Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fred's southern ways

Power Line's John Hinderaker was among several bloggers who had a meeting with Fred Thompson in Minnesota on Monday. Let's say he was less than blown away:
Yet I still think there is something missing. Thompson gives long answers to questions, and a point often comes where his folksiness gives way to ennui. He rarely shows much--any--intensity. Thomson presents himself as the solution to intractable problems like entitlements and the world-wide Islamofascist threat. Yet one misses the spark of fire, of energy, that would generate confidence that Thompson is really the man to get the job done. Nor does he offer unique solutions to problems; his proposals are, like his persona, of the generic conservative variety.
Not surprising. Northerners have trouble understanding the small-town southern mindset. It's part of his persona, part of his appeal.

It's true that Rudy, Mitt, and Newt are balls of fire in comparison while on the port side it's clear that Obama and even Clinton will be seen as more passionate, or rather animated. This isn't the first time he's been accused of being lazy or lacking drive.

The last thing he needs to do is hire an image consultant or develop some kind of schtick to meet expectations. The beauty of Thompson is his measured, even-handed "what you see is what you get" offering. That may irritate the ideologues but it's the main street voters that count.

As Rove likes to say, never underestimate the power of being underestimated. Hillary is running entirely on the coattails of her husband at the moment but in reality she's hardly a gifted public speaker and has a somewhat shrill voice when she gets "passionate". Concerned GOP primary voters should take a moment and visualize a head-to-head debate in a neutral setting before completely discounting a man like Thompson. If he decides to run, of course.

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