From the day in June when I interviewed the man until this very morning, Fred Thompson has caused me to scratch my head in puzzlement and disappointment. On the one hand, Thompson displays energy, intiative, and principle in all matters of policy. He has forthrightly and uapologetically opposed Roe, arguing that abortion law should be returned to the states. He’s solid on health care. Has has displayed more courage and honesty in addressing the need for entitlement reform than all the other Republican candidates combined. In his insistence on the need to achieve victory in Iraq and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, he has proven unflinching. And now he has proposed the most imaginative and far-reaching tax reform proposal of the entire campaign, calling for the abolition of the AMT and a voluntary flat tax. On the other hand, what has Thompson displayed in campaign appearances? Torpor. Lassitude. Indifference.
As Byron York notes below, Stephen Hayes reports that Thompson now intends to climb aboard a great big bus, then spend every day but Christmas itself criss-crossing the great state of Iowa until the caucuses on January 3. With Romney stalled out and Huckabee under fire (a great deal of said fire originating right here on NRO), Fred has an opening—and, evidently, has chosen to seize it.
This is a big deal–or could be. Maybe—just maybe—Fred Thompson has finally realized that Ronald Reagan only made it look easy.