The PoliBlog

The Collective
Thursday, October 4, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the NYT: Subdued Thompson Stirs Few Sparks on Stump

as Mr. Thompson campaigned across Iowa this week, he was something other than the dynamic presence that some in his party have been yearning for. Iowans saw a candidate who is subdued and sonorous, a laconic presence who spoke in soft monotone, threw few elbows and displayed little drive to distinguish himself from his opponents.

Color me unsurprised. Thompson brought ridiculously high expectations to the campaign trail that were so that it was almost impossible for them to be met. Further, the empirical evidence of Thompson prior to his entry was that he mostly spoke in platitudes and cliches. And, really, he has never struck me as dynamic as the swooners seemed to think.

Quite frankly, the platitudes and cliches continue:

“On prosperity, I have a real novel approach, a real creative approach,” he said in Coralville the other night. “Let’s continue doing what works and quit doing what doesn’t work in this country. Tax cuts work.”

Turning to what he said would be a second priority of a Thompson administration, he said: “High, high high on our lists of concerns for anybody who would think about becoming president of the United States is the security of this nation.”

Yep, those are the kind of ideas that will propel Thompson to the White House: he’s pro-prosperity and pro-security!

There is nothing to date that disabuses me of the notion that Thompson is a clear manifestation of hype over substance in the context of a generally weak field of candidates.

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Filed under: US Politics, 2008 Campaign | |


  1. Never underestimate, however, the fact that he makes people feel safe. He’s got the Protector, Grandfatherly Wisdom aura.

    Comment by Micah Tillman — Thursday, October 4, 2007 @ 8:47 am

  2. If the nomination comes down to making people feel safe (and it may very well), I think that ultimately helps Rudy the most.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, October 4, 2007 @ 9:06 am

  3. Maybe the problem is that Thompson is missing the important platitudes. He needs to go out on a limb and proclaim himself as a “Supporter of Education and an Opponent of Crime.”

    Comment by Ratoe — Thursday, October 4, 2007 @ 10:30 am

  4. Indeed.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, October 4, 2007 @ 10:43 am

  5. From all I’ve heard about Thompson, he was a lazy candidate and a lazy Senator, so his current lack of luster comes as no surprise to me either.

    Comment by Jan — Thursday, October 4, 2007 @ 11:18 am

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