Without my own comment pro or con, and with his permission, I share this interesting analysis concerning the shape of the GOP presidential race from the distinguished "Feddie," Steve Dillard, the founder of the wonderful, sadly now-defunct "Southern Appeal" blawg that did such yeoman work in getting Bill Pryor confirmed to a federal judgeship. I'm not sold on any candidate yet, but Feddie is always worth listening to. Here are his comments:
There are two reasons that so many people are clamoring for Fred Thompson to seek the GOP nomination: (1) he has a strong record on socially conservative issues; and (2) he has the "it" factor. Both of these qualities are needed to energize a demoralized GOP base and (thus) win the presidency, and none of the so-called front runners possess them. While John "Just call me Bob Dole because it's my turn" McCain was once a strong voice for a "Culture of Life" in this country, he has been notably silent on such issues in recent years. He also supports embryonic-stem-cell research, which will cost him many votes among social conservatives (especially conservative Catholics). McCain is also dull as dishwater, and the perception among many conservatives is that he's not all there. As for Rudy, I don't care how many polls have him listed as the frontrunner, he's going to lose in the South, and lose big. All Romney or Brownback have to do to sink Rudy's quest for the Whitehouse is to run commercials highlighting his statements: (1) supporting public funding of abortion; (2) noting that he would pay to have his grandchild snuffed out if his daughter became pregnant and wanted an abortion; or (3) in support of gay rights (you can also expect the pictures of him in drag to feature prominently in such ads). Don't get me wrong, many conservatives (including yours truly) greatly respect Rudy for the Churchillian leadership he displayed in the aftermath of 9/11, and for the tremendous job he did in cleaning up New York City; but the bottom line is that his values are simply not the same as the vast majority of those residing in must-win red states. Indeed, if Rudy somehow ends up winning the GOP nomination, you can rest assured that he will ultimately lose. People are kidding themselves if they think Rudy's liberal social views will generate enough cross over or moderate votes to make up for the loss of social conservatives like me, who are as troubled by Rudy's candidacy as much as they were with John Kerry's (once again, this is especially true among conservative Catholics). So, this leaves Romney; and his problem is that he is a flip-flopper and a Mormon. Now, I personally could care less about the latter, but many religious conservatives do and will vote accordingly. And while Romney certainly has charisma, it pales in comparison to the presidential vibe that Thompson exudes when he walks into the room. Like I said, Thompson has that special something that Reagan had, and that is why so many conservatives are excited about the prospect of him running. And if Thompson does run, he will win. Can you imagine that shrill woman on the same stage with Thompson (in a debate)? He'll make her look like the devil woman she is inside of five minutes. In this respect, my view is that Obama is the dem who benefits the most from a Thompson run. Right now, there is no need for the dems to nominate anyone with a personality to take on McCain/Giuliani/Romney, but Thompson, Thompson changes everything. In my view, Fred Thompson is the only chance conservatives have of maintaining the presidency. The sooner we realize this, the better.
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