I am not happy about the results from South Carolina. It seems that Fred Thompson was not in to win, but to take voters from Mike Huckabee to help John McCain. Had Thompson not been in the race - just do the math. Huckabee had, at last count, only 3% less than McCain. Thompson had around 15% to Huckabee's 30 and McCain's 33. Just 4% more to Huckabee, and we would have had a solid, social and fiscal conservative steamroller heading into Florida, with our issues and agenda on the national front burner.
I signed on early for Fred Thompson, as readers of this blog know, around June 7 if my recollection is correct. Needless to say, I am disappointed with how the campaign has turned out. When Thompson said he was making a "last stand" in SC, I took his word for it. But 48 hours ago, I read a report which claimed that Thompson's event schedule was "lethargic."
If that's the case, and I know that other candidates were campaigning around the clock, it would certainly confirm the rumors that Thompson was only still around to help McCain. As someone concerned about lower taxes and pro-life and 2nd Amendment issues, I can't help but feel a bit used. Someone from the campaign really needs to explain this to me, and to others who volunteered to help Fred get elected. Because if he wasn't in this to win, he should have stepped aside so we could have put our support behind another pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, anti-tax candidate. Had all of the social conservative and evangelical voters gone for Huckabee, he would have won SC in a landslide.
And that's even with the bizarre twist of 50% of yesterday's voters being Northerners who have moved to SC in the last ten years(!). These are the two painful statistics from the results: 3% loss to McCain by Huckabee while Thompson took 15% possibly just to help McCain; and 50% moderate to liberal non-native voters in a historically conservative, Southern state. Give me a break. What are the chances?
I feel like we are about to go backwards after the progress we made under the leadership of George W. Bush. While McCain is certainly well-qualified and would be a more than capable Commander-in-Chief, I'm concerned that we won't have the same activism on the issues that Bush has provided. And that would mean less chance of permanent tax cuts or tax reform, less chance of having a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, and possibly less protection of 2nd Amendment rights. And again, I would like to hear some reassurance from Sen. McCain on the type of justices he would nominate for the Supreme Court. It's just reality that McCain's positions and operating style are quite different from George W. Bush.
What next? Now that Thompson has imploded, who do we support here in Maryland and nationally? Where are our efforts and resources going to be put to best use for the causes we care about? Huckabee isn't finished yet, he just doesn't have the momentum that would have resulted from a win in SC that was his, had Thompson stepped aside. Will Thompson do so now to clear the way for Huckabee in the other Southern states? Can Huckabee win outside of the South without the SC victory? Huckabee certainly represents the issues and causes we are concerned about in a genuine way, with great conviction. And then there are also McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani. What next? Stay tuned.