Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Watch


Fred Thompson is out.

Ironically enough, it's too late to take him off the ballot in Tennessee, where he's a shoe-in shoo-in. So, to whom will he release his delegates? Are we thinking John McCain?

Fred Thompson has lost some key GOP supporters to Mitt Romney and John McCain today; now word is out that he is bowing out of Thursday’s GOP debate, prompting speculation that he’ll soon announce the end of his presidential campaign.

Interestingly, from a human nature perspective, I’m seeing signs on the 'net of conservative anger directed at the candidate himself.

Things like this:
"His rivals would do more in a day than Fred would do in a month," said one disaffected Thompson insider. "He created the perception, fairly or not, that he was just going through the motions."

Ouch. A post at the conservative Townhall.com is headlined "Why I Never Drank The Fred Thompson Kool-Aid”. And in this post at RedState (which I linked to over the weekend), the anger is palpable:

We waited with bated breath, as expected announcement date after expected announcement date passed by, with little or no action on your part. As the summer wore on, and gave itself over to autumn, though, the game became a bit less enjoyable for the rest of us.

Like the townspeople who tired of hearing the young sheepherder cry "Wolf!" over and over again when there was no such threat to his flock, those who had supported you wholeheartedly at the beginning of this process began to waver in their commitment, and the field of "FredHeads," as so many of those enthusiastic supporters called themselves, began to dwindle.


Finally, in September, you made the announcement that so many had been dying to hear in April, in May, even in July. At that point, though, it was too late for any but the most dynamic of campaigners to make up the ground lost to the rest of the field in this longest primary election in my memory.

I find this all very interesting. Democratic voters don’t tend to blame their candidates when they don’t win primaries; at least, I don’t hear anyone blaming Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards for underperforming this primary season. I DO hear lots of criticism of the media for ignoring these two candidates, and barbs at the Obama and Clinton camps for some dirty politics.

I have to wonder what’s behind the Fred anger. It seems small at the moment (though his support was small), but if it spreads, it certainly won't help Thompson land the VP slot, if it should come to that.