Why Not Nominate the Next Reagan in 2012?

If Republicans could, surely they would nominate Ronald Reagan for president in 2012. As it appears increasingly likely that Republicans -- conservative Republicans -- will control Congress after the 2012 elections, the only missing element in the political equation is a strong, conservative president like Ronald Reagan. In the mix of possible candidates for 2012, there are some potentially promising people.

Sarah Palin, rightly beloved by nearly all conservatives for her honesty, her advocacy, and her spunk, will figure into any list of candidates. Mitt Romney, who decently withdrew from the race before he lost in 2008, ought to be on the short list as well. Mike Huckabee will be some conservatives' favorite as well. Tim Pawlenty has decided that America really needs him to be president, and other Republicans will too.

With deepest respect for Sarah, none of these candidates is another Reagan. Many people have decided that we simply will not find another Reagan for a long time. I think otherwise. During the 2008 nomination season, I wrote several articles proposing a Republican not yet in the race as the Next Reagan. The stars were not aligned right then for him, but all that may be different in 2012. What do we want in our Next Reagan? 

First, we want someone whose conservatism is beyond question -- someone who campaigned hard for Doug Hoffman, for example, even while the RNC was supporting the RINO. Second, we want someone of absolute integrity -- someone who is willing to stand all alone if he thinks he is right. Third, we want someone who does not "need" politics -- someone who was a great success in life before entering politics. Fourth, we want someone disassociated from the failures of Obama and also of Bush -- someone who grasped America's disgust with Washington long before the Beltway insiders. Fifth, we want a "grownup" -- someone who is in every sense of the word mature, sober, and serious. Sixth, we want a great communicator -- someone, like Reagan, who works well in every medium of communication. Seventh, we want someone who is universally perceived as a good man -- just like Reagan. One Republican in 2008 met all those criteria, and in 2012, he stands out at least as clearly as anyone as our Next Reagan: Fred Thompson.  

(1) When conservatives began to despair of any true conservative in 2008, gradually, many began deducing that Thompson was the only one who fit the bill. Across the board, in a very thoughtful way, Fred Thompson represents conservative values. When Doug Hoffman ran for Congress, Thompson went to upstate New York to help.

(2) No one questions Thompson's integrity. His career was founded on a willingness to fearlessly confront corruption in Tennessee. As a young Republican Senate staffer, Thompson boldly opposed the crimes of Nixon. And as pundits have noted, there are many Senate votes of 99 to 1 in which Fred was that single "no." 

(3) Thompson, a star of film and television and a retired senator, does not "need" political power. He is famous, rich, and popular without it. He has a beautiful, loving wife and delightful children. His only reason for seeking the presidency would be his love of America.

(4) Thompson gave up his Senate seat soon after Bush began as president. He has not held elective office since 2002. He left Washington in disgust for its machinations, Republican as well as Democrat.

(5) Thompson, like Reagan, is not young. He would be just about as old on inauguration day in 2013 as Reagan when he was sworn into office. Thompson, like Reagan, grew up poor in a small town and worked many jobs and lived in the real world. Thompson is learned in the best sense of the word: He knows exactly why be believes what he believes, but he is also an excellent listener. He is a grownup.

(6) Thompson is not only a star of film and television, but Paul Harvey chose Thompson to stand in on his radio show -- a great compliment to Thompson's voice. He has spent decades in all areas of communication and mastered them well.

(7) No one, including his ex-wife, has a bad word to say about Thompson. The left can criticize him only as being "too old, too conservative, and too dumb." This, recall, is precisely what they said about Reagan.

There is a remarkable similarity in the lives of these two men. Both rose from poverty to success in film and then in television. Both men ran for the White House and lost to RINO candidates who were whipped by newcomer Democrats. But there is more historical similarity.

Carter won in 1976 because of Ford fatigue and because he was a born-again Christian from the Deep South: Huge numbers of voters pulled the lever for Carter, once, because of regional pride or hope in a religiously serious man. Carter was young, smiling, pleasant, and new -- just like Obama. Millions of Americans voted for Obama as our first black president, as a nice family man, as someone who -- like Carter -- promised to transcend politics as usual.

Four years later, Americans raced to embrace an experienced, honorable, and wise leader, rejecting flashy smiles for real sincerity. Why? Carter took a bad economy and made it a basket case. Carter ignored the profound national security threats, trying to be nice to evil enemies, and warned us that our best years were behind us.

This is where America may be in 2012. We will need someone whose aim is not to bring manufactured "hope," but rather that real hope which is America. We will need a man who is his own and not anyone else's. We will need a serious, brave, kind, and decent man. The world's greatest leaders -- Reagan and Churchill are perfect examples -- have been older men. We will need in 2012 another Reagan, another Churchill. Fred Thompson fits that role perfectly, and we should get behind him now.
If Republicans could, surely they would nominate Ronald Reagan for president in 2012. As it appears increasingly likely that Republicans -- conservative Republicans -- will control Congress after the 2012 elections, the only missing element in the political equation is a strong, conservative president like Ronald Reagan. In the mix of possible candidates for 2012, there are some potentially promising people.

