The Tortoise and the Hare, Updated Version
September 10, 2007
Even as he tried to create fanfare by announcing his candidacy on Jay Leno's late night show, Fred Thompson entered the presidential fray last week without much of it. And if his interview with radio talk show host Sean Hannity was any indication, then we are seeing the anti-Giuliani in action.
In no way, except perhaps intelligence and savvy, does Thompson resemble the mercurial ex-Mayor of New York City. Thompson, like the fabled tortoise, is slow but methodical, patient, and perfectly willing to let the battle come to him instead of picking fights. This may say a lot about his character; it remains to be seen how these qualities will serve him as a candidate.
By entering the race relatively late compared to the other "major" candidates, Thompson has put himself at an immediate disadvantage in the eyes of many pundits. Thus, they argue that he must run even harder than his opponents in order to "catch up," especially in the area of fund-raising. Thompson, of course, doesn't see it that way. Slow and steady is the way to the ultimate goal, in the apparent view of the former senator.
As he gears up his campaign, Thompson is conveying a positive, hopeful message about getting America back on a more traditional footing rooted in the key documents that launched this nation: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He seems content to let his opponents and the liberal media flail away at him, convinced that he can better weather that storm by remaining calm and not reacting to the vitriol directed his way. Republicans may be hungering for the red meat of having someone fire back at the shrill rhetoric of Hillary Clinton after seven years of a genteel president who takes monumental abuse with minimal if any response. If that's what they are looking for, they will not find it in Fred Thompson. He's convinced that he can win over the American people, one at a time if necessary, with his positive message for reviving and reuniting the country.
Like the race in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, the presidential race is a long one with many twists and turns. If Fred Thompson does not, like the tortoise, win in the end, it won't be because he ran too hard and burned himself out.