THE MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL STORY OF THE YEAR, IF NOT THE MILLENNIUM
Well, thank God for Mike Allen's blog at the Politico. If Allen hadn't made it his #2 "Must Read" story (as I type), I might have completely missed this vitally important bit of information, which was posted at the Caucus blog of The New York Times last week:
The Thompson Sound Effects
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. — It's a bug.
At least that's what Fred D. Thompson said between harumphs about his very noticeable harumphing this morning in a campaign appearance here at a local restaurant.
But if it is some sort of bug, it is a mighty persistent one, as it is a tic that everyone from television producers fretting about their audio to members of the audience at his speeches have noticed since he declared his candidacy for the presidency back in early September....
Take his response to a question about the size of the military, which went something like this: "Military experts need to tell us (harumph) the exact numbers (harumph) that they think we need (harumph)."
That's when he paused to offer his explanation.
"When you got a four-year-old and a one-year-old at home, there's almost always something going around (harumph)," he said, drawing appreciative laughter from the audience. "It's on its way here right now, I think. Everybody in my house has got it (harumph)."
He offered the same explanation earlier in the week in Celebration, Fla., according to our correspondent, Marc Santora....
But in an interview in Iowa with The Times's national political correspondent, Adam Nagourney, a week before that, ... Mr. Thompson explained that he had drunk coffee with milk in the morning, which his doctors told him had caused throat congestion....
This is incredibly important!
Call it "Phlegm-gate"!!!!
There's an audio link in a sidebar (mp3) that purports to demonstrate the shocking sound effects. I expected some sort of epic, hyperbolic throat clearing that sounded like a Martin Short or Mike Myers geezer on a vintage Saturday Night Live episode. But in the clip Thompson sounds like, well, a normal guy who has to clear his throat more than once.
Aren't you glad mainstream political journalists are taking full advantage of the Internet's infinite bandwidth to give us deeper, richer coverage of American politics?
Coming up next: Barack Obama has a small piece of spinach in his teeth! Does that mean he can't deal effectively with Ahmadinejad?