Freddy's Dead, That's What I Said

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The big man has waved farewell to the presidential race.

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

I welcomed Thompson into the race with a Bronx cheer. John Tabin was at the final Fred speeches in South Carolina, and came away a little wistful.

Here's a question for the class: What was Thompson's effect on the race? Did he reframe any debate on any issue? One thing I'm sure he didn't do was alter the way people run for president. He had a theory that the explosion of media (the "information revolution") would render (mostly) irrelevent the exhausting retail politicking of presidential races. Why should a candidate answer questions in Dubuque VFW centers when he could cut web videos or TV ads or do interviews on blogs and talk radio? I don't think he made the most of that strategy (I think he held one blogger call, early on, and that was it), but hes eliminated the chance of anyone trying it in 2012. And I think he realized its weakness, even if he didn't mean to, by shooting his ads in the kind of homey diner that he never spent more than 10-15 minutes working on the trail.


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  1. So thats it? The conservative savior that was supposed to save his party from ruin? What the hell happened?

  2. soooo….who does Thompson endorse? I think he goes McCain before Florida to give him the boost to smack Giuliani around.

  3. And so at last he has exhaled his Ka, as it was written.

  4. Well, at least now he’ll finally be able to get some rest.

  5. Huh? You mean he didn’t take enough naps during the debates?

  6. Cue the Queen track:
    BUMP BUMP BUMP….

  7. He withdrew too soon. I think he would’ve done very well in Florida among the Very Tired.

  8. Is this technically a Paul thread? I guess not.

    Soooo, good, no, make that GREAT, riddance!

  9. OK, a little fantasizing while here at work…

    McCain wins Florida with Romney a few points back. Rudy is third and Huck fourth. Rudy and Huck aren’t paying their remaining staff this month, so their prospects are falling fast. Is it concievable that after Florida it is just McCain, Romney and Paul, with Paul being the benefactor of the Thompson and Huck conservative faction? I said long ago that this is a race of attrition, but is this scenario completely whacky?

  10. sixstring- I sure hope not. 🙂

  11. Good riddance.

  12. I don’t know, if I had a wife who looked like Fred Thompson’s, I wouldn’t pull out so soon.

  13. concievable aw crap, EXCEPT after C!!

  14. Correct, Pro Libertate. All he had to do was promise to restore Cypress Gardens to its full glory. That would have secured a win.

  15. Who would have guessed that Paul would outlast the savior of the GOP and probably Mr. 9/11.

  16. So, I guess that means that there aren’t any libertarian-leaning candidates left, huh Reason?

  17. So, I guess that means that there aren’t any libertarian-leaning candidates left, huh Reason?

    Obama? 😉

  18. Strangely, Paul’s ability to hang on through the primaries paid major dividends when he defeated McCain in a duel (rapiers) during the Republican Convention. History is so intriguing–wonder what would’ve happened if McCain had demanded pistols, as was his right as the one challenged? Hmm.

  19. I can’t imagine why the electorate never got energized behind the world’s sleepiest man.

    Vote for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is always awake. Mitt Romney will last 1,000 years with his current power cells.

    Mitt Romney loves hu-mans.

  20. Put me down for a Rudy win in Fla. (NY south)

    With a side of “Brokered GOP national convention”

    Fred’s campaign was a Rorschach blot of an affair. Anyone could squint just right and picture the guy being of some utility. But, on closer examination, he’s just an pampered actor, pretendin’.

    I guess I didn’t watch enough Law and Order

  21. Rudy’s not winning in NY itself — a fact that should surprise no one who knows that most NYS Republicans don’t live anywhere near NYC — so why would we expect him to win in NY South?

  22. “Freddy’s Dead….”

    Which is very similar in appearance to “Freddy’s alive and campaigning hard.”

  23. Fred made the secondary characters in old Speedy Gonzalez cartoons look like Tom Arnold after a “bathroom break.”

  24. I’m going to take a Thompson memorial nap right now.

    I love working from home.

  25. Rudy’s not winning in NY itself — a fact that should surprise no one who knows that most NYS Republicans don’t live anywhere near NYC — so why would we expect him to win in NY South?

