Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 23, 2007 / 4 Nissan, 5767

Why Fred Thompson should run

By Mona Charen


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The current Republican field is like a smorgasbord at Denny's — lots of OK choices, but nothing to get the heart racing. That's why the potential candidacy of former Sen. Fred Thompson is creating a palpable stir.


Rudy Giuliani — now riding the crest of a popularity wave — is appealing for many reasons. He is the only candidate who can really be said to have accomplished a political miracle. When he took over as mayor of New York City, the murder rate was sky-high, confiscatory taxes were driving businesses from the city, and many considered the place unlivable. Few, including conservatives who hoped for Giuliani's election, believed that New York could actually be improved.


There were such inherent weaknesses in New York's polity — a high illegitimacy rate, the erosion of the educational system, intergenerational welfare dependence — that political solutions seemed out of reach. But by the time Giuliani left office, the crime rate was reduced to levels not seen since the 1960s, the welfare rate was cut in half, the subway cars were free of graffiti, and business was booming. Almost as important, Giuliani demonstrated as mayor a trait that would be delicious in a president — he didn't give a fig for the good opinion of The New York Times. And everyone agrees that he is solid on the war on terror.


But (you knew this was coming), he really is quite liberal on cultural questions that matter deeply to conservatives — life, gun control, and gay rights. Even if conservatives could live with such heterodoxy, say, by accepting the reassurance that Giuliani would appoint conservative judges, there is still the matter of his psychedelic personal life. To be divorced once is now, sadly, common. To be divorced twice and alienated from one's children may be over the line.


John McCain is a solid opponent of Washington spending, a patriot who suffered for his country and his principles (he declined early release from North Vietnam), and a tough, perspicacious leader. But he championed a baldly unconstitutional abridgement of free speech, he showboated on the torture question, and he is getting to be a little old for the job. He has never had a solid connection with conservatives — particularly with religious conservatives — and the excitement he generated in 2000 has drained away (as it always does).


Mitt Romney is a fine man with obvious talents. But his recent conversions to conservative positions on abortion and gun control have more than a whiff of opportunism about them. Dig a little deeper and discover, as Ruth Marcus reported in The Washington Post, that he voted for Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential primary. Uh-oh. If he trims now to please conservative primary voters, how will he morph next?


The other candidates in the race are barely registering in the polls, and one of those waiting in the wings is carrying enough baggage to sink a cruise ship.


So. What about that likable fellow from Tennessee? Thompson is not "just an actor" (though they said that about Reagan, and he turned out OK). He began his professional life as an assistant U.S. attorney, worked as Sen. Howard Baker's campaign manager and did a stint as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee. It was he who asked the innocuous-sounding but momentous question of Alexander Butterfield: "Were you aware of the existence of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"


After leaving Washington, he continued to practice law and slipped into acting as easily as a wagon rolls downhill. They were making a film about his legal exploits and couldn't find anyone who could do Fred Thompson as well as he did himself.


His voting record is solidly conservative. He is articulate, self-made (his father was a car salesman), highly intelligent, and exudes calm authority. His star power offers him an opening with independent voters that other candidates can only dream of, while his solid conservative credentials will excite the Republican base.


He hasn't dreamed of becoming president since he was in diapers. But he has noticed that 57 percent of Republicans tell pollsters they are unsatisfied with the current field.


It may be that no one can play a Republican president better than Fred Thompson.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles