Reagan's Ghost Beat Fred

A campaign blog.
Jan. 19 2008 7:56 PM

Reagan's Ghost Beat Fred

Fred Thompson, in his withdrawal way-out-of-first-place speech, finally looked and sounded presidential. But, alas, his time has finally come, whether or not he wants to realize it—and it's all Ronald Reagan's fault.

Thompson reached the most stirring line of his speech this evening when he said that the Reagan coalition was alive and well. If Thompson was right, he would have had more success in this primary race--therefore, he's totally wrong.


A quick primer on the Reagan Coalition : Three different conservative groups—foreign policy, economic, and social conservatives—all coalesced around one candidate to put him in office for eight years. But if any message has become apparent during this mad primary season, it's that there isn't a coalition anymore: It's every splinter group for itself.

Mike Huckabee courts social conservatives because of his hidden-crosses in political ads. Mitt Romney attracts economic conservatives because the only thing about his candidacy that stays constant is his business background. And John McCain courts foreign policy conservatives because of his Senate experience and military years. Note how those three men won the first three major contests. The coalition is dead. And it's questionable whether it will show up again in time for the general election.

If Thompson really thought the Reagan Coalition was going to get him elected, then he just wrote his own obituary.



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.