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Exit Stage Right


Fred Thompson exits after addressing supporters following the SC primary. Photo Credit: Nathan Goulding

I’ve got a new piece on the homepage speculating on some of the reasons Fred’s candidacy never really took off. I was at Fred’s post-primary party in South Carolina Saturday, and it was pretty clear from the tone of his speech that this was coming:

The winners in the Republican party that day had been John McCain in South Carolina and Mitt Romney in Nevada, both of whom have embraced the theme of change. Everywhere he goes, McCain portrays himself as the man who changed the course of the Iraq war through his early advocacy of the successful troop surge. Meanwhile, Romney tells voters that Washington is “fundamentally broken” and that he can bring the change to make it work again. And Mike Huckabee, who finished second in South Carolina, did so espousing a political philosophy that many Republicans don’t recognize as being conservative at all.

Fred’s campaign had a different tone. He was not a candidate of change. On almost every important issue, he offered the same policy prescriptions conservatives have championed for years.

I think this campaign — and Fred’s refusal to bend his positions in response to the change-mania that swept the race — will make Fred a stronger champion of conservative ideas. A guy from a rival campaign told me later that night, “Fred would make a good president of the Heritage Foundation. He belongs someplace like that.”


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