    Because most of the NYers in NY South weren’t in the state when Ghouliani was mayor to know how bad he really was.

  26. And I think he realized its weakness, even if he didn’t mean to, by shooting his ads in the kind of homey diner that he never spent more than 10-15 minutes working on the trail.

    Subtext: You people disgust me and God forbid I actually encounter you, but I want you to vote for me.

  27. Rudy’s not winning in NY itself — a fact that should surprise no one who knows that most NYS Republicans don’t live anywhere near NYC — so why would we expect him to win in NY South?

    Bingo!

    No wait, we’d expect Huckabee or McCain to win in NY South because of Bingo…

  28. Can his wife still be First Lady?

  29. The NY contingent in Fla is built on rich retirees, the primary votin’ motivated ones, anyhow, and Rudy’s their boy. He solved crime and heroically led NY outta the 9/11 fog.

    Throw in that the voter rewards for dissing Castro are flagging…as the welfare doled Batistaites die off and their children get jobs and ignore politics (like good Americans)…I think Rudy will make a show of it by winning Fla.

    I’m sure his camp is motivated. If he doesn’t show real strong in the delegate count out of Fla, he’ll be joining Fred on the sidelines no later than Super Tuesday Hangover Wednesday.

  30. Does Rudy have the gas to keep going if he doesn’t win in Fla?

    Huckabee flatlined after SC, but I think the body has to reach room temperature for three days before they’ll declare him dead.

    That could leave only Romney, McCain, and Paul, (and McCain still in the red) come tsunami Tues.

  31. I predict a McCain victory in Florida.

  32. Regarding his wife, he looks patently ridiculous next to her. She looks like his granddaughter.

  33. If I were the Jeri in question, Fred would’ve won already.

  34. Sadly,

    Thompson had the most consistent low tax low government platform of any candidate running absent Paul. As an added bonus, he wasn’t nuts just kind of old and with a trophy wife. If you look at the remaining candidates you have McCain with his warmed over ah hell lets just raise taxes because I don’t have the courage to offend the media plans, Romeny who beleives whatever is convienent, the Reverened Huckabe and his plan to tax and spend our money so he can get to heaven, and HIllary and Obama who routinely accuse each other of not wanting to spend enough or raise taxes enough. I am frankly sorry to see old Fred go.

  35. It’s hard to understand
    That there’s love in this man
    I’m sure all would agree
    That his misery was his
    Woman and things

  36. John it was nice to hear him talk about federalism sure but kind of incosistent since he wouldnt end the drug war.

  37. Fred Thompson did not change the debate in any way, shape or form. He did suck up a sizable portion of the NRA/Southern/Fiscal Conservative vote. He won’t be missed…

  38. Thompson’s effect on the race was that, realizing that he was at his last debate, he tried to take Mike Huckabee down with him.

  39. Obama? ;-

    Of course! Everyone is the True Libertarian in the race, except for Ron Paul. If the congressman from Texas were the only man left in the race, then Reason would take a dump and then proceed to call the resulting turd the Last Great Libertarian Hope!

    This campaign reminds me of second grade. The teacher asks what the capital of North Dakota is, and only Jimmy has his hand raised. The teacher asks again, “Does anyone know what the capital of North Dakota is? Anyone besides Jimmy? Anyone at all?”

  40. “John it was nice to hear him talk about federalism sure but kind of incosistent since he wouldnt end the drug war.”

    No one outside of a few black militants and libertarians wants to end the drug war. I think it is nuts to but the fact is that people have bought into the idea that drugs are poison and destroy anyone’s life who touchs the stuff and so forth. Everyone loves the drug war except for the people who are stuck in jail over it and they ain’t voting anytime soon. If you are judging candidates over the drug war, you might as well not vote. I would love to believe that some day we will embrace personal responsibility and let people use whatever drugs they want and treat anyone who is an addict or commits a crime on drugs like the reprobate criminal that they are, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

  41. And he worked Iowa soooo hard.

    Spend millions in Iowa, pull a 13% 3rd place finish, only to fold a month later?

