Thompson: Running with the pack?

“Smiling like a possum eating briars.”

Fred Thompson apparently didn’t embarrass himself Tuesday during his first debate in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But he also didn’t wow everyone with his debating prowess.

“I don’t think he shot up, but he didn’t hurt himself,” says Ronald Rapoport, a political scientist at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Early in the debate, Thompson “didn’t seem like someone who had been in a lot of movies and TV – he was the actor who didn’t really act very well,” Dr. Rapoport said. “But I think he finished much stronger.”

Well, it isn’t whether you win or lose, it’s how you show up. But what difference does it make, one must ask?

This year the public has been inundated with presidential debates. Just when it seems like everyone and their dog

is running for president, along comes every television station from CNN to Fox News to the Aurora, Ill., public access channel sponsoring a debate for the candidates of whichever party. Modern televised debates aren’t the best way to hear what a candidate has to say. No that’s the sound bite. Nonetheless, this is how the powers that be want the public to hear what a contestant has to say so what can we do about it? Not a whole lot.

So in the meantime we will hear candidates repeating their talking points like a mantra, with a little individual flair inserted, something such as Fred Thompson might say like “That’s crazier than shoes on a cat.” Which, if you are a cat lover isn’t all that crazy.

I feel the Republic will once again find itself trouble after the 2008 ballots are counted up. Don’t ask me why I know. It’s just a gut feeling.

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