The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth

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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Sunday, September 02, 2007

FRED THOMPSON AND THE "ROPE - A - DOPE" - THE SUNDAY COMMENTARY

On Friday the campaign of former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson announced that Thompson was contacting donors, campaign workers and Republican Party officials informing all that he would be officially announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of The United States on September 6th and that he would also be filing his papers on that day.

This announcement comes after a summer filled with speculation concerning Thompson's candidacy and whether he would actually officially announce or not. In the mean time Thompson has busied himself with numerous appearances and while avoiding answering the question directly concerning an official announcement, has made it quite clear that he intended to run.

With the 2008 Presidential race technically beginning the day after last years mid term election in November this has become the election cycle that never ended since is literally moved from one into the other. The almost immediate announcements made by Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton within days of last years election which were preceded and followed by many of the other candidates, the public had been barraged with election politics, news and commercials that have become an everyday part of life.

Two candidates that were thought to be running and have either waited or still remain unannounced are of course Fred Thompson, who is now making it official and Newt Gingrich, who has neither denied or confirmed whether he is even contemplating a run or not. Thompson while not making it official went from considering it to seriously looking into it and then finally forming an exploratory committee while making statements like, " we are testing the waters and the waters are very warm."

Many political pundits believe because the 2008 cycle began so early that Thompson's announcement is coming to late for the former Senator to make a successful push for the nomination or raise enough money to mount a successful national campaign, while others are saving judgement in anticipation of the official beginning of the campaign and the reaction of the voting public. Still others state that his timing won't effect the success of his campaign and will actually help him since he has as an unannounced candidate remained either tied or in the lead in most polls.

Thompson's delay reminds me of the classic Muhammad Ali rope -a- dope strategy that he became famous for during his very successful career as a boxer and considered by most the greatest that ever entered the ring. I briefly mentioned this in last Thursday's post but will expound more on it today.

Ali in the early part of his career, (when he was known by his given name of Cassius Clay), was an aggressive boxer with a speed and agility that was seldom if not ever seen before in the ring. He was graceful, quick and powerful. Ali would simply wear out an opponent before he plastered them to the canvas and won the bout by decision or in most instances a knock out.

In the latter part of his career as Ali was getting a little age on him he developed a boxing strategy that was used only occasionally when a boxer was tired near the end of a match. It became known as the, "rope - a - dope." Ali would lean with his back against the ropes and his forearms held in front of him using his arms and his hands to protect his upper body and his face.

Ali would taunt his opponent with occasional jabs, quick flurries or a maddening pat on the top of the head, while letting the other boxer simply wear themselves out trying to get through his strong defenses all the while hitting mostly his arms and gloves while doing nothing to take Ali out. Ali would look for the opportune moment when his opponent was worn out and release the famous ,"Ali Shuffle, " where he would shuffle his feet followed by a massive barrage of punches which usually resulted in the demise of whomever Ali was boxing.

Fred Thompson has been practicing a form of political rope - a - dope throughout the summer. He would take a jab at a candidacy by hitting the talking heads circuit or making highly covered public appearances like the Sean Hannity Freedom Concerts. Then drop off the view screen for a short time, like Ali protecting his body with his forearms. Occasionally he would make a change in his campaign staff which again would be considered a jab since it would garner extensive coverage in the media, then drop of the map for a short while.

While this has been taking place the voting public has been growing weary of the everyday coverage of the 2008 Presidential run and also growing weary of the announced candidates saying basically the same thing as they said the day before. In fact the last three debates both GOP and Democrats have been ratings failures because no one except die hard political junkies have watched.

In the mean time Thompson has been touring the country talking and listening to the people and letting them know what he thinks and how he stands. Thompson has also been extensively on the Internet with numerous postings on well known conservative web sites like Townhall.com and keeping a library of videos running on You Tube.

This directly equates to Fred's standings in the polls and why he remains a strong force despite his being an unannounced candidate. Now that he is making it official his standing as a candidate will not decrease but increase since he will become more visible to the general public and the media will, especially in the weeks following his announcement, have almost daily reference to the Thompson campaign.

So the Thompson version of the Ali rope - a - dope is ending and the former Tennessee Senator is beginning his shuffle and coming out to go after his opponents whose campaigns have grown tired in the eyes of a weary voting public. Thompson's views will be fresh and new and his style of coming across as the down home, " fella, " from next door will play well with the general public.

His conservative message will fill a gap in the GOP that none of the top tier candidates like Romney and Giuliani have fulfilled. The GOP second tier, like Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo have been pushing the conservative agenda but their candidacies has been limited at best and their message has been lost because they do not receive the funds nor the coverage to compete with Giuliani or Romney. McCain is just plain finished except for his allowing the fork to be stuck in him.

Thompson has the conservative credentials and message like Huckabee, Hunter and Tancredo combined with the name recognition that they lack and an ability like Ronald Reagan to communicate with voters. Add to this that he will be a very strong candidate to run against the Democrat perceived nominee Hillary Clinton, ( he is already showing tied or ahead in most polls with the Hildabeast), and Thompson is a force to be dealt with.

Bottom line - after the official announcement look for Thompson to get a surge in the polls and if he follows through with his more unconventional Internet campaign and the large number of public appearances that he is planning with his bus tour of the country beginning with the early primary states, Thompson may very well, like Ali, end the rope - a - dope and deliver the knock out blow that would take him to the GOP nomination and very likely the Presidency.

Ken Taylor

15 Comments:

Blogger Gayle said...

I never would have thought of the "rope-a-dope" analogy, Ken, but it's a good one and I think you've hit the nail on the head. Thompson knows exactly what he's doing and why he's doing it. This man is definitely no fool! :)

10:23 AM, September 03, 2007  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Great post! The rope-a-dope theory sounds great and it just might work. I really hope so, because I really feel that this country needs Fred. A true Conservative that stands up for this country's ideals and values!

11:54 AM, September 03, 2007  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Great Post Ken,

I too think this strategy will work quite well for Fred.

It better anyway considering we may find out who the Contenders will be THIS YEAR possibly!

12:47 PM, September 03, 2007  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Gayle - no foll and smart enough to know what the American people need while believing it with himself. Conservative values and policy!

Jenn - not only will it work but it already is as the polls show! I also believe that as his message gets more coverage the country will respond accordingly and he will become the top contender for the GOP and then after the primaries for the White House.

Marie - We may not know completely by the end of the year because some die hards in the second tier will hold on along with McCain and split the vote until the primaries.

But for sure February 6th we will know!

5:48 PM, September 03, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

This is what we have been waiting for, and I am glad to see it. If he doesn't make a big splash, I am still seeing a late entry from Newt.

But Fred has my support and I will work for him to keep chaos from occuring!

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