Thompson Refuses to Play Media Games

Fred Thompson Lazy Like a Fox The folks at Society for Independent Thinking (which, despite its name, appears to be a Fred Thompson campaign blog of ) have a long post extolling Fred Thompson’s refusal to pander. I’ll leave it to readers to point out any instances of Thompson’s pandering but the post’s recounting of Thompson’s refusal to jump through the hoops journalists ask of presidential candidates is fairly compelling.

Particularly amusing is this roundup of Thompson reactions to some recent questions from the AP:

What’s your favorite joke? Presidential debates.

What’s your favorite keepsake? Trophy wife.

What’s your favorite nickname? Mr. President.

And, of course, there’s my new favorite poke in the eye:

What do you like to do on a ‘lazy day’? Campaigning.

All the other candidates played along. Whether this is a sign of Thompson’s maverick leadership style or his lack of fire in the belly is, I suppose, in the eye of the beholder.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Uncategorized, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Patrick T McGuire says:

    This campaign season has been highly entertaining. Not only do we get to watch Her Highness Hillary Rodham get humiliated every time she opens her mouth, the Republican race is every bit as entertaining.

    (Full disclosure: I support Fred Thompson). Thompson is criticized for entering the race too late, he is critcized for not campaigning hard enough (i.e. he is lazy), he is criticized for not having any fire in his belly. But what has happened in the past few months?

    First it was Guiliani who was the heavily favored candidate. But Romney gave him a good run for his money and looked like he was going to overtake the field when, from out of left field (pun intended), comes Huckabee to trounce them all. In the meantime, Thompson keeps on doing his thing and, while he doesn’t seem to be gaining, he isn’t losing ground either.

    My prediction (which with $1.29 will get you a cup of coffee) is that the voters will get tired of settling for the lesser of evils with the Three Stooges (Guiliani, Romney, & the Huckster) and look to see what else is available. And who will that leave? McCain or Thompson. Factor in “McCain/Feingold” legilation and less than conservative immigration policies and that leaves only Thompson.

    I still think Hillary and Obama will spend their energies dragging either other down which will leave Edwards who, like Thompson, is standing quietly on the sidelines. And in a Thompson – Edwards election, is there any real contest?

  2. Tano says:

    “In the meantime, Thompson keeps on doing his thing and, while he doesn’t seem to be gaining, he isn’t losing ground either.’

    Actually patrick, if you look at those nifty little charts that map out the polls, like at RealClear, you would have to conclude that the best way to characterize Fred’s trajectory would be “peaked on his announcement day, then continuous downhill from there”.

    “And in a Thompson – Edwards election, is there any real contest?”

    No, not really. The latest consensus of that head-to-head has Edwards up 11.

  3. Patrick T McGuire says:

    Fred’s trajectory would be “peaked on his announcement day

    Agreed! What I meant (but failed to communicate) is that Thompson consistently remains in a 2nd or close 3rd place behind the leaders. While they continue to change positions relative to each other, Thompson stays in the same place, just outside of the fray. When the Three Stooges finally crash and burn, he will be right where he needs to be.

    As for Edwards, his message of two Americas will always ensure that at least half the voter will reject him. He couldn’t beat Tancredo in an election. And don’t tell me about polls, I remember exit polls that had John Kerry winning the last election in a landslide.

  4. jpe says:

    You call it refusal to pander, I call it pandering to a lazy quasi-critique of the media.

  5. Anderson says:

    It does seem that Thompson at least has a fair measure of common sense, which might make him a fair president.

    However, I doubt it’s possible any more (if it ever was) to stumble into the presidency. Thompson’s best shot at the office is to become vice-president to a victorious but ill-fated Republican.

  6. cian says:

    As for Edwards, his message of two Americas will always ensure that at least half the voter will reject him.

    As a good republican, Patrick T has avoided the meat in Edwards message to the country. His divide is not between the poor and the rich, its between the middle and working class and the super rich, and not even Bush would try to argue that that’s a fifty fifty split.

    I still don’t know what in the hell Thompson stands for. I get tired just looking at the guy.

  7. Matt Dailey says:

    I liken Thompson’s candidacy to General Wesley clark’s 2004 presidential bid. Both of them got in late and never got any traction. Thompson’s tax plan totally turned me off. He could very likely finish fourth in New Hampshire behind Rudy Guiliani, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Thompson’s campaign will be done by February.

  8. JohnG says:

    How can you not know what Thempson stands for? Look on his website and enlighten yourself. It’s not like he has a record of inconsistent positions or something. Though if you have already bought into the Edwards campaign I doubt there’s going to be much there for you to agree with.