I know that that headline isn’t news to bloggers but it’s the first thing that I thought of when I read this article, Here’s what I’m basing my opinion on:

Throughout his presidential campaign, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson (R) has been dogged by questions about whether he wants to win the White House. On Thursday night, he answered those critics by delivering his best debate performance when he needed it most.

However, it might be too little, too late for Thompson. He has performed poorly in the previous contests, had his commitment questioned and his campaign appears to have some money problems.

Right out of the gate, Thompson criticized former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), who could be his main competition in the fight for the votes of Christian conservatives.

Let’s first dispose with Klaus Marre’s opinion that “it may be too little, too late.” BULLETIN TO MARRE: We’re 2 states into the process. Nobody’s out of it. Except Ron Paul. (I’m still wondering if he’s from the same solar system.)

Another point that’s easily rebutted is Marre’s statement that Fred’s “performed poorly in the previous contests.” I’m wondering if Marre watched Saturday night’s ABC debate, which Fred won. I’m wondering if he watched Fred Sunday night’s FNC debate, in which Fred had another strong showing.

After tonight’s debate, in which Fred exposed Huckabee for getting the NEA’s endorsement because Huckabee’s opposed to school vouchers, Huckabee’s support amongst Christian conservatives will plummet.

Let’s compare Marre’s opinions with Captain Ed’s:

Who put the vitamins in Fred Thompson’s oatmeal? We have waited for Thompson to show up on the campaign trail, and tonight he finally did. He had energy, focus, a command of detail, and a willingness to finally engage with the other candidates on the stage. He took almost everyone else aback, and seized momentum that he only occasionally relinquished.

UPDATE: Fred ate more Wheaties between the debate and his appearance on Hannity & Colmes. He’s smacking Alan Colmes around on Iraq and Iran. He’s looking for battles and winning them. It’s pretty amazing.

Tonight might best be described as Fred’s ‘Take No Prisoners’ night. He annihilated Huckabee on Huckabee’s willingness to abandon the principles of federalism to sign a nationwide smoking ban. He chastised Huckabee for having a “Blame America first” attitude on foreign policy. Finally, Fred thrashed Huckabee for saying that the Reagan coalition is dead.

While most candidates managed to get in their talking points and one-liners, it appears as though Thompson was the winner Thursday night. A Fox News focus group overwhelmingly believed that the former senator had done the best job but also questioned whether it was enough to turn around an ailing campaign.

Frankly, it’s getting bothersome to hear the same line about whether Fred can turn things around. That was a legitimate question prior to Fred’s barnstorming tour of Iowa. It’s obvious that he’s showing more energy in these debates. More importantly, he’s showing himself to have the most solid policies of anyone in the field.

Another benchmark that’s worth thinking about is which candidates won over the most new support. If you’re using this measuring stick, it’s clear that Fred stripped alot of Christian conservatives from supporting Huckabee and giving them plenty of reasons for supporting Fred. Rudy, Romney and McCain likely treaded water, maybe losing a little, maybe gaining a little.

The other thing to remember is that Fred’s campaign wasn’t lagging because people didn’t love his policies. People weren’t flocking to Fred’s campaign because they wanted him more emotionally invested in his campaign. Now that Fred’s showing that he’s invested totally in winning the nomination, grassroots support for Fred will grow quickly.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

One Response to “Clueless Beltway Pundits”

  • HeavyHanded says:

    I think Ron Paul ought to each across the aisle and draft Dennis “The Menace” Kucinich as his VP running mate.

    Wouldn’t they make a great pair?

    And hey, they could “bring America together” again.

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