Also from Geraghty, this insight into the Fred campaign-in-the-making:
Fred's prior experience as a lobbyist and Senator probably won't be that much of a problem, I am thinking... he can make the point that he left Washington willingly because of the very things he speaks against now.
In the past couple weeks, as Thompson has focused almost exclusively on fundraising, low-profile radio interviews, and appearances at Sean Hannity's concerts, the conventional wisdom on him curdled after a couple months of good buzz. He went from the next Reagan to a lazy lightweight who wasn't that interested in the job or the work needed to win it, with, rumor had it, a pushy wife and ever-changing not-quite-campaign staff.
The speeches suggest that large chunks of the negative buzz are overhyped. A lazy or unambitious man doesn't spend a lot of time talking about entitlement reform. We're seeing a theme emerge: "Get Serious." Fred Thompson's the guy who isn't going to waste anybody's time blowing sunshine up your... well, you know where. He sees big threats on the horizon, and he's sounding the alarm, like Paul Revere. No vague and soothing "audacity of hope." Nevermind complaining about "two Americas," Thompson wants to make sure no nuclear bomb goes off in either one of 'em. For all his background as a lobbyist and inside-the-beltway lawyer, Thompson seems likely to denounce business as usual - he doesn't seem above using a barnyard epithet to respond to Don Young declaring in a pork right, "it's my money! It's my money!"
I wouldn't have recommended the Thompson not-quite-campaign being as quiet as he has been for the past month or two. But his critics and rivals shouldn't fool themselves - the ingredients are there for a very competitive bid for the nomination.
All in all, Fred's strategy may be the best one I've seen out of the GOP pack so far. And he has the gravitas to pull it off successfully, too. Both Republicans and Democrats underestimate Fred at their own peril.