Come on, Fred — put your ol’ friend John over the top

So is it OK now to talk about how it would be the most logical, natural thing in the world for Fred Thompson to just go ahead and endorse John McCain, overtly and openly?

When I suggested he do so a couple of weeks ago, his supporters — apparently still believing that he was actually trying to get elected president — came from across the country and danced on my head, virtually speaking.

Then, when I pointed out that my fellow Memphis State grad was sorta already supporting McCain, by beating up pore ol’ Mike Huckabee in the MB debate, I got a friendlier reception. Note that, sometime afterward, George Will is making note of what I pointed to back when:

    Thompson, having left the race, could continue to support John McCain. In New Hampshire, Thompson attacked McCain’s principal problem there, Mitt Romney. In South Carolina, Thompson’s attack on Huckabee as a “liberal” might have provided McCain’s margin of victory.

Maybe it helped McCain more to continue to be a putative candidate and pound Huck in the debate. But now that, as Mr. Will notes, Mr. Huckabee’s moment is quite likely over, Fred could do John a lot more good by coming out and endorsing him in such a way that folks actually understand what’s going on. That’s on account of the wicked way that Florida runs its primary, which is that they don’t let folks like me vote. There, you have to swear party loyalty, so McCain can’t count on the very independent and crossover support that (in case Republican party types still haven’t figured it out) is the very reason why he is the GOP candidate most likely to actually win the whole thing in November.

Since Fred was portraying himself as the real conservative (as opposed to all those other real conservatives out there, who tend to be much shorter), and he had a modest-sized chunk of folks believing he actually was the (taller) embodiment of Ronald Reagan, his support could help McCain repeat his SC success in Florida.

All this assumes that Fred actually does want to have an impact on election outcomes — a positive impact, that is.

5 thoughts on “Come on, Fred — put your ol’ friend John over the top

  1. Aaron

    If I may be so bold, let me answer for Fred Thompson on this.
    Sen. McCain of 2000 and 2008 are very, very different politicians. Going from maverick to a conservative anathema, and shorting his party along the way, Sen. McCain has not got many friends, except for his stand on security and defense.
    I do not see Fred Thompson who ran as the “clear consistent conservative” and having declared that he (was) the only true conservative in the race deciding to “flip” for McCain. It would run counter to his own integrity.

  2. David

    Hey Aaron,
    I agree with you – NO to Fred Thompson endorsing McCain.
    But all you have to do to understand why the State’s editorial board would love for that to happen, is to look at their glowing endorsement of Barack Obama.This is a liberal paper and they want McCain to win the Republican nomination because they know he couldn’t win against either Obama or Clinton!

  3. Harry

    I felt certain that Thompson would drop out following South Carolina. I believe he stayed in only as a foil for McCain against Huckabee. He was endorsed by two national anti-abortion groups, and took votes mainly from Huckabee and Romney. Without him in the race, Huckabee clearly wins SC. Apparently Thompson diaapproves of Huckabee’s candidacy as evidenced by his debate comments and the little campaigning he did.

  4. michael litzau

    Fred Thompson KNEW he had no chance in South Carolina. He stayed in the race just to “tag team” Huckabee for McCain. He campaigned almost exclusively in “Huckabee” counties and spent an inordinate amount of his time knocking Huckabee. Thompson played the same role in the preceding debate. Thompson and McCain are VERY good friends. It’s a shame how they used this rather underhanded strategy to win South Carolina.


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