December 21, 2007

Five Alarm Douchebaggery at Politico

A few days ago, Roger Simon, one of the writers at The Politico, which is a left leaning news blog, wrote a brutal piece about Fred Thompson and his campaign.  "Brutal" was how Malkin described it at Hotair, and really, when you read the article on its own, and if you accept it as truth, that's a pretty apt descriptor. 

When you read the article at Politico, of note is the appearance at a local fire station, and a scene where Fred is given the Fire Chief's helmet, and Fred is reported to have said, "I've got a rule about silly hats" and fumbled around uncomfortably with said hat till Jeri Thompson took the hat from him and put it on her head, bailing him out.  Simon claimed it was a very uncomfortable moment in the fire station.

But, as Bob at ConfederateYankee notes, it appears Simon exaggerated his report, spinning the description of the story against Thompson.  As it turns out, Fred said, "I have a rule about silly hats, that I'm about to violate",  now, as has been noted by many commenters and bloggers, concern about looking silly on the campaign trail has long been a concern, a few examples,
The famous Dukakis tank ride
Or John Kerry looking like a giant condom
"Hello, ladies, why yes, I am ribbed for your pleasure!"
And for a little historical flavor, Calvin Coolidge wearing a Native American headdress, of course, Cal had a such reputation for being a quiet, sorta stiff guy, this might have actually helped him(h/t to Bob at CY)...

And I'm sure there are others throughout history, but these are two more recent ones that people remember.  So there is precedent in being cautious about unfortunate photo-ops.  But even then, if you watch the video, it didn't seem uncomfortable, people seemed to be enjoying themselves, and there were some other things Simon got wrong. 

Which then brings into question, how much was Simon's article and reporting tainted with his preexisting attitude toward Fred Thompson?  Was he as lazy, dull, cold and unreceptive as Simon painted him to be? 

When I first read about the story at Hotair, I figured it would be somewhere in the middle, given Fred's often dull, clumsy, lackluster appearances early in his campaign, some of those accusations rang true, and I say that as a Fred supporter. I also figured there would be some exaggeration on the part of Politico, given that its a left-leaning site and views things from liberal eyes, but not enough to be dishonest. 

Looks like I may have been wrong about that second thought, like Bob, I'd like to know what the locals thought about Fred's appearance, and see if it meshes at all with what Roger Simon wrote at Politico. 

Fred offers a fun little response

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