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Thompson Debate Debut
Posted by: mcq on Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Unfortunately I was on the road when the debate was on, however, the reviews are in, at least in the blogosphere.

Joe Gandelman, of The Moderate Voice, seems to have the most accepted view:
But did he live up to the advance billing? Was he another Ronald Reagan? Or did he flop? Fizzle? Help himself? Shoot himself in the foot or where the sun don’t shine? Was his performance the other kind of b.o.?

The reviews are trickling in and they’re mixed — but they’re likely to keep him in play as a viable alternative to Republicans who cannot stomach the idea of a Rudy Giuliani or a Mitt Romney or (far less likely) a Ron Paul at the head of the elephant ticket.
Mixed sounds about right. As I read through them, it appears that there are those who thought he did very well, those who thought he wasn't so hot, but most thought he was "solid" he did "OK."

I'd guess "OK" at this point is a plus for Thompson who is still at the beginning phase of his campaign and joining a crowd who has been at it for months and has had time to polish their presentations and have the experience of numerous of these debates.

Here's a complete transcript of the debate if you're interested.

Jon Henke live blogged it at Fred08. I guess the only other thing to note is, as expected, Chris Matthews couldn't stick with the mundane roll of moderator, but felt compelled to insert himself into the proceedings from time to time.

What a surprise.

If you watched it what were your impressions of the Thompson debut?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I got a little scared at the opening question with the 10 second pause, thinking he choked, but then he recovered and went on to be the most intelligent voice on the panel.

Also: if Mitt Romney is sparing some of his ’charming jokes’ at your expense at the end, then you know your playing with the Big Dogs, and Romney thinks so, too.
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
My very non-political wife and sisters-in-law were at my house yesterday while the news was on.

They all said that he "looked really old."

They didn’t have any comments about the other candidates.
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
He reminded me of someone playing ball control after having established a lead at the end of the game.

Written By: Bithead
He reminded me more of someone entering the game for the first time in the second half of a game in the middle of the season, while all the other players are already in mid-season form.

Fred warmed up by the end of the debate, though.
Written By: Will Franklin
On a scale of 1-10, He was about a 6.
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
I thought Fred did pretty well, but could have been smoother in his delivery at times. Give him a B or B+ on substance.
Written By: kalthalior
Competent, but not "wow". He really was loosening up by the end of it. Given that the audience of it is roughly the number of people you can pack into the average Hooters, the fact that he didn’t give any ammunition to dog him with for the next two months makes it a win. This could only hurt him, not help him, and it didn’t hurt.
Written By: Phelps
I caught a few minutes of the debate. Watched Fred give one answer, on the question of jobs and free trade. He gave the usual Republican spiel on the matter, but he also looked tired, had bags under his eyes, seemed slightly uncomfortable, and spoke in a somewhat atypical for him wonkish way.

He needs to give Fred Thompson answers, like, "We’re always losing and gaining jobs. Trade is part of that. That’s why America and Americans need to be mobile, agile, and when other countries aren’t playing fair with us, hostile, at least until they get our point. Jack Kennedy famously said that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s what America has always been about, and so those of us in government have to get out of the way and let Americans, entrepreneurs and workers, make the economy move. And they can’t do that if we’re taking the dollars out of their pockets that they need to do things, or if we make it, with our excessive regulations, too costly for them to do anything at all. So, free trade isn’t the problem. The problem is excessive taxation, excessive regulation, and excessive butting in where government doesn’t belong. If we don’t stop doing all that, stop killing the goose that lays the golden egg, we’ll go right to hell in a handbasket."
Written By: Martin McPhillips

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