Is Fred Thompson smarter than Conventional Wisdom?
Posted by Mike O on December 12, 2007
As a supporter of his, I’m hoping so. The following is what I believe he is doing, though I have no specific connection with his campaign that I would know this as fact.
He seems to be gambling his entire campaign on a long shot strategy; that electioneering weariness will have set in so badly, and that his GOP rivals will have so called each other’s qualifications and positions into question to a point that he can- in 16 hard days of campaigning- deliver a clear and unfettered message directly to the voters of Iowa. I believe he is counting on not so much on the votes in the first round of the caucuses, but on the following rounds, accumulating enough of the less than 15% groups (who will be ticked off at other campaigns who have been out there for years) to make the difference.
The goal is to get his policy messages out and be the last hand that shakes the voters, while telling them the number of handshakes does not determine the strength of the policy or the match to their beliefs. Other campaigns will have little time to counter what he does, their own plans set. This then ends up to be a low cost campaign for Thompson.
If he finishes second or a strong third, it’ll pay off and he’ll look like he knew what he was doing. If he finishes a weak fourth or fifth, his campaign will suffer a serious, probably fatal blow. I would have more faith in this strategy, if Iowa had not moved up their primary to the 3rd from the 14th; that would have gotten Christmas out of the mix. Still, we’ll see how it goes; if it doesn’t work out, it at least one less overly long and expensive campaign we had to listen to.
Who will I back if it doesn’t work out and Fred has withdrawn the field of battle by the time of our primary? Probably Romney, though I doubt he’d have any chance in the general. But if Huckabee (or, by some obscene fluke, Paul) were to come out on top, I’ll be sitting out the General. I cannot bring myself to support anyone whose understanding of the world political stage hasn’t progressed above the elementary school level.
Update: Fred showing leadership in the farce of a debate; note all the others followed his lead. It looks like Fred! came out on top, although Mitt did well. Maybe it’s the launch of what I was suggesting above and he has spent most of this week to get ready for it.