“Having watched the second Republican debate the other night, it’s clear to me the subject today is Fred Thompson, the man who wasn’t there. While the other candidates bang away earnestly in a frozen format, Thompson continues to sneak up from the creek and steal their underwear — boxers, briefs and temple garments,” Peggy Noonan writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.
“He is running a great campaign. It’s just not a declared campaign. It’s a guerrilla campaign whose informality is meant to obscure his intent. It has been going on for months and is aimed at the major pleasure zones of the Republican brain. In a series of pointed columns, commentaries and podcasts, Mr. Thompson has been talking about things conservatives actually talk about. Shouldn’t homeowners have the right to own a gun? Isn’t it bad that colleges don’t teach military history? How about that [new French President Nicolas] Sarkozy — good news, isn’t it? Did you see [former CIA chief George J.] Tenet on [“Meet the Press”]? His book sounds shallow, tell-all-y.
“These comments and opinions are being read and forwarded in Internet Nation. They are revealing and interesting, but they’re not heavy, not homework. They have an air of ‘This is the sound of a candidate thinking.’ That’s an unusual sound,” Miss Noonan said.