Last July, coal-eyed Republicans worried that no candidate could unite their party’s chickenhawks, billionaires, and holy rollers. With no clear inheritor of the shining legacy of George W. Bush, Bill Frist, MD, exhumed and reanimated the corpse of Fred Thompson (1842-1920), a southern-fried Senator from McLean, Virginia. Thompson, who once filled in for the equally laconic Paul Harvey on the rad-eo, had the B-movie-star charisma that makes Republican women swoon. Not only was he imposing and craggier than a canyon, Thompson spoke plainly ... and with a drawl!
“Lil’ sumthin’ called federalism,” said Fred.
“Mmm-hmmm. He talk just like I think,” replied voter.
Establishment types went ga-ga for Fred. Wisely, they thought better than to nominate a candidate who might remind voters of the recent “unpleasantness” (2000-08). Thompson could position himself as a poorly traced copy of Ronald Reagan. How could he -- or the party-- lose?
It turns out that Thompson, whose campaign was aptly called “phlegmatic” by the liberal Jew York Times, hates people. At the Iowa State Fair, Fred’s idea of shaking hands and kissing babies meant donning his Gucci loafers, sportiest country club blazer, and riding around in a golf cart while nodding authoritatively at the mud farmers and butter cows who attend such events.
Fred, Team DN will miss your debate performances, especially. Who can forget how you spiked in the Luntz-O-Meter by pointedly interjecting a guttural throat-clearing? Or the time you embarrassed that nag of an editor from the Des Moines Register?
“We’re not raising hands today, Senator Thompson?”
We can’t handle a weekend visit to our uncle’s Appalachia-paradise cabin (enough with the fart jokes, please), and, therefore, doubt that we could have endured four years of a Thompson administration. News conferences just shouldn’t be renamed “talks,” and there’s no reason why they have to be held on the White House’s front porch. The media all gather’d round, Injun-style, as Grampa Fred, situated in his hickory rocking chair, dispenses homespun wisdom about those queers getting hitched and the A-rabs blowin’ ‘emselves up?
Feh. No thanks.
However -- if Jeri Kehn Thompson wants to stroll into the media limelight once more, we won’t object.