WhenTommy Thompson ran for president back in 1996, I wrote an op-ed piece for the Wisconsin State Journal detailing why he could never be elected president. At the GOP convention in San Diego, he was referred to by the Republican delegates as "Governor Whiner" and his spotlight never shone beyond the borders of his own skull. Now, he's back and running again. In later posts, I'll recount why Thompson cannot be elected president and why his record is one of someone who shouldn't be trusted to clean your garage, much less run the country. In this post, I'll examine a factor even more fatal to his overblown hopes: The collective yawn from conservative opinion leaders and faithful. First, I visited a handful of leading conservative blogs and online forums to see whether Tommy's announcement of running was even mentioned, much less hailed as good news. Results? His name hasn't even been mentioned by Andrew Sullivan or John Cole. Nor has he been mentioned at the Daily Pundit, Instapundit or Powerline. Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online dismissed Tommy with this terse entry, reprinted here in its glorious entirety: "Tommy Thomposn is in. He just announced on ABC's 'This Week.' Now, back to regularly scheduled activities." At Rightwingnews.com, he was 13th in a list of 14 GOP presidential hopefuls, along with the comment, "He's in, but why, I'm not sure." Tommy was mentioned by the regular Republican folks chatting at the Conservative Forum, but the overwhelming comment was, "Who?" Those who did know of him said he had no chance of winning because he lacks both "charisma" and "name recognition." Some even discussed whether his -- ahem -- lack of a handsome contenance would be a deteriment. Not whether he's ugly, mind you, but whether that would hurt his chances. Thompson got his most ink at the American Mind website, where the conservative writers gave a less than glowing report on his announcement: "There was a chill in the atmosphere, and it wasn’t because of the Wisconsin weather. Thompson became Wisconsin’s first major Presidential candidate since “Fightin’” Bob La Follete. Wisconsin’s longest-serving governor announced he was running for the top office in all the land, and there were only good-natured, cordial applause. On the way to the stage when Tommy shook hands people actually stopped clapping. There was an eerie pause as they waited for him to begin speaking. The boisterous rounds of claps and yelps weren’t there. Tommy didn’t have to wave his hands and ask his 'old, dearest friends' to settle down. They were already settled. Tommy didn’t do any of his cheerleading about Wisconsin being a place where the 'eagles soar, the Harleys roar, and the Packers score.' Instead, we had a staid, serious Tommy. Do his supporters think Tommy is serious about running? Thompson is 65. Assuming a Republican won next year it could be 2016 before he could run for President again. Tommy would be 74 and likely too old to run. Or are people assuming defeat?" What about the conservative newspaper pundits? Any mention of Tommy's big announcement? I googled them and found-- Pat Buchanan? No. Fred Barnes? No. David Gergen? No. William Buckley? No. William Safire? No. Cal Thomas? No. Hugh Hewitt? No. Thomas Friedman? No. Robert Novak did mention Tommy's entry into the race, but only as the final item on a list of considerations in the Fred Thompson candidancy. Novak referred to it thusly: "A minor consideration is the entry of former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) into the race, and the possibility it brings of name confusion." This is even less than damning with faint praise. I'm not sure what you call it, but for me it's the most fun I've had in a long, long time...
Submitted by RKing on