Byron York’s new article in National Review(print edition) is a balanced and interesting read on the strengths and challenges Fred Thompson faces. He notes two key problems. First, on his Senate career York notes : “During his years in the Senate from 1994 to 2003, it was well known that he wasn’t terribly fond of the work. He still isn’t.” York also notes his accomplishmenst are slight, saying his accomplishments in working on defense and welfare reform “are big accomplishments, [but] they are group accomplishments, and Thompson’s claim is pretty modest, at least for a presidential candidate; 50 other Republican senators from that era could say something similar.” Second, York also explains that Thompson needs to make the case for why he is different and better than his competitors, saying ” it’s hard to claim that his positions are terribly different from those of the other conservatives running for the Republican presidential nomination.” York does find Thompson is working hard now, slimming down (we don’t get chubby contenders anymore apparently) and is an “impressive man, sly-smart with varied life experiences.” Less than a month from now we’ll see what Thompson adds to the mix and whether, despite his conventional conservative message, GOP voters find him a more effective messenger than his rivals.
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