Fred Thompson is back! For those of you who missed him when he slipped quietly out of the race sometime in January, he'll be penning a new column on Townhall.com and in Townhall Magazine — and he's also going to blog! Yes it's true, according to Townhall contributing writer and director of operations Matt Lewis: "He will write an exclusive column for Townhall magazine once a month and blog on the site." Lewis also said that Thompson would be blogging on "a new site soon to be launched" but declined to give details. Darn!We do, however, have details about Thompson's column, which is called "Closing Arguments" (no doubt to invoke his alter-ego-legal-eagle self on "Law & Order"). His first one was posted this morning, and it took him two paragraphs to smack up Barack Obama:
[C]hange - whether it "real change," "bold change" or the "change we can believe in" variety others are selling - isn't itself an innovative policy or a particularly strong leadership stance.
Oh, snap! Thompson is having none of it. He's got a warning for his fellow conservatives: "Now isn't the time for conservatives to be looking for a tailored message or a politically expedient route to victory if the end result is going to be the inevitable slide toward the liberalization and secularization of America, and the growth of government and loss of freedom that inevitably ensues." Stirring!
Thompson's first effort clocks in at a slim 452 words, in keeping with his reputation for, um, efficiency, but Lewis is anticipating that he will pipe up elsewhere on the various Townhall sites "when he sees an area where he wants to weigh in on." For his part, Thompson plugs his new home, saying that he joined Townhall because he saw it as "elevating the discourse" based on his dearly-held conservative principles of "smaller government, individual liberty, standing for common values that have become all too uncommon, a strong national defense and, most of all, an optimism and belief in America." (We're not sure where "a light copyediting hand" fits in there, because he writes about "an acknowledgement [sic] that change in the political arena is inevitable" and uses "them" to describe Townhall Magazine, which is an "it." But it's all part of the inevitable growing pains of blogging, so we welcome Fred to them, and through them.)
Thompson didn't really say much about the campaign, but he did say this: "I'm glad to be back here in familiar territory," which must be surprising for all those who thought he really, really, really loved campaigning. (I mean, he really seemed to like it!).
Finally, the answer to your burning question: What about Jeri? "For now, it's just Fred," says Lewis. "But we would certainly welcome her input. So I guess folks will just have to stay tuned to see..." Hm. We are pretty sure that Jeri is involved somehow.
Okay! I think we've hit all the standard Fred Thompson jokes. But aside from that, nice coup for Townhall — and maybe a wee shot across the bow at McCain, whose sudden environmentalist kick might well qualify as "a politically expedient route to victory" leading to "the inevitable slide toward the liberalization and secularization of America." Guess that dream ticket's out of the question.
(Photo via Andrew Sullivan.)