Saturday, March 17, 2007

Will Social Conservatives Rally Around Fred Thompson?

(image via xoverboard)

Obviously John McCain, despite his recent 180 degree turn, has rather severe credential problems among social conservatives. Vietnam POW status notwithstanding, they simply don't trust the Senator from Arizona. Part of that reticence has to do with McCain's long, lush, unconsumated marriage with the Press; that "Gang of 14" moment certainly didn't help. Nor does the smouldering emnity that the influential Club for Growth feels towards all-things-McCain help him at the base. Karl Rove's "scorched earth" campaign in South Carolina in 2000 sort of finalized what was already obvious: McCain is as welcome at a Conservative Republican South-of-the-Mason-Dixon-Line fish-fry as a gay, African-American tenured professor (Said with an air suggesting restrained laughter).

Although it is still quite a bit far out before the 2008 campaign starts in earnest, the astonishing fact that Rudy Giuliani -- a man whose foreign policy qualifications begin and end at the bar of The Russian Tea Room -- is the "front-runner" suggests, in part, that The-Social-Conservative-Consensus-Primary-Candidate has yet to mestastasize, despite a fine field that includes former Arkansas Governor and "Second Commandment Republican" Mike Huckabee and Wilberforcean Republican Sam Brownback. Republican know that momentum is on the side of The Democrat Party, and that explains why they might be willing to give Giuliani, who suffers no apparent deficit of charisma (Unlike, unfortunately, Brownback and Huckabee), and who is popular among those all-important Independents.

Enter: Fred Thompson, whom, we cannot fail to note, is in possession of a Q-score off the charts. Fromer Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is, quite literally, a Republican Presidential candidate from central casting. John Fund is as giddy as a little girl over his candidacy. And, we can only imagine, he will not entirely unpopular with Independents.

From our favorite Dickensian Villain (Those Ebeneezer-Scroogish three-piece suits; That Spaniel-like fidelity to a Capital gains tax reduction), Robert Novak:

"Actor-politician Fred Thompson's unexpected expression of interest in seeking the Republican presidential nomination has attracted an equally unexpected favorable reaction, especially among social conservatives.

"In Tennessee Republican politics, former Sen. Thompson was allied with Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander in the state party's more liberal wing. However, his voting record in the Senate was solidly conservative. He is viewed by the Christian right as more acceptable than any of the three Republican candidates leading in the polls -- Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney."

Mitt Romney, matinee-idol handsome and rich beyond all measure, will never pass the smell test among the base, as his unnatural ambition and mutable principles can be spotted from a mile away.

John McCain is precisely where he needs to be, that is, positioning Joe Lieberman to be his running mate. You heard it here first.

No comments: