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January 10, 2008

Fred Thompson Blogger Call

Fred Thompson held his first extensive blogger conference this afternoon, and he emphasized his individualism and his authenticity as his greatest assets in the race. He's touring South Carolina and seeing a lot of support -- and also a lot more people who have yet to decide on their candidate than one might think. He's doing well at his stops, which he acknowledges is a bit of a bubble for any candidate, but he's quite optimistic.

On the media, he's not as optimistic. He scoffed at their rumor-mongering, especially in regards to his supposed withdrawal from the race. He said that they put out rumors like people put out milk for kittens, and everyone laps it up.

On his competition, he agreed with one blogger who called most of his opponents liberals. Fred doesn't think that the media picks candidates as much as rolls with whatever story arises and tries to build themes with them. He will try to draw distinctions between the other candidates and true conservatism in the debate tonight. Keep an eye out for that tonight.

Fred won't bring a celebrity on the trail with him. He gave a one-word answer -- "Nope". He says that Huckabee didn't get a single voter from having Chuck Norris on the stump, although he concedes he got more attention. He refused to apologize for his late entry into the race, wondering what benefit we've seen from the early primary we've just experienced, and calling it a "race to the bottom".

I've recorded the conference call (with the campaign's permission); I'll be pulling quotes for a later post.

UPDATE & BUMP: I'm going to pull some audio for tomorrow's Heading Right Radio show, which will have Steve Forbes as a special guest to explain Rudy Giuliani's new tax reform proposal. In the meantime, Brian Faughnan at the Weekly Standard has the most comprehensive roundup of the call, and Power Line has a nice analysis of it.


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