I have not written about it in detail because it was off the record, but Robert Novak sums up how I spent my evening last Tuesday. The meal was shrimp or chicken (I chose the chicken) with sorbet or chocolate cake (I chose the chocolate cake). The conversation was off the record. The man at the head of the table was Fred Thompson.
Perhaps the point that should be drawn, particularly for Dean Barnett, Hugh Hewitt, and others now trying to call Thompson a “Howard Baker Republican” is this one:
In his Senate voting record and his public utterances, Thompson is more conservative than Giuliani, McCain or Romney. He takes a hard line on the war against terror (referring in Connecticut to the danger of “suicidal maniacs” crossing open borders) and worries about immigration policy creating a permanent American underclass. His one deviation from the conservative line has been support for the McCain-Feingold campaign reform, much of which he now considers overtaken by current fundraising practices and perhaps irrelevant. Overall, his tone, in a soft Tennessee drawl, is less harsh than that of other Republican candidates — a real-life version of the avuncular fictional D.A. he plays on TV.
Then, of course, there is this:
The National Taxpayers Union gives him the third highest marks of any candidate (trailing only Paul and Rep. Tom Tancredo).
Dinner was okay last Tuesday. The conversation was great. The company was fantastic. I’ve never felt so inferior in all my life, but to be surrounded by the people who surrounded me (and to have most of them know who I am), I was overwhelmed and very flattered to have been invited.