In the last couple of days, I've been seeing Fred Thompson's new commercial. Apparently, his only qualification for President is that he grew up in a small town and he's been a conservative all his life. Oh yeah, and Democrats are evil.
The main thing he had going for him were the social conservatives' desperation to find a candidate who can win. But he shot his wad Sunday on "Meet the Press." According to Robert Novak:
In his first question on abortion Sunday, Russert asked Thompson whether he could run for president on the 2004 Republican platform plank endorsing a "human life" constitutional amendment banning all abortions. "No," Thompson replied, suddenly monosyllabic. "You would not?" "No," said Thompson, adding "that's been my position the entire time I've been in politics." Every Republican platform since 1980 has endorsed such an amendment, and every Republican candidate since then has been able to run on it ...
[He also] reiterate[d] positions that have disturbed social conservatives previously: opposition to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and opposition to congressional intervention to save the life of Terri Schiavo.
That, coupled with the fact that he always looks tired, lazy, grumpy and bored, means support for him is rapidly drying up.
On Wednesday in the waiting room at my therapist's office, I eavesdropped on a conversation between a man and a woman. Both in their 40s, they appeared to be casual acquaintances and seemed to be flirting with each other. She asked him who he was going to vote for at the caucus. He said he's not going to vote. When she asked who he would vote for if he did vote, he asked who she would vote for. She said, "Hillary."
At that, he launched into a bitter rant. He said he didn't know how she could control the country when she couldn't control her own family. How can she stand up to other countries when she couldn't stand up to her own husband when he cheated on her?
He went on and on about it. So the woman asked what he thought of Obama. He said Obama seems like a shyster and anyway, he can't win because he's black and this country will never elect a black man.
Obama comes across as a bit of a shyster to me too - he's too slick, too polished, too clever sometimes. I think he's sincere about most of what he says but the message gets lost behind the image.
Most of my friends and family say they think Hillary is the most qualified, they like her the best, and they believe her policies best fit what they're looking for in a candidate. But a lot of them say they won't vote for her because they think she can't win.
The subtext is exactly what the guy at the mental health center was saying - she's damaged goods because her husband cheated on her. Monica Lewinsky isn't the only one who ended up with Bill's stain on her dress.
The funny thing is, the same people who tell me they wouldn't vote for Hillary say they would vote for Bill if he could run again.
The more people find out about Thompson, the less they like him. But the more people find out about Hillary, the more they like her. Several people told me they kind of liked her but once they saw her in person, she won their whole-hearted support. I also keep hearing that she's prettier in person.