Friday, September 7, 2007

Was the wait a mistake for Fred Thompson?

Did waiting hurt Fred?

Whatever happens next, Thompson at least gave commentators something new to talk about. Was it a mistake to go on Leno instead of the debate, they wondered? And, did he sign on too late, they speculated? Is he a team player?

Thompson must have chuckled all the way to Iowa. Too late for what? Most Americans still don't know who's running and don't share the punditry's obsession with quantifying who's up and who's down every 24-hour cycle. If they're watching television, they're more likely watching Leno, who averaged 5.9 million viewers in 2006, instead of the presidential debates, which tend to draw between 1 million and 2 million viewers, according to Variety.

By setting himself apart from the gaggle and having a one-on-one chat with 6 million Americans, Thompson messed up the political ecosystem. In a single well-timed appearance, he made up for a late start and got exposure and buzz. And it didn't cost him a dime.

Some mistake.

Courtesy of Kathleen Parker at RCP

I was opposed to waiting so long, but in the end, it looks like Fred was right, and I was, wrrrr. wrrrr. wrrrrrrr. umm, "not in alignment with reality". Yeah, that'll do.

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