Not Dead Yet?
by Todd Beeton, Fri Jan 11, 2008 at 08:32:41 AM EST
Having missed last night's debate, I surfed around to get a sense of how it went and there's one fairly consistent thread.
From Marc Ambinder:
This was Fred Thompson's second strong debate in a row; it's as if he realized there was a real campaign and that he had real talent to bring to bear in a way that makes him look good and his opponents look silly.
From zonk in the comments:
The focus group loved them some Fred.
From First Read:
In last night's GOP debate from South Carolina, Thompson was funny, biting, and energetic. It was easily his smoothest performance, but it wasn't necessarily presidential -- it was Jack Cafferty-esque or Paul Harvey-like. In short, he sounded like a smart (and cranky) pundit.
So you gotta wonder, what is it that's put a spring back in Grandpa Fred's step? Is it that South Carolina is make or break or that in the GOP primary, as South Carolina goes, so goes the nation? Or is there something else at work? Chuck Todd gives voice to my suspicions:
Is Thompson worried about Thompson or is Thompson trying to help John McCain because he certainly did John McCain a big favor by going after Mike Huckabee.
There was a lot of talk about Fred dropping out after Iowa and endorsing John McCain but perhaps he's calculated that he can actually be of more help to his buddy McCain by remaining in the race. Or maybe Fred just woke up.