Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles.”     Thomas Alva Edison

January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson Withdraws From Race

by Adam Selene

Fred Thompson, in a statement released by the candidate, withdrew his candidacy for President:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

Although not unforeseen, it is unfortunate. Thompson was one of the few candidates that was somewhere between neutral and moderately friendly towards more liberty when looking at the current set of issues. While I would not have endorsed him, or any other candidate, for President in this particular group of candidates, I would have liked to see him stay in to push the discussion more his direction and less to the Huckabee and Giuliani side of the house.


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8 Comments

  1. Hopefully Huckabee follows; the glaze in that guy’s eyes scares the non-existent Bejesus out of me, not that Old Man River & Mormey are any better choices.

    Thankfully, Benito is having a grand time on the Hindenburg. I wonder if he’ll see Fred on the ground sometime soon.

    Comment by Nitroadict — January 22, 2008 @ 12:57 pm
  2. Makes me feel kinda sick – he was the only candidate I felt I could vote for without holding my nose – now we’ve really got poor choices left. I do think he made the others “change” their stances on some issues, unfortunately I don’t trust that the changes will “stick”. Huckabee would be almost worse than Hillary in my view – so I’m not sure where that leaves me leaning at this point.

    Comment by Kay — January 22, 2008 @ 1:16 pm
  3. That Fred Thompson’s candidacy did not prosper is a great disappointment to me and, I assume, other true conservatives. Compared to the others in the GOP field, he was the real conservative. The others seem to be Johnny-come-latelies, at least as to some important conservative positions.

    The country and the party may well have benefited from Thompson’s effort in that other candidates have moved in a conservative direction, perhaps in part to capture votes that otherwise would have gone to him.

    I appreciate Thompson’s staying with it this long, and not bowing out without giving his candidacy a full chance. I also appreciate his leaving now, while the semi-conservatives still have a chance.

    Thompson’s pro-life position reflects American principles in their most traditional and compassionate senses. The principles he espouses–Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, Free Markets, Limited Government, Federalism, Protecting our Country, Traditional American Values, the Rule of Law, Conserving Our Nation’s Resources (as defined at fred08.com) are the principles that made this country good and great. They are still necessary to the maintenance of our country’s goodness and greatness. We deemphasize or neglect them at our peril.

    One thing I really like about Thompson is that he, unlike most if not all of the other presidential candidates, understands the centrality of the principle of the rule of law to the American system of free government. As he said in a book published eight years ago (“The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton”), “The importance of the rule of law cannot be overstated. In our country the rule of law is the foundation for every institution. In many countries the chief drawback to the formation of a prosperous and civil society is the absence of the rule of law.”

    Thompson’s “Border Security and Immigration Reform Plan” (on his campaign web site), with its equal treatment of all immigrants and no-amnesty policies, reflects a true belief in the rule of law, and is an excellent program for reducing immigration lawlessness and restoring the rule of law in our country.

    Thompson seems more concerned with real, workable policies, even if painful, than the meaningless slogans that are propelling some of the other candidacies. If the voters had put in the thinking time that their country deserves, I suspect that Thompson would have done much better.

    The conventional wisdom seems to make “fire in the belly”–driving ambition–a requirement. Thompson seemed to be running on the basis of his patriotism rather than ambition. At times in our history we have had some pretty good presidents whose ambition and personal desire for glory ranked well below their love of country. I hope the pundits will let us go back to the attitude of those times. Politics is, of course, necessary for both becoming and being president. But maybe someone who is not the best politician would make the best president.

    Comment by Steve of MV — January 22, 2008 @ 3:39 pm
  4. hompson seems more concerned with real, workable policies, even if painful, than the meaningless slogans that are propelling some of the other candidacies. If the voters had put in the thinking time that their country deserves, I suspect that Thompson would have done much better.

    The conventional wisdom seems to make “fire in the belly”–driving ambition–a requirement. Thompson seemed to be running on the basis of his patriotism rather than ambition.

    Couldn’t agree more. Senator Thompson’s philosophy is that political office is a duty to be taken seriously, in support of the citizens. Not the government.

    Comment by Harry Rossman — January 22, 2008 @ 6:20 pm
  5. I would have had to hold my nose a little bit with Thompson, but he would have been a tolerable candidate, and certainly more so than most of the rest on both sides.

    As for Huckabee going next, I’m not so sure that’s a good thing….his supporters are more likely to switch to Romney than anyone else. If you’re like me and find McCain more tolerable than Romney or Giuliani, you want to keep Huckabee in the race to continue wounding Romney.

    Comment by Mark — January 22, 2008 @ 9:13 pm
  6. I would much rather see Romney go down first than Huckabee, for much the same reason. Huckabee can’t win the GOP nomination, but he can spoil for someone and I want that someone to be Romney.

    Comment by Adam Selene — January 22, 2008 @ 9:26 pm
  7. Thompson was my second choice behind Ron Paul. Both candidates are for states rights and more personal liberty. Besides their disagreemenets on Iraq Paul and Thompson are nearly identical on the other issues.

    Comment by Chris Brewer — January 23, 2008 @ 6:57 am
  8. Besides their disagreemenets on Iraq Paul and Thompson are nearly identical on the other issues.

    Not quite. Thompson is certainly better than the rest, but nowhere in his platform does he talk about actually reducing the size and scope of government. He’s just more credible when he talks about holding the line.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — January 23, 2008 @ 11:20 am

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