DECEMBER 19, 2007
I've argued previously that the standards by which Fred Thompson is judged to be lazy are silly and not predictive of a great president. That said, we live in the world as it is. And a main goal of Fred's current Iowa bus tour must be dispelling the laziness rap. Which is why this hilarious Roger Simon story is sort of a disaster:
We waited for Thompson outside the conference room and after a few
minutes he emerged, left the newspaper office and headed straight onto
his large, brown bus.
But what happened to the “tour of downtown Waverly” that was on his schedule?
Canceled. Not going to happen. He was not going to walk the streets of Waverly in search of voters.
Instead, Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station... and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire
hat so Thompson could put it on.
Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.
“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.
In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to
fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance
considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it
on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.
To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head....
The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson
said, “Naw, this is fine.” And he stood there looking at the fire
Thompson walked away from the fire truck, posed for a picture or two
and the event was over. He and his entourage got on his bus and roared
out of town.
Later, his press aide sent Mark and me an e-mail of explanation, though we had not asked for one....
The press aide also claimed that “ice and snow on the streets presented
a safety issue,” but Halperin and I had no problem walking on the
mostly well-shoveled avenue, both before Thompson arrived and after he
Memo to Fred: It's a stupid and debasing process. But you can't fight it.