The August 27, 2007, deadtree issue of National Review has a solid cover story by Byron York on Fred Dalton Thompson:

Altogether, there’s no doubt that Thompson is a solid conservative who would goern as one. But it’s hard to claim that his positions are terribly different from those of the other conservatives running for the Republican presidential nomination. Instead, what Thompson is betting on — he said so explicitly in his discussion of Social Security — is that he will be a more effective leader than the other guys, and that he will be more able to convince ordinary Americans to support his initiatives. But first he has to convince them to vote for him.

The article opens with a missed opportunity at an appearance in Philadelphia that is similar to a missed opportunity at an appearance in Orange County. Instead of wowing the partisan crowd that came to see and was willing to be inspired, Thompson leaked air and left the crowd deflated.

The disappointment is not in his policy or positions — it’s in the presentation.

Thompson needs a better marketing plan.

Ronald Reagan could have bored everybody silly or to sleep by citing stats about the failing East German economy. Instead, he pointedly called for tearing down the Berlin wall — and his audience first gasped, then cheered.

To Thompson’s speechwriters: Don’t drone on about policy particulars in regards to federalism — come up with one or two sharp exemplary benefits and dish ’em up with the aplomb shone when waving that cigar at Michael Moore while suggesting the so-called documentary filmmaker consider a mental hospital. Leave the mind-numbing particulars to background white papers inflicted on policy wonks, opposition researchers, and political reporters.

[cehwiedel also writes at cehwiedel.com]

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