Watch Me Crank Dat Laz-E-Boy

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John Tabin was hard on Fred Thompson yesterday, and I beat up on him in my upcoming Nevada/South Carolina predictions thread, so I disagree completely with Jonathan Adler:

The biggest knock on Fred is that he does not appear to want it enough, and did not spend years preparing for a Presidential race. Yet as I've said before, in a rational world, this attitude toward political office would be a feature not a bug.

The time to make this argument was early in 2007, when the first "Draft Fred" murmurs started. After a few months of dithering and winking about running for president, Fred couldn't say he was a citizen politician pulled into this like Cincinattus. That delay was callow: It's pretty obvious that Fred wouldn't have run if his friend John McCain hadn't stumbled early on, or if McCain recovered in July or August.

Also, a "rational world" would, yes, include a lot more citizen legislators who didn't obsess about power. It would not contain more lazy politicians. There's no job where "he doesn't seem to want it, he hasn't spent years working for it" would be a plus. Would shareholders elect someone this way? Would teams draft players this way? Would you be happy if one of your colleagues got promoted over you because, hell, he didn't seem to want it quite so much?

There was always a role for a government-shrinking, no-bullshit conservative in this race. There was never a role for a otiose anti-politician with a deep bass voice.

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  1. He’s s gun-grabber, which is on my Big Three list of no-no’s. So even if he were to win the nomination I’ll write in Paul, or None of the Above (which I’ve done before).

  2. 25% of people that voted were Mormon and they gave Romney the edge over Paul. Jesus christ, I fucking hate identity politics.

  3. You apologize for the Minutemen, yet offer this with a straight face…

  4. Whoops, wrong thread!

  5. I’m with Adler: Thompson’s lack of ambition is his one redeeming feature.

    Would you be happy if one of your colleagues got promoted over you because, hell, he didn’t seem to want it quite so much?

    No, but in the private sector, ambition and a desire for more power and authority is rarely dangerous and often productive. Not so in politics.

    I made this point in a comment thread a couple of weeks ago: When it comes to the presidency, a person who hasn’t spent his entire adult life lusting after the job is the only person potentially qualified for it.

  6. And even in the private sector, one tends to think the person who is too outward and naked ambitious in his/her desire for promotions as a weasel

  7. And even in the private sector, one tends to think the person who is too outward and naked ambitious in his/her desire for promotions as a weasel

    And that’s true in politics too. Look at how people respond to Hillary.

  8. Thompson is currently running fourth and can do no better than third in S.C. He’s speaking to his supporters and is pretty animated, but he’s avoiding the obvious: dropping out.

    Wait, there might have been a bit of dropping-out subtext at the end.

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