Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Run, Fred, Run

Cal Thomas climbs aboard the Run, Fred, Red bandwagon:

He has Ronald Reagan's communication skills and speaks plainly in ways most people can understand. . . . [He] conveys Middle American, commonsense values. When he is asked a question, he doesn't sound as if he's giving a poll-tested pabulum answer. Agree or not, his statements spring from conviction.

Meanwhile, the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes travels to Thompson's home in McLean for a wide-ranging, four-hour sit-down. The resulting cover story reveals a man at peace with himself, who

wins the guy-I'd-want-to-get-a-beer-with primary the moment he announces. He comes across as a regular guy—"folksy" will be the political cliché that attaches to his candidacy—and punctuates explanations of his positions with the kind of off-the-cuff homespun witticisms that Dan Rather spent a career trying to come up with.

But here's the quote that will light up the blogosphere:

As we spoke, I was struck by the fact that Thompson didn't seem to be calibrating his answers for a presidential run. On issue after contentious issue, I got the sense from both his manner and the answers he gave me that he was just speaking extemporaneously. Many of his answers would drive a poll-watching political consultant nuts.

My suspicions were confirmed when Thompson asked at one point if he could have a transcript of our interview. "I found myself talking on some subjects that I haven't really thought that much about," he explained. "Oh, so this is what I think, huh?"