Returning from the Jewish holiday, I see there has been much discussion about the George Will review around the blogosphere. Because of his stature and reach it is getting a lot of play but there have been many conservative commentators, a number with an intellectual rather than horserace bent, who have been quite critical(here, here and here, for example). At least so far, Thompson is trying to skate by on persona, charm, southern cultural identification and the argument that everyone else is worse. In short, he's George Bush with a better voice. Thompson entered the race with the pretense that others are not being serious about addressing the problems of our day. But it is he who is not serious. Security, Unity and Prosperity? A commission on social security reform? Sounds like all rewarmed stuff from his last Senate run. That's why many are annoyed and not entranced. Not every campaign need be as policy laden as Rudy's or Romney's but given the magnitude of the issues we face, a campaign can't be a rerun of Seinfeld--a show about nothing -- and expect that wonkish pundits won't be highly critical.
And then there is Bob Novak. As only he can, Novak skewers Thompson on process, campaign organization, and staff blunders. It's quite a feat to get the deans of both camps of pundits -- political handicappers and intellectuals-- on your case in the same week.
More in a bit as to why the Thompson stop in Florida proves Novak's point: incompetent, closed staff leads to a train wreck.
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