August 8, 2007

Claiming Reagan's Mantle?

Fred Thompson took another step in readying his campaign for its long-awaited launch on September 5th. He appointed Bill Lacy, a former Reagan advisor, to be "committee manager" and take full operational control over the campaign. Lacy has the long-term connections to the GOP that Tom Collamore lacked, some good history with Fred, and he also has the connections to the Republican Party's secular saint that Thompson needs:

Bill Lacy, a former strategist for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and Republican National Committee, will run day-to-day operations of Thompson's committee to "test the waters" for a presidential run.

"He turned around my campaign for Senate in 1994 and, as I move toward a decision on whether to run for president, I am confident he will take our operations to the next level," Thompson, the former Tennessee senator and "Law & Order" actor, said in a statement.

"I'm here for the long haul," Lacy said in an interview from the committee's headquarters in a Virginia suburb. He said he has taken a leave of absence from his current post as the director of the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

Both articles refer to Collamore's demotion as some kind of setback, but Collamore was never going to be Fred's gametime campaign manager. He led the exploratory committee as a preliminary effort while Thompson looked for more seasoned and credible veterans to take charge. Had Fred appointed Collamore as a national campaign manager, the pundits would have eaten him alive for failing to tap more experienced leadership.

Lacy looks like a better fit, in more ways than one. First, Lacy knows Thompson, having run his Senatorial campaign in 1994. He helped Thompson win his one re-election battle in Tennessee, a very successful victory during the Republican revolution that captured Congress. His networking ability and record of success will undoubtedly bring other veterans into the Thompson campaign as well.

Better yet, Lacy provides Fred with a link to the Reagan administration. Rudy Giuliani has members of Reagan's team on his policy boards, but no one confuses Rudy and his social policies with Ronald Reagan. With Lacy in charge of his campaign, Fred can argue that his team will provide Republicans with the best chance to extend the Reagan legacy -- an argument that Republicans make, but often fail to offer convincingly.


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Comments (10)

Posted by james23 | August 8, 2007 12:28 PM

Now we're back to Fred! as Reagan, are we?

By the way, what happened to Spencer Abraham? Not two weeks ago Fred! appointed Abraham as Campaign Mgr.

Posted by athingortwo | August 8, 2007 12:31 PM

To quote the Cap'n:

"Better yet, Lacy provides Fred with a link to the Reagan administration. Rudy Giuliani has members of Reagan's team on his policy boards, but no one confuses Rudy and his social policies with Ronald Reagan. With Lacy in charge of his campaign, Fred can argue that his team will provide Republicans with the best chance to extend the Reagan legacy -- an argument that Republicans make, but often fail to offer convincingly."

Hey, Cap'n .... how about a real, tangible, and DIRECT link to the Reagan Administration, which Fred Thompson lacks? Say, the fact that President Reagan appointed Rudy Giuliani to the no. 3 slot in the Department of Justice, just two levels removed from the Attorney General Ed Meese.

Reagan was not known for appointing RINOs or Dems in disguise ... he would not have appointed Rudy to the no. 3 slot in Justice if he thought Rudy were going to muck things up in such a critical Federal agency.

The only social policy difference between Reagan and Giuliani is that Reagan opposed choice, and Giuliani supports a woman's choice to have an abortion. In every other important respect, the two men were and are virtually indistinguishable (pro-aggressive defense, pro-taxcutting, pro-bureaucracy-cutting, pro-law and order, anti-appeasement, anti-union, etc. etc). Both men, of course, had divorced previous wives, and both men had somewhat messy personal relationships with immediate family members.

As to the "mantle of Reagan", there is no such thing. Reagan never created a "mantle", or had it hung in the oval office, or had it displayed in a glass case in the Reagan Presidential Library, or in Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum, or whatever. It's a fantasy of the FredHeads that a "Reagan Mantle" exists and can be handed down, and that it now somehow belongs to Fred Thompson.

Whatever legacy Ronald Reagan created - and it was certainly great - it was of his time, in the 1980s, and is not of our time. We have a very different world today, with different challenges, different facts on the ground, different enemies, different allies, and very different voter expectations. Ronald Reagan very likely could not get elected President today - even if he were 25 years younger - running his campaign of 1980. He is obviously not alive today to annoint his third generation successor.

Fred Thompson has to stand on his own two feet, and be elected or rejected on who HE is, just as Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney or John McCain have to do ... Thompson cannot be elected on the basis of someone's fantasized reincarnation of Ronald Reagan.

Posted by FedUp | August 8, 2007 2:48 PM

Beware of those who want to be someone other than themselves. We've already gotten the Queen's alter ego in Nancy, the King in dirty Harry, the Empress in Hilarity... Why can't people be themselves.... oh wait.... because no one would like them?

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 8, 2007 4:49 PM

Conservatives are trying to remake Thomspon so that he better fits the make believe image they have of Reagan. After all, if they can remake Reagan, why not Thompson?

First of all, Thompson would be preferable to Clinton, but his voting record is not that of a hard core conservative. And secondly, most Conservatives have forgotten how they treated Reagan when he was actually around.

Reagan was not a hardliner, he did not like people who were.

As for whether or not being a woman from the Reagan administration carries any weight with the right, well Linda Chavez was part of the Reagan administration and last I heard the right could not even be civil with her.

It is sad that people like Thompson have to dance to the tune of people who will probably just end up stabbing him in the back anyway.

He should just be himself and choose people on their own merits.

Posted by mrlynn | August 8, 2007 6:18 PM

Just how is picking a guy who ran a previous campaign for you "Fred! as Reagan"?

FWIW, I suspect Fred Thompson will be the only Republican candidate with the avuncular star appeal to pull women from voting for Mrs. Bill Clinton.

I can hear it now: "Yes, I know it's 'time for a woman', but we really need a man like Fred."

In other words, Fred may be the most electable conservative we can find. And that ain't hay.

/Mr Lynn

PS Excellent post from Athingortwo.

Posted by John425 | August 8, 2007 6:19 PM

Jeez! You folks are looking for absolutes! An absolutely perfect Reagan? A perfect clone-Fred Thompson? Nobody is a perfect 100% of anything. Personally, I figure Thompson at 80% of my conservative ideals, Giuliani at 60% Mc Cain is now out of the running, etc.

So, if Thompson is as close as I'm gonna get then RUN, FRED, RUN!!!!!

Posted by jaeger51 | August 9, 2007 1:13 AM

Yep, the media has decided Duncan Hunter is not a "top tier" go Fred!

Posted by Rickbert | August 9, 2007 1:39 AM

I'd prefer if the candidates spent less time trying to claim the Reagan mantle and more time saying and doing things that a quarter century from now will have politicians trying to claim their mantle. Whose mantle did Reagan try and claim?

Posted by Rose | August 9, 2007 1:50 AM

Fred, Rudi, Mitt, all want us to think of them as the "Next Reagan"...all want to wear his mantle....

I got one thing for you to remember...
Wolves eat little lambs, whether they are dressed in sheeps' clothing or not.

Posted by Rose | August 9, 2007 8:02 AM

Anytime a person tries to take on the Mantle of a former Great for himself - NOT BEING APPOINTED SUCH by The People - he has just plainly demonstrated he ain't EVEN got what it takes to so much as stand in the Shadow of such greatness.

These RINOS are nothing but BARF stimulators.
We are so beyond fed up!

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