Friday, August 31, 2007

Fred Thompson's Iffy Entrance

He is finally ready for his close-up. After the longest throat-clearing in election history, Fred Thompson has announced he will announce his candidacy next Thursday--by webcast, thereby postponing a little longer the tawdry business of personal appearances and pressing the flesh.

Up to now, Thompson’s “Wag the Dog” campaign has been working well enough to push him into second place in the polls behind Rudy Giuliani without saying much of anything. The few times he has proferred platitudes at rubber-chicken dinners, the applause was not deafening.

Now he is going to have to answer tiresome questions about his past lobbying, his relaxed work ethic and his young wife’s campaign-managing. He will have stand next to the Republican pygmies in debates and trade zingers with the likes of Ron Paul. If he flubs his lines in stump speeches, there won’t be any retakes.

There is a long tradition of movie actors blowing it in live theater. Thompson may regret stepping out from emoting for the cameras and taking his chances with live audiences who may hiss and boo or, worst of all, yawn.

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