"We need to deserve to lead. And this is what this is all about; it’s about deserving to lead.”That was Fred Thompson on Saturday in South Carolina during a sincere, passionate, well-grounded speech that sounded like his farewell to the campaign trail. With his announcement Tuesday afternoon that he has withdrawn his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president, we now know it was. It was a bittersweet moment for any conservative who had been watching his campaign and wished it had been a more effective one earlier in the process. It was also a moment for the ages — one that every civics class in America should reflect upon: Politics is about policy and service to this great nation; that’s what makes the campaign worthwhile. That’s why you put up with the trophy-wife slanders and Chris Matthews’s questions.
Whoever winds up the Republican nominee for president this year, he’d be doing his country a service if he read Fred’s pre-caucus message to Iowa voters that Thompson posted on his website. In it he listed “the fundamental, conservative principles that have unified us for over two
“Doing our part. Stepping up to the plate. Stepping up for service. Stepping up to do the right thing.” That’s how Fred Thompson put it on Saturday night. That’s what he’s done. And no pandering or hand-holding (or -raising!) along the way. There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing him again — he’s too invested in this country he loves for us not to. Thank God for Fred Thompson. May he inspire more to serve. And may he encourage us to rethink our may-the-man-with-the-best-soundbites-win electoral process.