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Thompson: Mixed Reviews in NH Debut


Thompson gets mixed reviews in New Hampshire premiere

BEDFORD, N.H. 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.

The star of the TV series “Law and Order” had won cheers the day before in South Carolina, another early-primary state, in his first trip there since he’d signaled that he’ll soon jump into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But South Carolina and Tennessee are neighbors, while New Hampshire tests whether Thompson’s got more than regional appeal. So far, the answer’s quite unclear.

“I plan on seeing a whole lot more of you,” Thompson told about 200 New Hampshire Republicans who paid $50 each to hear him – and to benefit state Republican legislators.

He’d better, because many present came away decidedly under-whelmed.

“It was short,” said Richard Heitmiller of Nashua. “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.”

Heitmiller said he hadn’t made up his mind about whom to support – way too early – and had come to learn more about this man he’d heard about but never seen.

“People want to get to know him. He hasn’t been here, and he gives a nine-minute speech,” he said dismissively. As Thompson exited, people started making their way to the doors midway through a reception.

“I told my wife we’d get home by 8. We’ll get home a lot earlier than that,” Heitmiller said.

“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.”

Thompson’s slow tease about running has drawn admiring glances from voters who perhaps are ready for a new face.

He’s fed speculation that he’s filling a conservative void created because each of the other top-tier Republican candidates – Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney – fails at least one litmus test on issues ranging from abortion to immigration to tax cuts.

Thompson shot up in several recent polls of early-voting states, placing second in two Iowa surveys and leading the pack in South Carolina. But he faces a tougher challenge in New Hampshire, where he hasn’t managed better than a tie for third, and often fourth, in recent polls.

One reason might be that his appeal is regional and doesn’t extend to New England. Another could be that he hasn’t yet spelled out why he should be the nominee, and hasn’t done the face-to-face courting that voters here demand.

“We’ll see what happens if he starts campaigning here. It’s easy to like a candidate in the abstract,” said Fergus Cullen, the New Hampshire state Republican chairman.

Cullen dismissed the widespread notion that Thompson is gaining because conservatives can’t unite behind any other candidate. “We have a number of strong candidates. There is no ideological hole in the party that needs to be filled.”

Rather, he said, Thompson is benefiting at least temporarily from his celebrity status. Also, he’s getting into the contest just as voters are wondering whether there are more choices out there.

But, he added, Thompson still has to make the sale – and he needs a sales team of campaign aides to help him navigate the state.

“It’s not too late to get in,” Cullen said. “But most of the key activists here are already committed to other candidates. Any staff person worth having is already employed. It is too late to get that.”

ttp://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/17514.html

One thing I like about the guy is that he gives quick to the point speeches instead of trying to put you to sleep. I cant even listen to Bush anymore.

[quote]Hello, bradley wrote:
Thompson gets mixed reviews in New Hampshire premiere

BEDFORD, N.H. 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.

The star of the TV series “Law and Order” had won cheers the day before in South Carolina, another early-primary state, in his first trip there since he’d signaled that he’ll soon jump into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But South Carolina and Tennessee are neighbors, while New Hampshire tests whether Thompson’s got more than regional appeal. So far, the answer’s quite unclear.

“I plan on seeing a whole lot more of you,” Thompson told about 200 New Hampshire Republicans who paid $50 each to hear him – and to benefit state Republican legislators.

He’d better, because many present came away decidedly under-whelmed.

“It was short,” said Richard Heitmiller of Nashua. “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.”

Heitmiller said he hadn’t made up his mind about whom to support – way too early – and had come to learn more about this man he’d heard about but never seen.

“People want to get to know him. He hasn’t been here, and he gives a nine-minute speech,” he said dismissively. As Thompson exited, people started making their way to the doors midway through a reception.

“I told my wife we’d get home by 8. We’ll get home a lot earlier than that,” Heitmiller said.

“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.”

Thompson’s slow tease about running has drawn admiring glances from voters who perhaps are ready for a new face.

He’s fed speculation that he’s filling a conservative void created because each of the other top-tier Republican candidates – Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney – fails at least one litmus test on issues ranging from abortion to immigration to tax cuts.

