The Spectacle Blog

Fred’s Leno Defense

By on 9.4.07 | 2:36PM

In the wake of Thompson advisor Mary Matalin's unfortunate declaration that doing Leno is more important than debating issues in front of New Hampshire voters, Bill Sammon quotes the latest from Camp Fred's communication's director, Todd Harris:

“There have been a million debates already and there are going to be a million more,” Harris said. “And people are going to see Fred Thompson out there, mixing it up with the other candidates, mixing it up with the media, engaging the voters. They are going to see months and months and months of that.”

In the meantime, Harris said, “it makes a lot of sense” for Thompson to appear on the Leno show instead of the GOP debate because the candidate will reach “everyday normal Americans who don’t live in the 202 area code.”

This doesn't strike me as a smart course of action for the Thompson campaign. It's bad enough that they have riled up New Hampshire Republicans by skipping the debate, but it's even worse to go out of their way to insult them by insisting that, somehow, appearing on a late night comedy show in Hollywood/>/> is serving some sort of higher purpose.

But in a sense, this incident encapsulates everything about the Thompson candidacy, both good and bad. His appearance on Leno will no doubt accentuate his star power, while his absence at the debate will reinforce fears that he is lazy and lacks substance.

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