death from cancer brought him back home to Tennessee.

  38. I’m bearish on all the plausible Republican candidates, but I have to agree – there’s an palpable, ugly element of anti-Mormonism in a lot of the stuff about Romney.

  39. 07 = year of the CUBS

  40. NickM: since everybody and their freakin brother is finally off the idiotic “Prior/Wood” spankfest, that’s a good start!

    Would that it were so, however!

    (sitting here with Cubbies cap (old one) nearby!)

  41. Guy Montag, you may be right. I guess only a true believer could confuse taking care of a loved one with an accomplishment.

  42. Muhammed said “the angel gabriel told me where the stuff is that has the rules God forgot to tell us before. Here are those extra rules:”

    Joseph Smith said ” The angel whatshisname came to me and told me where all the rules that God forgot to tell us are written. Here are those rules:”

    Most christians I know personally believe Mormonism to be the work of a slick salesman that needed a more compelling item to sell than the rest of the snake oil salesman.

    There are several similarities between the histories of Islam and Mormonism, just as there are between the histories of christianity and the worship of Mithra.

    To play the religion card one must be sure they have the popular beliefs. Not a form of christianity that mainline christians often refer to as a cult.

  43. i’ll give the sCrUBS their due – i believe they took the season series with my redbirds. and a repeat like last year for the Cards won’t cut it this year.

    I disagree that the Wood/Prior obsession has cost the cubs. What has cost the cubs is their fans insistence on packing that stadium every friggin game no matter how badly the team plays. If i owned the cubs, i’d put the crappiest product on the field possible and cut my payroll to $1M. cubs fans would show up anyway.

    also, that title of best fans in baseball has created some serious monsters at busch. standing ovations for running out a weak ground ball to short, old people chastising you for booing ANYONE – because the Best Fans in Baseball can’t be rude or something like that. Ridiculous devotions to mediocre talents because they “play hard”, etc.

    Cards fans were only the best in baseball before they were told as much.

  44. dude – you need seriously to follow the chicago media and the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network, then. Argh! Actually don’t! Please don’t! They’ll try to convince you of lots of bullshit – curses, myths, and monsters!

    Prior/Wood was seen as a magic bullet (albeit a very very unproven one), and the talk of “get 15-18 wins out of them, plus 16 from Zambrano, and you’re fine” distracted them from the major problems the team has actually had – fundamental mistakes, etc.

    Before 2003, it was friggin easy to walk up gameday to get tickets.

    Never knew that about the Cards fans. I merely described them as such from experience with other fans, and a deep, deep, deep hatred for all teams east of the Ohio/Pa Border.

  45. On the other hand, Fred Thompson looks like a President out of Central Casting.

    Sort of like John Kerry.

    I agree, joe. (Again*).

    And another example of the fact that looks are not enough. They’re probably about equal in intellect too.

    But Fred Thompson has Kerry beat way to hell in the “aw shucks” folksiness factor that we seem to love in politicos.

    *It should scare me that I agree with you so often. Mind you, I never think what you think for the same reason as you do.

  46. strange as it is, i developed an affinity for the sox, because we got WGN down here and they’d televise their games. since i couldn’t root for the cubs because it is not in my dna and the threat of death from my dad, the sox became my american league team.

    i completely agree – wood/prior were a distraction to what really ailed that team and the idea that they would cure everything if they could just remain healthy was nonsense.

    but with new management and big changes, i have to admit that i’ve got a wary eye on the northsiders this year. thankfully we’ve got Pujols and Nelly to protect us.

  47. I have to agree with you there Issac. Well, sort of. Kerry always struck me as too “polished” to be Pres. Like the do-goody frat boy in a world of blue collar intellectuals he just didn’t “blend”.

    Of course, I vote for president based on toupee quality, no toupee = no vote.

  48. Downstate!

    cool – but just stay away from Chicago sports radio!!!!! Oh – you have to listen to Hawk. Apologies for that.

    The WhiteSox have an incredible marketing team. And the spirit of Bill Veck makes Comisky a really fun place to visit. And the food there is terrific!

    Pujols is absolutely amazing!

    High# probably can give a better account than I, but the lines of sight in Comisky are, for the most part, excellent, and now that they fixed the upper deck so it’s not quite as scary (still is kinda scary), the seats are all pretty good.


  49. But Fred Thompson has Kerry beat way to hell in the “aw shucks” folksiness factor that we seem to love in politicos.

    I suspect he has Kerry killed in that, walking around sense and intellect.

    There is no way Fred will be ordering Swiss on his Cheesteak at Pat’s, nor will anything like “Who among us does not appreciate NASCAR” pass his lips.

    However, I think Kerry has a better shot at Fred than Al does.


  50. So Guy, what were Arnold’s major accomplishments outside the field of acting before he was elected? Considering he wasn’t even that conservative before he took office. A lot of his support from Republicans was due to the R next to his name and he was popular in CA.

    This is coming from someone that voted for him last election (I voted for McClintock in the recall).

    P.S. Isn’t nuance one of those bad words for Republicans?

  51. Sort of like John Kerry.

    Kerry strikes you as Presidential because he’s spent his whole life practicing his JFK impression in front of a mirror. Still, I see him as more of an ivy league college dean type than a President type.

  52. kerry strikes me more as the love child of ronnie reagan and barbara streisand.

  53. I agree that `07 is the Year of the Cubs.


    They went 107-45 for a .704 %, took the NL pennant, and swept the Detroit Tigers in 4 games in the Series.

    I have been paying attention to the NL Central ever since the Brewers transferred leagues. I no longer have a favorite AL team, but at least my beloved Mets play here on a regular basis.

    Branch may run for Pres, but McCoy is flacking for Unity `08.


  54. Radicals”, for Capitalism? Strange…… I am not sure who the author of all this “stuff” is, but that’s what it is…. “Stuff”. Contained within the remarks or statements sent out, is some of the most anti LDS (Mormon) garbage I have yet seen in print. The author printed enough in that statement to indicate that he (assumed) is just intelligent enough, to make a very stupid statement.

    Earl Ashby / not exactly “pro-Mormon”

  55. Fred Thompson will not beat Mitt Romney. Fred will get almost nowhere, while Mitt will continue to gain support.

    Does Fred support the Senate immigration bill that will potentially bring in ANOTHER 103,000,000 million NEW immigrants into the USA?

    If he does, then drop-dead-fred will become his political fate.

  56. For all you GOPeers suggesting that Thompson should put a “HEMI” into his Chevy pickup truck — the “HEMI” engine (hemispherical cyclinder heads) is one of those Dodge/Mopar creatures…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.