    Grandpa used to make a big deal about “Good money after bad”

  42. Bismarck!! Bismarck!! Goddammit, why won’t you call on me?!!

  43. McCain versus Clinton in UFC 100, “Beltway!”

  44. Anybody got a good reason we can’t just move the general election up to say… March or April?

    If I have to sit through 6 months of Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich, I’m gonna go nuts. The only saving grace (for me) is that I’ll be out of the US for half the year.

  45. “If I have to sit through 6 months of Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich, I’m gonna go nuts. The only saving grace (for me) is that I’ll be out of the US for half the year.”

    It is called the off button. Every TV has one. Try it sometime.

  46. It looks like it is, in fact, going to be Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich. More specifically, John McCain vs. Hillary Clinton. Now, I’m still hoping for Obama to pull it out, and Thompson’s dropping out will boost Huckabee, but the odds of a McCain vs. Clinton contest are still probably above 50% at this point. The only question remaining is: Are Bloomberg and/or Paul going to run third party campaigns?

  47. I would love to believe that some day we will embrace personal responsibility and let people use whatever drugs they want and treat anyone who is an addict or commits a crime on drugs like the reprobate criminal that they are, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

    From 1776 to 1914 it did happen. The idea that prohibition works requires more faith than evidence. Congress debated 2 years before passing The Harrison Act. Why? It was Unconstitional. The fact that Racism fueled aspects of the Harrison Act, particularly Cocaine, makes the idea of it being morally justified laughable. Once the boomers die off, things will change…

    Ha… there I said it…

  48. I think there are a lot of “Closet” pot smokers out there that would like to end the drug war but are too afraid to just come out and say it.

  49. If I were the Jeri in question, Fred would’ve won already.

    Ms Ryan-
    You realize that you are partly responsible for Obama’s electoral success, don’t ya?

  50. People underestimate the power of hair.
    Thompson? No hair.
    Giuliani? Ditto.
    McCain? Don’t make me laugh.
    Romney? Hair, and lots of it!
    That’s why Mitt will be the candidate.

  51. In the race to the Whitehouse, you can’t look lazy. I think Rudy’s numbers in FL are going down for that reason. Rudy’s betting that all he needs to do is pander and work the big states, and it will probably backfire on him. Half-ass is half-ass, so far Rudy looks like a half-asser. Does anyone really want that?

    “”””So thats it? The conservative savior that was supposed to save his party from ruin? What the hell happened?””””

    This savior wasn’t up to the job.

  52. I am aware of many things. For instance, it doesn’t take a Collective to bring down an ex-husband.

  53. “Once the boomers die off, things will change…”

    I hope so. But we have a multi billion dollar rehap industry based on the idea that anyone who so much as touches drugs loses all sense of individual choice and is doomed to use drugs uncontrolably until they are saved by the rehab industry. As long as people are fed that myth, they will never agree to legalize drugs. Further, it is a convienent myth. Who wants to beleive your brother Jonny is a reprobate criminal? No, he wasn’t a criminal when he robbed mom and dad’s house, he was just an addict crying for help.

  54. I’m sure DONDERRROOO uses that logic since Dondi said “Image is everything”.

  55. “””I think there are a lot of “Closet” pot smokers out there that would like to end the drug war but are too afraid to just come out and say it.”””

    Of all past Presidents, I thought Clinton would be the one to relax it, but he knows the drug war is a cash cow.

  56. “Of all past Presidents, I thought Clinton would be the one to relax it, but he knows the drug war is a cash cow.”

    Clinton jailed more people over the drug war than any president before him. If Lincoln was the great emmancipater, Clinton was the great jailer.

  57. “”Further, it is a convienent myth. Who wants to beleive your brother Jonny is a reprobate criminal? No, he wasn’t a criminal when he robbed mom and dad’s house, he was just an addict crying for help.”””

    Exactly. It applies to self also. I made the bad choices in life because I was high.

  58. I heard Fred just made some kind of a deal with McCain – no details as of yet.

    With the field less divided, Ron will have less of a chance of coming in second again, but he will up his average results somewhat.

  59. “””Clinton jailed more people over the drug war than any president before him. If Lincoln was the great emmancipater, Clinton was the great jailer.”””

