Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Calm, cool, collected, Fred Thompson charms Virginians

Posted by Stephen on June 4, 2007

The former Senator from Tennessee dazzled an audience of some 500 Republican supporters Saturday night at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The most impressive result of the night was that he took center stage in front of an audience with high expectations, and he did not disappoint.

The evening started with a private reception. Some Washington insiders, Congressmen, Virginia leaders, and important conservative political supporters gathered in a private room where there was plenty of palm pressing and mingling taking place before the possible Republican candidate arrived for photos and more palm pressing.

To be clear, the electricity was in the air from the outset and it continued throughout the entire evening.

After a few glasses of friendship was shared and more than a few war stories were told, Senator Thompson and his lovely wife Jeri were escorted into the room by former Republican National Committee Chair, and current Virginia Chair, Ed Gillespie. The overwhelming response was clearly touching and greatly appreciated by Thompson who, without question, is the man of the hour for the Republican Party.

Thompson quickly made his way to the front of the room where a photo op was awaiting. After being introduced to the eager audience by Gillespie, Thompson, standing between an American Flag and the state flag of Virginia, said “I haven’t been here to long, but I kind of like where I’m standing already.”

“Jeri and I want to thank you for this warm welcome. We’re neighbors now and it’s nice to be here. We recently moved to McClean,” added Thompson to a very vocal response signaling mutual appreciation. “They say we’re in a little bit of a down cycle here, but I’ll tell ya…I think we’re about to turn things around and it’s going to start right here,” said Thompson to roaring approval from the partisan crowd of about a hundred people who rushed to form the line for a chance to be photographed with the movie star and possible Republican candidate for President of the United States.

Also in attendance, and working the room quite effectively, were Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Bob McDonnell. Also in the crowd were Delegates Ben Cline and Chris Saxman.

The man of the night, however, was Thompson who seemed genuinely comfortable as he greeted people and well wishers one by one before heading downstairs to the much anticipated dinner and continued ceremonies.

The speech by Thompson was a stellar reminder of why conservatives are chomping at the bit for a Thompson presidential run. He fired the crowd up with inspirational words, loosened them up with jokes and anecdotes, and primed them for his personal philosophies with quotes and stories of Madison, Monroe, and Thomas Jefferson.

Then, with a dramatic pause, he settled in to a serious discussion of the issues of the day.

Thompson made clear his no-nonsense approach to problem solving. He articulated Reagan style beliefs centered on deregulation, reducing the size of government, cutting spending and supporting free enterprise. He discussed the Iraq war and reiterated his belief that we simply cannot leave that job unresolved. He spoke of the war on terror and reminded people that Democrats are bankrupt of ideas while conservatives must continue to support the fight against terror “over there rather than within our own borders.”

Thompson discussed immigration, where he received a standing ovation after stating “we are a nation of compassion, a nation of immigrants,” he said. “But this is our home…and we get to decide who comes into our home.”

He also touched on taxes, entitlements, and leaving America a better place for our children. He all but announced his candidacy stating that, “I can’t think of a better place to start my next endeavor than right here in Virginia.”

The night was a win-win for all that attended. Thompson won continued encouragement and support from strong Virginia Republicans, while the audience left with an increased appreciation for who Fred Thompson is, his belief system, and where he wishes to take this country as President of the United States.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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