Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Doubting Fred

According to the Telegraph's Toby Harnden, even Fred doubts he'll be president:

Chatting off-air to a television reporter, a stunningly candid off-the-cuff quip from the Hollywood actor cemented the impression that his heart is not in the 2008 race.

Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: "The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep." Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr. Thompson interjected: "And so do I."

As some Thompson aides looked bemused and others cringed, a taken-aback Mr Cameron, Fox's chief political correspondent, exclaimed: "You can't do that kind of stuff!"
Harnden misses the mark here. Unlike most presidential candidates, Fred has made a major point of not insisting that his candidacy is the most important thing in the world. This little exchange is totally in character for presidential candidate Fred Thompson.

Toby Harnden overreacted. Jim Geraghty has it about right:
That exchange will fuel the Fred's-heart-isn't-really-in-it talk, but I don't think it ought to. This is the guy who jabbed Tim Russert about his weight, who told Chris Matthews "that's your opinion, Christopher," and who generally comes across as a guy who could take or leave the presidency. Cameron's comment was pretty clearly a joke in its presumptuousness, and Thompson's comment seems to be a joke to deflate that presumptuousness.

I like the Daily Telegraph a lot, but the whole tone of the article at the link has an overwheming Thompson-campaign-in-freefall tone that I think just isn't warranted by events. At least, not yet.
This exchange isn't a reason to doubt Fred.

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