A couple of weeks ago I posted a video of my colleague Mike Deaver talking about the prospects of various candidates in the US presidential election. Mike was Ronald Reagan’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff between 1981 and 1985 and so knows a thing or two about campaigning and I always find his perspective interesting. I’m not the only one it turns out. This Sunday, Tim Shipman, the Washington Correspondent of the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, wrote a piece entitled Reagan’s men are backing – – an actor. In the piece he quoted Mike Deaver from my video on the subject of Senator Fred Thompson:
A key figure in the Reagan inner circle has now given his seal of approval to Mr Thompson, best known as a star of the television crime drama Law and Order.
As deputy chief of staff, Michael Deaver was a key member of the “troika” of aides who kept the Reagan White House on track. With the chief of staff James Baker and special assistant Ed Meese, he was the master of image and presentation.
Mr Deaver sees the same raw material in Mr Thompson as was perceived in Ronald Reagan, describing him as someone “that could really make a difference”. He added: “He is very popular in his party. He could change this whole thing and turn this primary system upside down.
“As Ronald Reagan used to say, after he stole a line from Al Jolson, ‘Stay tuned, you ain’t seen nothing yet’.
The idea that the ‘Reagan men’ might have an influence on who wins the Republican nomination given their experience with the man many Republicans see as being the true light of the party, is an attractive one, and Tim Shipman found another one in Clark Judge, an ex Reagan speechwriter, with similar views;
“Fred Thompson, like Ronald Reagan, is a man of tremendous substance. There is a sense in the party that none of the candidates is quite ‘it’.”
I’m not sure whether our correspondent actually spoke to Clark Judge or took this from previously published comments as well, but he certainly started a flurry of commentary on the views of the ‘Reagan men’. And central to all this was whether my colleague Mike Deaver had “endorsed” Fred Thompson or not. If you watch the video he actually just points out that Fred Thompson and Al Gore, both from the state of Tennessee, have the potential to “change this whole thing”. To be fair to Tim Shipman, he never says in his piece that Mike Deaver “endorses” Fred Thompson, just that Thompson has his “seal of approval” and that ‘Reagan men’ are ” throwing their weight behind” him.
But that’s not how the political blogosphere covered it, preferring instead the idea of the more active and technical term of “endorsement”, and obliging Mike Deaver to clarify that “Fred Thompson is a great guy, but I haven’t endorsed anyone in the Republican primary, and don’t intend to.”
Nice to know my mum is not the only one reading this.
Here’s the Technorati page on this from this morning: