Carol Platt Liebau: Enough about Fred

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Enough about Fred

The NY Sun's Ryan Sager seems to share my impatience with the coy presidential deliberations of the race's most reluctant debutante, Fred Thompson.

Whether Thompson can succeed in winning the nomination while bypassing the traditional gauntlet run by presidential aspirants is a different question than whether he should. As grueling and no doubt unpleasant as the process is, it allows voters to see the mettle of each candidate, and how their performance measures up to those of his putative rivals. It would be a tragedy for Fred Thompson to enter the race so late that Republicans really don't know if he can stand up to (1) the scrutiny and (2) the slings and arrows that accompany an official presidential bid.

It's clear why his approach has appeal -- for him. He is able to bypass a lot of the rigorous grunt work (like debate prep) that other candidates are enduring, even as he keeps alive Republican yearning for a great conservative hope that will shake up the race and send Hillary Clinton back to New York once and for all.

But even though he may be doing himself plenty of good through his wait-and-see strategy, it's not good for the party, and, perhaps, even for the country.

If he wants to run, great. Now's the time to get with it.


Blogger Marshall Art said...

Considering how far off the election, and how soon this campaign season began, his biggest advantage may be in avoiding the boredom many will have of those still in the race come fall. Also, down the road a piece, some of the slack will have fallen off and he will know just with whom he must contend. At the same time, he's still getting visibility. Not really a bad plan.

3:08 PM  

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