While Fred Thompson is not leading the polls, Thompson does have a majority of endorsements from prominent conservative bloggers. Here are some of the higher profile conservatives on the Internet who have come out and endorsed or support Thompson (H/T to Josh Painter):
Polipundit, IMAO, Pejman Yousefzadeh on Red State, SayAnything blog, Rick Moran of rightwingnuthouse and the American Thinker, Rightontheright, Bob Krumm, Eugene Volokh, Beldarblog, FloppingAces, The DailyPundit (Bill Quick), David Hinz (The Hinzsight Report), Alo Konsen (Brainshavings.com), Gamecock (Race42008.com and The Hinzsight Report), John Hawkins (Rightwingnews), Jonathan Adler (NRO and the Volokh Conspiracy), TraderRob (Opinipundit), Haystack (hick politics, Redstate), Erik Erickson (Redstate), Professor Steven Brainbridge, Conservativesuperiority.com
There are many more, but not enough space or time to mention them all. Blogger endorsements obviously don’t have a large impact on the actual voting process, but what is important is that all of these pundits follow the race and the candidates closely, and make up their minds not only on soundbytes, but on substance and record. Some of these bloggers have been on board since the beginning, while others have only endorsed Thompson recently.
Well, it is time to officially add my name to the list. Of course, our readers here are well aware of who I support and I even work with the campaign, but I realized I have never really officially said “I endorse (insert candidate’s name) for president).” I’m not in the same league as some of these prominent bloggers, but this site has its share of readers and we hold our own against many on the web.
So, now it is time to officially announce that I, Tommy Oliver, contributor to Race42008.com and a member of the Federalist Society, will throw my endorsement and support behind………….
No surprise………. Fred Dalton Thompson for President of the United States.
How did I come to this decision? Well, since I actually have supported Thompson from the beginning of the draft campaign in March, it wasn’t a very hard decision. My endorsement is based on this criteria (in no particular order): philosophy, trust, policy, and the ability to appeal across the board to conservatives. However: before today, I thought that since everyone who reads my posts on the internet would obviously have a pretty good idea of which candidate I supported and I didn’t see any point in saying anything official, but today Rick Moran said that the bloggers who have a good size audience need to stand up and make your pitch explaining why they support Thompson, if they haven’t done so already. Time is running short, and this post is not only for our regular commenters here, but for those who just read this site for updates and those who might just be passing through.
Let me explain why Thompson is the candidate that measures up the best to my standards:
My personal philosophy is deeply rooted in federalism. I am a member of the Federalist Society, and that principle is what guides me politically. Fred Thompson is supported by a majority of the founders of the Federalist Society, and for good reason. He is the most conservative viable candidate for the nomination, and there is little dispute of that. He has been a voice for federalist principles long before he decided to run for President this year. His views on the role of government have been consistent since the early 1960’s. Although his book, 1975’s At That Point in Time, was not necessarily about political ideology, one could have an understanding of his beliefs after reading it. From the time he was elected to the Senate in 1994 until he left in 2002, he was always guided by his principles. He was the author of the Federalism Accountability Act, which he introduced in 1999. He was the first to introduce a bill for defining term limits for members of the House and the Senate in 1994. In 2000, Thompson was the recipient of the “Restoring the Balance” Award from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is awarded to national policymakers committed to federalism and its impact on issues involving state legislators. The following is from the press release announcing the award:
Thompson’s dedication to the principles of federalism and sound government policy has resulted in the Committee’s advancement of the Federalism Accountability Act, and Senate passage of the Regulatory Right to Know Act, the Federal Financial Information Assistance Management Improvement Act, the Truth in Regulating Act, and revision of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
In 2000, Thompson authored a report that was aimed at specifically reducing the size of government and wasteful spending in DC.
On his website, Thompson wrote at length about the need for federalism in today’s atmosphere:
When you hold firm to the principles of federalism, there’s another advantage: our federal government can better carry out its own defining responsibilities – above all else, the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens. Sometimes I think that our leaders in Washington try to do so many things, in so many areas, that they lose sight of their basic responsibilities.
We saw some improvement in the post-1994, “Contract with America” takeover of Congress – strings to federal programs were cut, more federal programs were being turned over to states, historic legislation to reduce unfunded mandates became law, and we rolled back the Clinton anti-federalism executive order. But in recent years we’ve seen backsliding.
It is not enough to say that we are “for” federalism, because in today’s world it is not always clear what that means. What we are “for” is liberty for our citizens. Federalism divides power between the states and government in Washington. It is a tool to promote freedom. How we draw the line between federal and state roles in this century, and how we stay true to the principles of federalism for the purpose of protecting economic and individual freedom are questions we must answer. Our challenge – meaning the federal government, the states, our communities and constituents – is to answer these questions together.
