Is Rick Perry 2012’s Fred Thompson?

Image via Frum Forum

Rick Perry if officially running for President.  Some are suggesting that he’s this contest’s Fred Thompson.  Here’s something from the LA Times:

We all may remember (or, more likely, most of us don’t) Fred Thompson, the former senator from Tennessee who polled so well as a non-candidate that he belatedly jumped into the 2007-08 GOP primary race. Thompson’s campaign quickly stalled, thanks in no small part to a general perception of apathy on the candidate’s part.

Comes now Rick Perry, the Texas governor who had seemed genuinely uninterested in running for president before Republicans still unsold on any of their candidates’ electability went looking for their conservative savior. As with Perry, little of substance was known of Thompson, and neither underwent the kind of pre-campaign scrutiny devoted to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain. (And, as I’ve written before, the media limelight should help expose Perry’s indifference to a potentially profound injustice in Cameron Todd Willingham’s execution). Both Thompson and Perry boosted their poll numbers by flirting with their party’s base before making their plans clear; Perry now sits within error-margin distance of front-runner Mitt Romney.

Sure, the comparisons are largely superficial. Perry certainly seems not to share Thompson’s dispassion (see the photo above). Plus, Thompson lacked the line on his resume about governing a state known for weathering the Great Recession relatively well, while Perry brags about it unceasingly, even though the government he oversees competes with California’s dysfunction. Thompson, previously an actor, evoked comparisons to Reagan; Perry, the popular, conservative governor of Texas — well, you know.

First of all, I get really annoyed when liberals (like whoever wrote this, I don’t really care what the moron’s name is) complain about the death penalty.  I’m sure Conservatives could talk about liberals and their lack of compassion for the unborn, but abortion’s innocent victims lack names and faces.

Second, what is this guy talking about?  We don’t know much about Perry?  He’s a Governor, one who’s created half the new jobs in this country since the recession began!  And I love the line about “the kind of pre-campaign scrutiny devoted to Barack Obama.”  You mean when conservatives brought up Obama’s checkered past and lack of experience and liberals in the media called them racists?

Look, Perry is not Fred Thompson.  He’s the Governor of a state that’s doing well despite Obama’s war on prosperity.  Also, Perry’s fame is not based upon a poorly acted role on Law & Order:  It is based upon results.

As the author admits, the comparison is largely superficial.  Perhaps Perry lacks the dedication that it takes to run for President.  But something was missing from Thursday night’s debate.  Where was the Conservative Governor?

Sorry, but Governor Huntsman is a total joke.  He’s a combination of Mister Rogers and Pee Wee Herman.  Plus the over-caffeinated buffoons on Morning Joe like him, so he must be a total pushover.

Tim Pawlenty?  Look, I like T-Paw, but he’s got a big problem.  Nobody feels really passionate about his candidacy.  There’s just no intensity.  I could also call into question his past support for cap and trade or a health insurance mandate, but I think he did an admirable job as a Republican Governor of a blue state.  But that’s just not enough, especially when he’s polling so poorly in Iowa.  (UPDATE:  After finishing third in the Ames Straw Poll, Gov. Pawlenty dropped out of the race.)

And then there’s Mr. Frontrunner himself, Mitt Romney.  I like Governor Romney, even though he’s a flip-flopper who created the model for Obamacare.  He did well in the debate, and I could see him going toe to toe with Obama, but I still feel like he’s not a real conservative.  Someone from the right needs to challenge him, and Gov. Perry can be that guy.  That’s not to say that Perry will beat out Romney for the nomination in the end, but a little competition will only make Romney a stronger candidate should he be victorious.

There is a hole in the race that Perry can fill.  Chris Christie isn’t running.  Mitch Daniels isn’t running.  Tim Pawlenty and Jon Hunstman might as well quit running.  A strong conservative needs to challenge Mitt Romney, and that conservative better have a strong record and take good photographs. Michele Bachmann need not apply.  I mean really, how does she always look crazy?  What’s up with that?  Besides, a Congresswoman isn’t going to win the Presidency.

Anyway, Rick Perry isn’t Fred Thompson.  He’s not some actor who spent time in the Senate, he’s a Governor with a strong record.

About Josh Kaib

Josh Kaib, a junior at American University, is President of AU College Republicans.
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1 Response to Is Rick Perry 2012’s Fred Thompson?

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