The Gore and Thompson Syndrome

by Ryan on June 16, 2007

in Election 2008,Politics

I was on my way back from Barnes and Noble’s today when I popped on Monica Crowley and her Saturday afternoon radio talkshow on 77 WABC here in Jersey.  Monica’s show is usually good at pointing things out, but not so great at in-depth analysis, yet today she brought up an excellent point worth parroting:  Libs don’t really love Algore and conservatives don’t really love Fred Thompson.

Her point was in regards to the draft Algore movement.  In her opinion, no one really loves Algore, they just see him as a well-known comfortable face in a field dominated by girlie-men and a manly-woman.  Monica goes on to say that the Dems didn’t even really like him in 2000, but rather liked his liberal potential.  She points out that conservatives seem to be going nuts over Fred Thompson on the same principle, just in the other direction.  He’s the most Reagan-esque in their minds… or does he just project that Reagan image in a field that’s really lacking a stand-out rallying point?  Could conservatives and Libs be being duped because we really really really want candidates to reflect our values, even if we have to overlook potentially big flaws and fallacies?  I don’t think we know enough about Fred, but I think that was her point.

This “Gore and Thompson Syndrome” (my quotes, not Monica’s) affects Libs and conservatives who want past greatness to be reflected in the current crop of candidates.  2008 is the first election since 1952 without an incumbant at the Presidential or Veep-level running so we both want it to count!  Algore is potentially more vulnerable that She Who Must Not Be Named because of his political speeches and writings since 2001, but the danger is in Fred Thompson seeming Reganesque and attracting conservatives when he could really be a weak strawman on the big issues and in the debates. 

I completely agree with Mike and Sal (remember him!) that holding any Republican to the standard of Ronald Reagan is not fair.  I remember in the 1996 Election that I was concerned that everyone wanted to be the next Ronald Reagan.  Cool, but I wanted someone to say “I want to be the first Bob Dole or the first Phil Graham or the first Lamar!, etc.”  But that didn’t happen.  Monica thinks, and I happen to agree, that the Republican candidates should try to be the modern Ronald Reagan:  reduce government, cut taxes and beat the commies can be morphed into reduce government, cut taxes, and beat the Islamofascists. 

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