Out of the viable candidates for the Republican nomination, this is one area where Thompson is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field, with the exception of Ron Paul. No other candidate has outlined a clear set of principles that would guide their presidency, and among some of them, those principles that guide them are not exactly clear. After Thompson, Rudy Giuliani probably has spoken about the need for federalism the most and spoke at the Federalist Society Lawyers Convention, but he was not a known believer in federalist principle during his time in office, and didn’t claim to be at the time. John McCain’s beliefs are rooted in federalism and when he has voted on the issue in the past, more often then not, he came down on the right side of the argument. McCain has a record that, more often than not, strengthens his case. At the same time, McCain is famous for his maverick tendencies, which makes it harder to pin him down to a consistent set of beliefs. Mitt Romney has spoken about federalism during his run for the nomination, but Romney is also a pragmatist and a manager. While there are obvious advantages to that type of experience, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to identifying a philosophy that guides a politician. Romney is a candidate who would likely govern conservatively, but what his definition of conservatism is cannot be readily identified. Mike Huckabee’s candidacy is not based upon the need for federalism, and though that is not a negative in some areas, it is at odds with my values. Ron Paul is a strong, principled candidate, but there are too many areas of concern for him to be my pick.
This is another area where I feel Thompson is the best representative of the Republican nominees. Thompson has become known for his refusal to pander or fudge on his facts. If one checks factcheck.org after every debate, Thompson is the one candidate whose facts check out each time. He is not afraid to tell the truth about what is going wrong and what he believes is the best remedy to fix the problem. His policy proposals are strong and firm. Even those who do not support Thompson for the nomination don’t question his substance. With Thompson, what you see is what you get, and his word is firm. He doesn’t weasel his way around an issue, for he has shown that he will tackle the toughest problems head on. No other GOP candidate has touched an issue as politically dangerous as social security besides Thompson, and he has done it repeatedly throughout the campaign. According to NumbersUSA, Thompson introduced the toughest immigration proposals, and although he didn’t recieve Tom Tancredo’s endorsement, the majority of Tancredo’s staff has gone with Thompson, as has Steve King, the immigration hawk from Iowa.
Once again, when it comes to conservative policy proposals, Thompson comes out on top. Thompson has been the leading voice for reducing the size of government (with the exception of Ron Paul). For a more detailed outline on Thompson’s policies, check out his proposals on his website here, and read this article from NRO:
Fred Thompson may have started his presidential campaign late, but he is the first candidate in either party to come out with solid plans to reform Social Security and immigration. And while most candidates have called for increasing the size of the military, Thompson laid out a detailed plan to achieve that end in a Tuesday speech at the Citadel Military College. On these issues, Thompson has set a standard for specificity, conservatism, and soundness that we would like to see the other Republican candidates measure up to.
It’s obvious why conservatives see something to like in Thompson. He has offered clear, conservative ideas on fixing Social Security, policing immigration, and expanding the military. We encourage the other candidates to follow his lead.
Thompson has the advantage over his rivals is that he is the one candidate that can unite the base. Every other candidate either has issues with certain segments of the base, or has questions that remain unanswered. Rudy Giuliani would have real problems uniting the social conservatives. John McCain has angered many on the right, making it more difficult for him to enjoy universal support inside the party. Mitt Romney has been saying the right things, but the questions about his movement towards the right remain. Mike Huckabee has a very strong base of support among social conservatives and the Religious Right, but has real problems outside of his core support. Ron Paul? I like the guy, but he can’t realistically unite the GOP around his candidacy. In the end, all of the candidates have their strengths, and each one is strong in their own right, but only Fred Thompson has the ability to unite the conservative movement completely behind his candidacy.
This is an area where the republicans have more than one solid choice. Out of the top tier candidates, two have extensive experience in dealing with foreign policy, and one could make a legitimate claim that Rudy Giuliani would make three. Most who follow the race closely would agree that John McCain is probably the most experienced candidate in this particular area, but the gap between him and Thompson is not that large. One would only have to look at Thompson’s resume to realize this:
Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board of the Department of State currently; a high-level panel charged with evaluating long-term threats to U. S. security Served on the US-China Economic Review Commission AEG Scholar specializing in Diplomatic Relations and Foreign Intelligence Special Counsel to both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations under President Reagan Member of the powerful Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, international trade Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Member of the National Security Working Group, which observes and monitors executive branch negotiations with foreign governments Member of the American Enterprise Institute for Policy Research, studies national security and intelligence, with a focus on China, North Korea, and Russia Member of the U. S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee U.S. Senate Finance subcommittee- Member, International Trade
In 2008, the United States needs a President who has experience dealing with affairs on an international level, and Fred Thompson’s resume is quite impressive.
