FRED THOMPSON: WHAT WE'RE LOSING
"His legacy is also one of having been the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination who was willing to talk real substance...."
--Republican consultant Mark Corallo discussing Fred Thompson, as quoted in Chris Cillizza's Washington Post blog
I caught Thompson on Thursday at a restaurant in a strip shopping mall in West Columbia, where he did a live radio show with about 150 people watching.
His aides handed out "Fredzels," which, as near as I could determine, are pretzels. Thompson maintained his folksy style.
"It's good to be back in home territory where they know how to cook green beans!" he said.
"And they are not crunchy!" he continued.
Everybody cheered again.
A television with the sound turned off was mounted on a wall and the radio interviewer pointed out that Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, was testifying on Capitol Hill.
"You would probably say that the economy, perhaps, is the most important issue facing us?" the interviewer asked Thompson.
"Yeah, that's right," Thompson said, "but you know, you could probably get a 'Law & Order' rerun on TNT there if you wanted to switch that around a little bit."
The audience applauded and cheered.
"Looks a little boring to me," Thompson joked.
--Roger Simon at the Politico, just before the South Carolina GOP vote
Yeah, that's what we'll miss about Fred -- the substance.