Thompson at the Lincoln Club

I confess that I’ve been a little irritated by the whole Fred Thompson phenomenon, for two reasons. First, I think that to many he is sort of a fantasy candidate: people project their desires onto him and create him in their own image, much as many Democrats do with Barack Obama. The mythical Fred Thompson who is just the candidate we’re looking for–whatever that may be–has little to do, I think, with the actual Fred Thompson.
Second, the last five years have been a critical time in our nation’s history. From 2002 to the present, men like George Bush, John McCain, and many others have been fighting a very difficult battle on behalf of our country. Not Fred Thompson: he preferred to leave the Senate to live the very sweet life of a minor television celebrity. There’s nothing wrong with that, necessarily, but it’s not exactly heroic, either.
Having said that, I have nothing against Thompson. He has some great strengths, and if he should enter the race and become the party’s nominee, I will support him enthusiastically. Last night, he gave a speech at the Lincoln Club of Orange County that has attracted a lot of notice. The text of the speech is here. Via Real Clear Politics, here is a YouTube video that captures excerpts from the speech, on the threat of nulcear terrorism, immigration and entitlements:

The video is brief, but it conveys a sense of Thompson’s potential strength as a candidate.
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