GOP Race on "Who's The Biggest Fake?" Picking Up Steam
While delivering his big speech today before the National Rifle Association, Rudy was interrupted by a cell phone call from his wife, Judith Nathan. An apparently surprised Rudy told the crowd, "it's my wife," spoke to her for a moment, and closed the call with a touching, I'm-happily-married moment, saying, "I love you" to her in front of a crowd of gun rights types.
On the other hand, it turns out that this isn't the first time this has happened to Rudy, whose past failed marriages could turn out to be a liability among conservative voters.
Next up, Mitt Romney [emphasis mine, h/t TPM]:
Mitt Romney has the disadvantage of being a Mormon, which the religious right disapproves of, but he may be the best suited of the GOP tier to win the movement's support.
And how does he plan to take advantage of the opportunity? By engaging in some of the most ridiculous pandering anyone has seen in years.
[H]e's going to move "In God We Trust" to the front of the new dollar coins instead of the side. [...]
[Romney added,] "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA."
I've sure there have been more shameless campaign pitches by presidential candidates this year, but none come to mind.
Multiple-Choice Mitt Romney is actually similar to George Bush in one eerie way - he is easily one of the biggest frauds to ever run for President of the United States. So, as a "celebration" of that fact, we should include this video by Slate V [h/t Swampland]:
Let's close with old time favorite Fred Thompson since he set the trend for the GOP over a decade ago [emphasis is mine, h/t The Carpetbagger Report]:
.....Noam Scheiber and Bob Somerby had a bit of a debate about how the media would cover the little red truck that helped Thompson get elected to the Senate in 1994. Scheiber argued that everyone would soon know that Thompson’s truck schtick was a fraud, little more than a phony prop. Somerby noted that everyone would not know because the media wouldn’t bother to report the story accurately.
Sorry, Noam, Somerby wins this round. Consider this gem from the new issue of Newsweek.
Folks in Franklin, Tenn., think they’ll know when Fred Thompson decides to run for president. Parked in Thompson’s mother’s driveway is the rusting red Chevy pickup that the former senator turned actor drove all over the state during his two U.S. Senate campaigns. He drove the truck to Washington in 1994 after he was elected to fill an unexpired term and used it as a populist stunt again during his re-election campaign, often giving speeches from the lowered tailgate. “People are watching that truck like hawks,” says the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land, who also lives in Franklin. “Nobody can imagine he won’t use it if he runs.” […]
Thompson, who now lives in Virginia, hasn’t driven his pickup in several years. The paint is peeling and its U.S. Senate license plates expired back in 2002. Mark Corallo, a spokesman, says Thompson “just hasn’t had the heart to sell her.”
This couldn’t be any less informative. I obviously don’t want to speak for Somerby, but this appears to be far worse than he imagined.
Way back in 1996, Michelle Cottle explained the reality.
True story: it is a warm evening in the summer of 1995. A crowd has gathered in the auditorium of a suburban high school in Knoxville, Tennessee. Seated in the audience is a childhood friend of mine who now teaches at the school. On stage is Republican Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson, the lawyer/actor elected in 1994 to serve out the remainder of Vice President Al Gore’s Senate term (when Gore’s appointed successor retired after just two years). The local TV stations are on hand as Thompson wraps up his presentation on tax reform, in the plain-spoken, down-to-earth style so familiar to those who have seen him in any of his numerous film and television performances.
Finishing his talk, Thompson shakes a few hands, then walks out with the rest of the crowd to the red pickup truck he made famous during his 1994 Senate campaign. My friend stands talking with her colleagues as the senator is driven away by a blond, all-American staffer. A few minutes later, my friend gets into her car to head home. As she pulls up to the stop sign at the parking lot exit, rolling up to the intersection is Senator Thompson, now behind the wheel of a sweet silver luxury sedan. He gives my friend a slight nod as he drives past. Turning onto the main road, my friend passes the school’s small, side parking area. Lo and behold: There sits the abandoned red pickup, along with the all-American staffer.
Thompson didn’t have an old red pickup, he leased it as a campaign prop. He didn’t even drive the thing — as Kevin Drum recently noted, “Basically, he just drove the thing the final few hundred feet before each campaign event, and then ditched it for something nicer as soon as he was out of sight of the yokels.”
Not a word of this appeared in the Newsweek piece, which suggests Thompson really did drive the red pickup “all over the state.”
One can fill an entire book with the stories about the transparent fakes that are the top GOP candidates for President. Feel free to vote for the worst person in the GOP race in the comments.