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The journey of Fred ThompsonPosted Wednesday, October 10, 2007, at 9:13 AM
Fred Thompson: Legitimate candidate or headed downhill?
Pundits claim he came across better in Tuesday's debate than in previous campaign appearances.
Sometimes a Southerner, who sounds Southern, isn't going to come across well on first glance to Easterners used to candidates who either have Northern accents or the accentless voices of TV newscasters.
Thompson may talk a little slower, answer questions a little more slowly (which could indicate a deeper thought process beyond memorized sound bites) and come across as too laid-back.
It seems a far cry from the 1994 Senate race when Thompson was chosen as the Republican candidate partially because he was bigger, taller and had a much stronger physical and verbal presence than Democrat Jim Cooper, who is now deservedly back in Washington. That '94 race was too much about style as opposed to substance.
Thompson has been accused of being unaware of some issues, showing vague knowledge of other issues, being seemingly uncomfortable around crowds and of laziness.
Maybe he's just readjusting to politics. Maybe other sources besides his own ambitions are partially fueling his run, as in certain factions thinking Thompson is more electable than opponents.
Time will tell.
It'll be interesting seeing if Thompson's handlers make any changes. He's still an actor on a stage -- even when campaigning. He's used to directors' orders, even when dealing with unscripted real life and a nation's future partially hanging in the balance.
After all, politics seem to almost be a TV reality show now. Add cameras showing us the behind-the-scenes activity and we'd get the complete package.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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