Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fred! Addresses the "fire in the belly" Question

Straight from the horse's mouth, from the campaign website.

"Every once in a while I am more thankful than ever for today’s technology which allows me to talk to you directly instead of having to go through the filter of the main stream media.

Some of them are intent on making the outcome of the campaign dependent upon their pre-conceived notions. Every once in a while their incomplete and slanted coverage makes this clear.

Today I had this story written about me regarding what I said at a Town Hall event in Burlington, Iowa by a reporter who wasn’t even at the event. Incidentally, I declined to be interviewed by this particular reporter yesterday for reasons which will soon be apparent.

In referring to me, she reported “he doesn’t like modern campaigning, isn’t interested in running for President, and will not be devastated” if he doesn’t win.

The following is a transcript of what I actually said in response to a question by a local Burlington resident which was the basis of the reporter’s story:

[THIS IS A BEST-EFFORT TRANSCRIPT OF THE SPECIFIC QUESTION AND ANSWER]
Q: My only problem with you and why I haven’t thrown all my support behind you is that I don’t know if you have the desire to be President. If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?

…In the first place I got in the race about the time people normally get into it historically. The fact of the matter is that others started the process a lot earlier this time than they normally do. I think it was for some of them when they were juniors in high school.

APPLAUSE

That is a very good question, not because it’s difficult to answer, because, but I’m gonna answer it in a little different way than what you might expect.

In the first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this if i didn’t. I grew up very modest circumstances. I left government, I and my family have made sacrifices for me to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I’m doing this. I figure that to be clean you’ve got to cut everything off. And I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show, I had a contract with abc radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth. I guess a man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing at all if he didn’t want to do it.

But I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president that they can have.

When this talk first started, it didn’t originate with me. There were a lot of people around the country both directly and through polls, liked the idea of me stepping up. And of course, you always look better at a distance, I guess.

But most of those people are still there and think its a good idea. But I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a very good deal for either one of them. But if you mutually think that this is a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then you have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability, and the concern to do this and I’m doing it for the right reasons. But I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I don’t know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don’t know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, it’s all about fire in the belly. I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a terribly good thing if a president has too much fire in the belly. I approach life differently than a lot of people. People, I guess, wonder how I’ve been as successful as I’ve been in everything I’ve done. I won two races in TN by 20 point margins, a state that Bill Clinton carried twice. I’d never run for office before. I’ve never had an acting lesson and I guess that’s obvious by people who’ve watched me. But when they made a movie about a case that I had when I took on a corrupt state administration as a lawyer and beat them before a jury. They made a movie about it and I wound up playing myself in the movie and yeah I can do that.

And when I did it, I did it. Wasn’t just a lark. Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well. But I’ve always been a little bit more laid back than most. I like to say that I’m only consumed by very, very few things and politics is not one of them. The welfare of our country and our kids and grandkids is one of them.

If people really want in their president a super type-a personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about for years how they could achieve the Presidency of the United States, someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they enjoy every minute of campaigning, I ain’t that guy. So I hope I’ve discussed that and hope I haven’t talked you out of anything. I honestly want - I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances than achieving the presidency under false pretenses. I go out of my way to be myself because I don’t want anybody to think they are getting something they are not getting. I’m not consumed by this process I’m not consumed with the notion of being President. I’m simply saying I’m willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it if I’m in sync with the people and if the people want me or somebody like me. I’ll do what I’ve always done in the rest of my life and I will take it on and do a good job and you’ll have the disadvantage of having someone who probably can’t jump up and click their heels three times but will tell you the truth and you’ll know where the President stands at all times.


It is clear that there are those in the media who will exact a high price for candor and from those whom they consider to be insufficiently ambitious. But it is with increasing amazement that we see that those who are willing to slant or leave out important parts of a story to make their point.

If a candidate succumbs to this he will be reduced to nothing more than a sound bite machine.

As for me I am going to continue to say exactly what is in my heart and is on my mind and give straight and honest answers to those who ask straight and honest questions.

Incidentally, the audience in Burlington broke into applause in the middle of my answer. The reporter wouldn’t know that because she wasn’t even there."

3 Comments:

Blogger Cookie..... said...

I guess you and I think purty much alike regardin Fred and what they're a sayin bout him....I've got a similar post up....

12/30/2007 9:28 AM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Y'know, I just don't get why folks have such distain for this guy.

12/31/2007 7:51 PM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

He just needs to get out and meet the people more. Making YouTube tapes is all well and good, but they will get him nowhere if he doesn't get out and match them mile for mile, handshake for handshake, and yes, bullshit for bullshit. That's just the way Iowa works.

I watched Clinton last night on PBS giving a talk to some potential caucus-goers on how his wife deserved to win.

Bill Clinton is the only person I have ever known of who can bring tears to your eyes even though you know he is talking pure bullshit.

That's what is important in these caucuses, getting out and meeting as many people as possible, and being able to remember their names and little incidents if you happen to run into them again.

Anybody can make a YouTube film. If the average Iowan sees a Fred Thompson YouTube video, and ten minutes later gets to meet Mike Huckabee in person for just two or three minutes, who do you think he will vote for?

I know it's not right, and it's not fair, but that's Iowa. If fair and right meant anything, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama would not be ahead of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden and Elliott Richardson in the Democratic polls either.

1/01/2008 9:13 PM  

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