Thompson shot up in several recent polls of early-voting states, placing second in two Iowa surveys and leading the pack in South Carolina. But he faces a tougher challenge in New Hampshire, where he hasn’t managed better than a tie for third, and often fourth, in recent polls.

One reason might be that his appeal is regional and doesn’t extend to New England. Another could be that he hasn’t yet spelled out why he should be the nominee, and hasn’t done the face-to-face courting that voters here demand.

“We’ll see what happens if he starts campaigning here. It’s easy to like a candidate in the abstract,” said Fergus Cullen, the New Hampshire state Republican chairman.

Cullen dismissed the widespread notion that Thompson is gaining because conservatives can’t unite behind any other candidate. “We have a number of strong candidates. There is no ideological hole in the party that needs to be filled.”

Rather, he said, Thompson is benefiting at least temporarily from his celebrity status. Also, he’s getting into the contest just as voters are wondering whether there are more choices out there.

But, he added, Thompson still has to make the sale – and he needs a sales team of campaign aides to help him navigate the state.

“It’s not too late to get in,” Cullen said. “But most of the key activists here are already committed to other candidates. Any staff person worth having is already employed. It is too late to get that.”

ttp://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/17514.html[/quote]

Sounds like Thompson is starting to worry the bradley’s of the world.

Whichever candidate on the Republican side bradley feel is the largest threat draws his ire.

It really has little to nothing to do with the quality of the candidate nor his stances.

In fact, I’ve seen bradley agree with many stances (Rudy) and still be castigated.

Politics over principle. The HALLMARK of the far left loon.

JeffR

[quote]jawara wrote:
One thing I like about the guy is that he gives quick to the point speeches instead of trying to put you to sleep. I cant even listen to Bush anymore.[/quote]

Agreed. Bush has become (almost) as bad as Gore.

That’s why I enjoy listening to Senator Mike Gravel as well. To the point, a very sharp point at that.

I’ve only heard Thompson speak a few times, but he seemed quite good at it. I really don’t know much about him. Was he in the debates and I can’t remember?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Was he in the debates and I can’t remember?[/quote]

Nope. He gets all the exposure without having to say a thing. The future of our country is hemmed up in a popularity contest centered around fake Hollywood BS. Maybe we can get the “Academy” to give us a few more nominations for the fray. Unbelievable!

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Nope. He gets all the exposure without having to say a thing. The future of our country is hemmed up in a popularity contest centered around fake Hollywood BS. Maybe we can get the “Academy” to give us a few more nominations for the fray. Unbelievable! [/quote]

Not surprising to have you mischaracterize the entire thing.

Whether you like Thompson or not as a candidate, one thing most people should appreciate is that he decided to campaign outside the norm - going to local clubs and organizations to speak to build support and then allow the wonders of internet media to help get his movement going (“bottom up”).

He is doing essentially what Howard Dean did - and those of us tired of business-as-usual appreciate a fresh approach to building support.

New Hampshire-ites are notorious for wanting the candidates to kiss up to them. NH voters have a (somewhat) exaggerated sense of their own importance because of NH’s small population combined with its early primary spot. Essentially NH’ites are well known for liking candidates who spend a large amount of time in NH.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

Nope. He gets all the exposure without having to say a thing. The future of our country is hemmed up in a popularity contest centered around fake Hollywood BS. Maybe we can get the “Academy” to give us a few more nominations for the fray. Unbelievable!

Not surprising to have you mischaracterize the entire thing.

Whether you like Thompson or not as a candidate, one thing most people should appreciate is that he decided to campaign outside the norm - going to local clubs and organizations to speak to build support and then allow the wonders of internet media to help get his movement going (“bottom up”).

He is doing essentially what Howard Dean did - and those of us tired of business-as-usual appreciate a fresh approach to building support.

[/quote]

Not really…for the majority of the time his “campaign” as been to sit around and watch tv while reporters gush about a celebrity entering the race…

He hasn’t really done much campaigning, because he hasn’t needed to.

Either Ron Paul or Mitt Romney will take NH. It won’t be Fred.