January 24, 2008

Fred's Not Dead?

Despite dropping out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, Fred Thompson could still presumably become the eventual nominee, according to Steven Stark in his article on Real clear Politics, Who Said Freddy's Dead?

The Republican race is coming into focus. Well, sort of. If John McCain can win the Florida primary on January 29, he'll be the clear front-runner heading into Super Tuesday a week later.

But Florida is hardly a sure thing for McCain. Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney are contesting the state heartily. Plus, Florida is a closed primary, meaning Independents can't participate -- and McCain polls far worse in contests where only Republicans can vote.

If McCain loses in Florida, the Republicans may well be headed to a deadlocked race and convention. And history teaches us that the likeliest candidate to emerge in that scenario is someone like Warren G. Harding: the prototypical, less-than-stellar candidate to which conventions turn when the going gets rough.

This year's Harding? Believe it or not (are you sitting down?), despite the fact that he's withdrawn from the race, is Fred Thompson.

Stark does make an interesting point about the Florida race—McCain and Romney are presently in a virtual dead heat at 22-percent of the vote— and if Florida tips for Romney, it would seem to blunt McCain's momentum running into Super Tuesday and just about anything could be possible. If Super Tuesday does not result in a clear winner, Republicans could indeed end up with a brokered convention where Thompson's lack of negatives may very well turn into a positive.

Is the brokered convention scenario likely to happen?

I wouldn't plan on it, but for Fredheads, it is nice to dream.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 24, 2008 11:30 AM

If it comes to that, why not Jeb Bush? Especially against Hillary and if the war and the economy don't look so bad by August. As a successful two-term governor of a major state, he's clearly the best qualified person on either side today, and all Republicans could get on board. All we have to do is hold the red states (and maybe offset Ohio somehow.)

Posted by: Mahon at January 24, 2008 12:39 PM

A Jeb Bush candidacy has one fatal flaw that he would be unable to overcome - his last name.

There is no reason why, since a lot of people are saying, "Not four more years of Clintons" that they would be happy with "Four more years of Bushes."

The BDS people would go truly loopy.

Posted by: SGT Jeff (USAR) at January 24, 2008 12:50 PM

I believe California is also closed. I already voted absentee for Fred, so we'll see what happens.

Posted by: DirtCrashr at January 24, 2008 12:51 PM

i like bob's idea of Fred emerging from a brokered convention. but why on earth would Jeb come up in the first comment. I'm no BDS-er, but four more years of "President Bush" would be ridiculous. Do you think that only Barbara's uterus is capable of producing presidential material anymore? There are other families in this country, lets give one of them a try, just for a change of pace.

Posted by: mr. bitterness at January 24, 2008 01:02 PM

I just got polled, about an hour ago. "Who is your prefered Republican Presidential nominee?" First name was Ron Paul, press #1, ... last was Fred Thompson, press #7, then undecided was choice #8. Surprising that they hadn't updated the script, or is there something else involved? (That was the only question asked; I pressed #8.)

Posted by: htom at January 24, 2008 04:30 PM

I guess I will have to "keep the dream alive"! Apparently it is too much to ask for a no-nonsense adult with stated conservative policies to stand a chance in this years Presidential race.

Posted by: cheeseball at January 24, 2008 06:11 PM

To be honest, the brokered convention looks less likely now than it did before Fred got out.

With that said, however, it's still not outside the realm of possibilities.

There are also rumors that Fred will try for the Governorship of Tennessee in 2010.

Posted by: C-C-G at January 24, 2008 08:57 PM