Victor Davis Hanson [Wiki] is one of the clearest thinkers and writers of our time.
He has a contractual obligation to decline giving his endorsement for a candidate.
On Christmas night, at an hour in which most of us were enjoying a final nog, he penned (literary license) an essay regarding the presidential candidates.
The first paragraph:
What we are looking for?(It's interesting to note that the doctor omits issues for many social conservatives--third rail items like Social Security, abortion, alternative families, etc. Given the passion of some single issues voters, I think Dr. Hanson left these for another day in order to focus on what all conservatives may agree on. Moreover, the issue of abortion and gay marriage should be returned to States' legislatures and SS can only be fixed by a willing Congress--issues that are not the primary purview of a president.)
A candidate who would not talk about reducing deficits, but promise instead surpluses to such a degree to buy down the national debt and so leave us less vulnerable to the Middle East, Chinese, Japanese, or European possession of trillions abroad; who would give someone some credit for taking out the two worse regimes in the Middle East and avoiding a reoccurrence of 9/11; who would state a simple principle that for every new spending initiative offered, a cut elsewhere or new tax increase would be promised to ensure no additional draw on the treasury; who would close the border to illegal immigration now, and explain that we can then bicker over other issues while the pool of illegal residents insidiously shrinks due to voluntary repatriation, intermarriage, deportations of criminals, and earned citizenship; who could craft some sort of bargain to drill oil offshore and in Alaska, build more refineries and nuclear power plants, and still toughen conservation standards and invest in alternate energy—and tell us exactly why and how and when we will be less dependent on foreign oil; and who could explain to us and the world abroad exactly how the US presence overseas leads to global peace and security, and do that both in daily impromptu and formal fashion.
He then goes on to analyze the various candidates by their statements and actions, Democrats first followed by Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani, McCain, and finally, Fred Thompson.
Methinks he's parsed his words most carefully regarding Thompson. Note the quasi-endorsement for VP:
Thompson. I never quite understood why the press charged someone 65/6, with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in remission, as “lazy.” He is not. The wonder is not that he is not as vigorous as Romney but that he is out on such a breakneck campaign at all. He seems the ideal Vice President candidate. That he could not meet the impossible pre-candidacy hype does not mean he won’t bounce back and run a strong second or third in the primaries.It's my fervent wish that Dr. Hanson not receive a call from the legal department at NRO.
Tom Tancredo dropped out of the race on 20 December and has thrown his support behind Romney. When the inevitable time arrives that Duncan Hunter resigns the race he will throw his considerable weight behind Romney or Thompson--I can't see him endorsing Huckabee, McCain or Giuliani. So a lot will depend on the outcomes of the first few primaries.
A lot of citizens of modest means may dig deep into their pockets to fund Thompson and there are a lot of Red State folks that simply can't back a Northeastern politician.
Of course, having the stones to tell our left leaning loudmouths to STFU doesn't hurt a bit.
Happy New Year to all!