Fred Thompson flashed his Hollywood tailfeathers last night by announcing his candidacy on the Jay Leno program. While I don’t generally stand on protocol, this seemed to be a little innappropriate given that the country he wants to lead is, you know, in some wars.
One of the points he tried to make concerned elecability. He pointed out that he won election twice in TN, a state Bill Clinton carried twice. Everyone knows Giuliani has the market cornered in the GOP vis a vis electability, so I thought it would be interesting to bear down on this point.
Fred initially won his seat riding the GOP landslide in 1994. He filled out Al Gore’s term after Gore became veep. While it is hard to imagine now, Gore was considered at the time a fairly conservative Democrat. He then won reelection by spanking a non-entity named Houston Gordon, who’s qualifications for the Senate included being a Democratic party hack and trial lawyer in a state that voted for Bush II twice.
So if Fred wants to talk electability, let’s consider the Commonwealth of PA. Giuliani is a Republican who won election twice to be mayor of NYC, which currently has two republicans filling out 51 seats. That would put them exactly one seat ahead of the “Working Families” party. Hizzoner managed to enact a broad regime of tax cuts, by the way, working with that council.
PA has not voted for a Republican for president since Bush the elder in 1988, and even in that election PA was the third closest state in the general election.
Yet current polling puts Giuliani ahead of or within the margin of error against potential Democrats in PA. He is alone amongst GOP presidential aspirants in this.
I encourage Fred to make electability an issue.