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A Thought About the Thompson (Pre-)Campaign


My impression of the Thompson team, from a few interactions with a couple of different parts of the gathering crew, is that it differs from a lot of presidential campaigns in that there is not an inner circle that has been with the candidate (and, very importantly, with one another) for years, knows him well, can speak for him, and protects him. By the time they run for President, most contenders have been in politics in one way or another for some time and have gathered a team of trusted aides who are used to functioning as a group, and who have experience doing so in campaign mode. Thompson doesn’t have that (in part because of the peculiar contours of his career) so he’s putting it together in a hurry now. He’s gathering people who are very impressive individually—really very impressive—but they haven’t worked together before, and this will inevitably lead to some serious early hiccups once they really get going. Anyone who has worked on a campaign can tell you how important it is for the top people to know each other’s instincts, specialties, and quirks, so that in the heat of the action they know to whom they ought to pass the ball and when. It’s striking how little the Thompson people seem to know about each other. That’ll change pretty quickly of course, but it could well change the hard way.


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