omeone who doesn’t like Thompson and does like another candidate dubs Thompson’s run as the “Eeyore campaign” — lots of hand dog doom and gloom and very little of that Reagan optimism. Ryan Sager of the NY Sun today did give
that impression with this: “It isn’t, of course, that Mr. Thompson doesn’t have a point about all of the troubling national challenges listed above. It’s that he’s pointing out problems we all know exist without offering anything in the way of solutions. Nonetheless, his campaign manager … told reporters after Mr. Thompson’s speech not to expect any policy proposals in September[,] and maybe not for a while after that.” Thompson’s foe points to a number of areas Thompson has focused on this week: terrorism (“Our country was not prepared for our current situation [of terrorism]. We took a holiday from history in the 90’s. We cut our military, our procurement and our research and development. Now our military is stretched too thin. We are wearing out our equipment. Our intelligence capabilities are inadequate.” Thompson at VFW), health care ( “Rising healthcare costs are another major problem. We have the best healthcare in the world, but we’re paying more than we should for it. We have a massive bureaucracy in the both the private and public healthcare sectors that control costs by dictating what services we’re allowed to get and when.” Thompson’s announcement video), and entitlements (“The second thing that concerns me is that we are doing steady damage to our economy, and if we don’t do things better it’s going to result in economic disaster to future generations and we are going to leave this place weaker for future generations. And a breaking of that commitment to leave this place better. We are spending their money. We are spending lots of their money.” Thompson in Indianapolis) as evidence that Thompson is the “sky is falling” candidate.
I think there is something to this so long as he isn’t offering any solutions. Once he does he can claim the mantle of responsible and serious problem solver. The other issue this week: he looks so down in the mouth. No smiles and “we can do it “spirit there. GOP primary voters are not neophytes and don’t need to be told the country has problems, big ones. Its a bit patronizing to say he’s the only one clued into our challenges. Sober is good (like McCain in foreign policy) but “we can lick this and we’ve done it before and here’s how we’ll do it this time” is what many voters — even grumpy ones — are looking for.