Saturday, June 30, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Via McClatchy: Thompson gets mixed reviews in New Hampshire premiere

When Fred Thompson made his debut on the presidential stage here this week, he left some Republicans thinking he needs more work before his nascent campaign matches the media hype it’s gotten in advance.

The former Tennessee senator with the baritone drawl showed up Thursday in New Hampshire, the site of the first primary voting, and gave a speech that lasted only nine minutes, skipping over hot-button issues such as Iraq and immigration to invoke platitudes about freedom and strength.

He left more than a few Republicans disappointed.

This is, of course, Thompson’s main problem: living up to the hype. As I have noted before, it is wholly unclear as to what all of Thompson’s popularity is built upon (except dissatisfaction with the other GOP candidates).

Aside from the fact that he is better known than most politicians due to his acting career, exactly why are so many Republicans swooning over him? Indeed, to this point I think that the following summarizes what I have seen from Thompson:

“He’s got a nice voice. But there was nothing there. He’s for apple pie and motherhood. He’s going to have to say what he’s for.” [said Richard Heitmiller of Nashua.]


“He looks good onstage, but I don’t know if he has the gravitas,” said Kathleen Williamson, a conservative Roman Catholic from North Weare. “It seems like he’s trying to win over conservatives, but I’m still not sure he has the credentials. I’m worried he’s trying to get by on his celebrity.”


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