    Didn’t you mean the great inhaler? lol.

    He had to look tough, he was involved in the distribution.

  60. I thought Clinton would be the one to relax it

    Making people think that without ever saying it, and then always expanding the drug war, is a strategy Democrats have adopted get squishy quasi-libertarians’ votes.

    Works on suckers.

  61. Sometimes former drug users are the most hard-core drug war supporters. Thats why I bet Obama would beat even Clinton in stepping up the drug war.

    John, did Clinton really jail more people than Reagan/Bush I? I thought they were the team that really turned up the heat on drug users. Well, poor ones anyway.

  62. Bismarck!! Bismarck!! Goddammit, why won’t you call on me?!!

    Which side of the stage did FOX put you on, Jimmy? Or, based on which letter you wrote did reason decide to slaughter you?

  63. Thompson had a weak launch, but what really killed him was Huckabee, who mostly peeled off supporters from Thompson.

    And Huckabee is done as well, leaving the field to a crazy man, an android, and, a thug.

    Oh, and Ron Paul.

  64. I heard Fred just made some kind of a deal with McCain – no details as of yet.

    My initial take is that Thompson (establishment-type GOP) voters would gravitate to Romney if he were still the front-runner, but are now more likely to break to McCain since he is perceived to be the frontrunner and electable. They’re not gonna be happy about it, but they’ll pull the lever in November and maybe even in February.

    Republicans are gonna be Al Davis-style voters ths cycle echoing the Democrats in 2004.

  65. “””Making people think that without ever saying it, and then always expanding the drug war, is a strategy Democrats have adopted get squishy quasi-libertarians’ votes.”””

    When does this happen? Cite some examples?

    I thought Clinton might, simply because of his past indulgence, not his politics.

  66. “I heard Fred just made some kind of a deal with McCain – no details as of yet.”

    To star in Weekend at Bernie’s III?

  67. Ya Clinton’s Legacy is he doubled the amount of prisons in the country and crime dropped in half. As for the legalization of drugs. I think there would be no shortage of rehab clinics, I think drugs would hurt the bloated law enforcement budget. It would also generate huge revenues in sin taxes that the government could then squander elsewhere.

    It’s not that far off. Nurses are injecting herione in the arms of addicts in San Francisco.. Hey a licensed “Shaman” or Holistic Healer can prescribe you 500 lbs a year of marijuana in my home state of Oregon. (I miss that state) Marijuana is becoming decriminalized all over the Western United States. In Colorado the measure to legalize medicinal marijuana failed in a 49 to 51% margin.

    I don’t even wanna do drugs. Okay so maybe a nice line of corporate perfected Cocaine after dinner for a nice desert. Since it’s a stimulant and not a narcotic, I can drive!
    And I don’t do

  68. What? No series finale show?

  69. “Here’s a question for the class”

    What a fuckin’ nanny-head.

  70. R C Dean,

    So Romney is an android? Hmm…that explains a lot…

  71. Heath Ledger is dead too.

  72. “It is called the off button. Every TV has one. Try it sometime.”

    Yeah… too bad it’s not 1967 and TV isn’t the only possible way I’d ever have to hear about anything.

    Perhaps you missed the point man, my hope is to *not* have to stick my fingers in my ears and shout like a 5-year-old to avoid being made dumber by an asinine “battle” between two statist asshats who’s only real difference is a debate on which orifice they will be sticking the “long arm” of the law into first, and never a debate on whether or not they should just zip it back up.

    No… I think a much more preferable goal is to have fewer douchebags.

  73. If Fred doesn’t endorse McCain by Super Tuesday, you can assume they didn’t make a deal. McCain could use what’s left of Fred’s supporters to give him that oh-so-slight extra boost.

  74. highnumber,

    Fishbone is my preferred rendition.

  75. Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton could run on a third-party ticket for the Polls Are My Cynical Overlords party.

  76. A terrible blow, but that’s how it goes.

  77. I can feel the Mitt-mentum now, baby!! Go Mitt!

  78. Paulie, I like how she says “that was actually funny” as if everything on the Daily Show isn’t funnier than everything they’ve ever done on Fox News.

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