David S. Broder has an interesting piece on Fred Thompson, and even though much of the article deals with Thompson's challenging of the current status quo (on both sides of the aisle), there are three key quotes I would like to share with you.
In a two-hour conversation over coffee at a restaurant near his Virginia headquarters, the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future.
So during this conversation, Fred confirms that he will officially join the race next month, I guess Tim Russert was right after all.
"There's no reason for me to run just to be president," he said. "I don't desire the emoluments of the office. I don't want to live a lie and clever my way to the nomination or election. But if you can put your ideas out there -- different, more far-reaching ideas -- that is worth doing."
What Thompson is saying, and has been saying for a while, is that he's not seeking the office for the fame, glory, or power. He is seeking the office to create positive change for America. In my opinion, that's what we should be looking for in a president.
Thompson, like many of the others running, has caught a strong whiff of the public disillusionment with both parties in Washington -- and the partisanship that has infected Congress, helping to speed his own departure from the Senate.
But he says he thinks the public is looking for a different kind of leadership. "I think a president could go to the American people and say, 'Here's what we need to be doing. And I'm willing to go halfway. Now you have to make them [the opposition] go halfway.' "
This is true, especially when the opposition is in the majority. I also believe that Thompson would be an excellent "salesman", so to speak, for his own agenda and could sell a lot of Democrats and moderates on what he wants to do. I also gather that he expects to incorporate the Democrats into assisting the process of bringing his initiatives into fruition, instead of attempting to railroad legislation through Congress as fast and as hard as possible.
Further in the article, I like that Thompson brings up the fact that we've been fighting for too long in Iraq without an adequate number of troops, and that the FBI is not in the condition it needs to be to do it's job as well as it should. Fred's got it right...how do you win battles with insufficient manpower, or protect the homeland from terrorists within our borders with inadequate organization and efficiency?
In a time of such political divisiveness, someone who's willing to push a sensible agenda that is rooted in federalist principles and strong national defense and can get both sides to work together at the same time is what we need.
(h/t Podium contributor Paul Cave for the link)