Sarah Palin, rightly beloved by nearly all conservatives for her honesty, her advocacy, and her spunk, will figure into any list of candidates. Mitt Romney, who decently withdrew from the race before he lost in 2008, ought to be on the short list as well. Mike Huckabee will be some conservatives' favorite as well. Tim Pawlenty has decided that America really needs him to be president, and other Republicans will too.

With deepest respect for Sarah, none of these candidates is another Reagan. Many people have decided that we simply will not find another Reagan for a long time. I think otherwise. During the 2008 nomination season, I wrote several articles proposing a Republican not yet in the race as the Next Reagan. The stars were not aligned right then for him, but all that may be different in 2012. What do we want in our Next Reagan? 

First, we want someone whose conservatism is beyond question -- someone who campaigned hard for Doug Hoffman, for example, even while the RNC was supporting the RINO. Second, we want someone of absolute integrity -- someone who is willing to stand all alone if he thinks he is right. Third, we want someone who does not "need" politics -- someone who was a great success in life before entering politics. Fourth, we want someone disassociated from the failures of Obama and also of Bush -- someone who grasped America's disgust with Washington long before the Beltway insiders. Fifth, we want a "grownup" -- someone who is in every sense of the word mature, sober, and serious. Sixth, we want a great communicator -- someone, like Reagan, who works well in every medium of communication. Seventh, we want someone who is universally perceived as a good man -- just like Reagan. One Republican in 2008 met all those criteria, and in 2012, he stands out at least as clearly as anyone as our Next Reagan: Fred Thompson.  

(1) When conservatives began to despair of any true conservative in 2008, gradually, many began deducing that Thompson was the only one who fit the bill. Across the board, in a very thoughtful way, Fred Thompson represents conservative values. When Doug Hoffman ran for Congress, Thompson went to upstate New York to help.

(2) No one questions Thompson's integrity. His career was founded on a willingness to fearlessly confront corruption in Tennessee. As a young Republican Senate staffer, Thompson boldly opposed the crimes of Nixon. And as pundits have noted, there are many Senate votes of 99 to 1 in which Fred was that single "no." 

(3) Thompson, a star of film and television and a retired senator, does not "need" political power. He is famous, rich, and popular without it. He has a beautiful, loving wife and delightful children. His only reason for seeking the presidency would be his love of America.

(4) Thompson gave up his Senate seat soon after Bush began as president. He has not held elective office since 2002. He left Washington in disgust for its machinations, Republican as well as Democrat.

(5) Thompson, like Reagan, is not young. He would be just about as old on inauguration day in 2013 as Reagan when he was sworn into office. Thompson, like Reagan, grew up poor in a small town and worked many jobs and lived in the real world. Thompson is learned in the best sense of the word: He knows exactly why be believes what he believes, but he is also an excellent listener. He is a grownup.

(6) Thompson is not only a star of film and television, but Paul Harvey chose Thompson to stand in on his radio show -- a great compliment to Thompson's voice. He has spent decades in all areas of communication and mastered them well.

(7) No one, including his ex-wife, has a bad word to say about Thompson. The left can criticize him only as being "too old, too conservative, and too dumb." This, recall, is precisely what they said about Reagan.

There is a remarkable similarity in the lives of these two men. Both rose from poverty to success in film and then in television. Both men ran for the White House and lost to RINO candidates who were whipped by newcomer Democrats. But there is more historical similarity.

Carter won in 1976 because of Ford fatigue and because he was a born-again Christian from the Deep South: Huge numbers of voters pulled the lever for Carter, once, because of regional pride or hope in a religiously serious man. Carter was young, smiling, pleasant, and new -- just like Obama. Millions of Americans voted for Obama as our first black president, as a nice family man, as someone who -- like Carter -- promised to transcend politics as usual.

Four years later, Americans raced to embrace an experienced, honorable, and wise leader, rejecting flashy smiles for real sincerity. Why? Carter took a bad economy and made it a basket case. Carter ignored the profound national security threats, trying to be nice to evil enemies, and warned us that our best years were behind us.

This is where America may be in 2012. We will need someone whose aim is not to bring manufactured "hope," but rather that real hope which is America. We will need a man who is his own and not anyone else's. We will need a serious, brave, kind, and decent man. The world's greatest leaders -- Reagan and Churchill are perfect examples -- have been older men. We will need in 2012 another Reagan, another Churchill. Fred Thompson fits that role perfectly, and we should get behind him now.

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