Once again, more than one candidate has experience dealing with national security. John McCain and Fred Thompson both have the experience of being legislators during 9/11 and the build up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rudy Giuliani served on the Baker Committee and was the Mayor of New York during 9/11, performing admirably. Mitt Romney has experience dealing with security from his time running the Salt Lake City Olympics and serving on the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
Since McCain’s credentials match any of the other candidates, I am taking it for granted that everyone feels that he is strong in this area. Fred Thompson’s resume is impressive in its own right. Note that some of these overlap with his foreign policy resume:
Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board of the Department of State currently; a high-level panel charged with evaluating long-term threats to U. S. security Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Member of the National Security Working Group, which observes and monitors executive branch negotiations with foreign governments Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee 1997-2001 (which covered Homeland Security) Chairman of the Youth Violence Committee in the Senate Member, Technology, Terrorism and Gov’t. Information Committee in the Senate Special counsel, Senate Committee on Intelligence, 1982
Important Proposals, bills and Inclusions Introduced while in the Senate:
Nuclear Proliferation Act Aviation Security Bill Amendment Homeland Security Workforce Act Homeland Security Education Act Thompson Amendment to the National Homeland Security and Combating Terrorism Act The Federal Emergency Procurement Flexibility Act The Government Information Security Reform Act (GISRA) The Thompson Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act The Truth in Regulation Act The Thompson Amendment Requiring Stricter Performance Standards for Aviation Security The China Regulation Act co authored the Homeland Security Act
Thompson served as Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee from 1997-2001, and then as the Ranking Minority Member from 2001-2003, when it was renamed the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. The committee has always been responsible for national security measures in the federal government, and had an even greater role during Thompson’s tenure, before the creation of the Homeland Security Department.
Here are some words from people I respect on Fred Thompson:
“Fred Thompson has, over his career, much better defined federalism than almost anybody else in Washington. He is one of very few people voting against feel-good popular legislation that was not the proper domain of the federal government.”
-Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth
“the genuine moderate as opposed to conservative aspects of three of the top-tier, four of the top-tier candidates were on full-fledged display last night. There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson.”
– Rush Limbaugh
“he shows great political courage in taking on half of the single most important long-term economic issue facing this country (the other half being the long-term Medicare mess). On this proposal, conservatives ought to be rallying to Thompson’s defense, not greeting him with silence.”
”Good for Fred. Good for his excellent, broad based, tax-cut plan — including a flat-tax option and a corporate tax cut… Good for Fred for mentioning National Review and Investor’s Business Daily for speaking positively about his candidacy… Good for Fred for showing fire, energy, and animation throughout the interview. It’s the same fire in the belly that I witnessed in our CNBC interview earlier this month.
I vastly prefer positive policy visions to down-in-the-mud trashing. (I know, I know, criticizing each other on the issues is a key part of politics.) But my great hope is that the Republican contenders will emphasize their key policy visions as the race heats up.”
”That’s why I’m pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that “centralized government is not the solution to all our problems…this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007. Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues. Federalism “is a tool to promote freedom” as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let’s hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size.”
– Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policies at the CATO Institute
“Fred Thompson says that he will base his campaign on the ‘first principles’ of ‘individual freedom and limited government.’ If he follows through, he will have an opportunity to position himself as the only small-government conservative in the race. … Does Fred Thompson, then, offer an alternative for small-government conservatives? While he is not quite the second coming of Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, a look at his record shows that he has generally supported limited government. … Of course, spending the last several years in Hollywood has enabled Thompson to avoid taking positions on many current issues. Now that he is in the race, he’ll have to be much more specific about his positions. But, given the fact that McCain, Romney, and Giuliani are clearly big-government conservatives, Thompson has an opportunity to seize the small-government mantle.”
– Michael D. Tanner, Director of Studies at the CATO Institute
One reason President Bush has lost the trust of the American people is his secrecy and the extension of the executive arm. Out of all the Republican candidates, only Thompson has clearly made the case of a more open White House. Thompson is a candidate who holds a cautious view of executive secrecy. Matthew Nather, of Congressional Quarterly, thinks this has everything to do with his professional experience.
According to Nather in the 12/20/07 issue of CQ:
”As the counsel in the 1970s to the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee and as the Chairman in the 1990s of what is now the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Thompson has much more experience than any other candidate in leading congressional investigations of presidents. He has spent much of his career, in fact, thinking like a prosecutor and standing up for Congressional oversight responsibilities.”
Nather also reminded readers that it doesn’t mean that Thompson would necessarily give away presidential power:
As one of the main authors of the 2002 legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security, Thompson defended Bush’s insistence on having maximum flexibility on hiring and salary decisions for the departments employees. He claimed that a Democratic alternative would “actually diminish the president’s national security authority that other presidents have had.”
In his 1975 memoir, Thompson wrote that “He (Nixon) undoubtedly felt that the institution of the presidency, and he as the holder of that office, were so powerful that no force on Earth was strong enough to make him relinquish the tapes. In this, the master politician misjudged Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American people.”
From his past experiences, from serving on the Watergate Committee to his investigations in the Senate, out of all the Republican nominees, Thompson is the one who seems to have an understanding of the responsibility of the President to the Constitution and the American people.
I endorse Senator Fred Thompson for President.
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