Instapundit linked to this Weekly Standard piece on the Thompson campaign that reads like something I wanted very much to write before he dropped out.
In his recent memoir, Alan Greenspan says he's been pushing a constitutional amendment of his own devising. It reads: "Anyone willing to do what is required to become president of the United States is thereby barred from taking that office."I'm a fan of that one myself, only I think it ought to apply to any federal-level elective office, and all state governorships.
(Thompson) was asked about it at a town hall meeting in Burlington, Iowa, in late December.Those are good quotes, but the one that sealed the deal for me was his response to a question from a small-town newspaper reporter in Iowa:
"Nowadays, it's all about fire in the belly," he said, with a touch of sarcasm. "I'm not sure in the world we live in today it's a terribly good thing that a president has too much fire in his belly."
"I'm not consumed by this process. I'm not consumed with the notion of being president. I'm simply saying I'm willing to do what's necessary to achieve it, if I'm in synch with the people and if the people want me or somebody like me. . . . I'm only consumed by very, very few things and politics is not one of them."
What will you do for the farmers of Bremer County?That's the opposite of pandering, and it's a damned brave thing to say on a campaign trail.
I would continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I've been looking all over Iowa for a bad steak and I can't find it. Been trying my best. It's not a matter of what I would do for the farmers. Farmers are not looking for a president to hand them something. Farmers want fair treatment and a chance to prosper in a free economy and that's what I would help ensure. There’s a lot of programs we've got out there, some of which are good programs, some of which are not. And I think that we need to work our way through that and make sure we're doing what's good for the country, not just the farmers, not just the people of Iowa, not just the people of Tennessee. But good for the country. A sound policy that makes sense. I think there's a lot more that we could do for the working farmer in terms of ecological programs and environmental programs - land conservation, soil conservation - that would be fair and it would be beneficial to the nation and to Iowa and to our country. We're going to have to phase out the corporate welfare system we've got, however. There are extremely rich people living in skyscrapers in Manhattan that are receiving subsidy payments. I think that's wrong. I'd put a stop to that if it was within my power. That still continues in this latest Farm Bill and it's not right. There ought to be a cutoff at some level and it's not right to have millionaires receiving farm subsidies.
Because it's truth - something politicians usually have very little experience with.
Asked about education reform, he said: "It would be easy enough for someone running for president to say: I have a several-point plan to fix our education problem. It's not going to happen. And it shouldn't happen from the Oval Office."How often do you find honesty in a presidential campaign?
I recommend you read the whole piece. The only nit I have to pick is the repeating of the negative "silly hat" story that wasn't, but the gist of the whole piece is that Fred Thompson was the best man for the job because he's the only one qualified who ran and didn't really want it.