As Fred Thompson is catching Rudy Giuliani and passing other Republican candidates in political polls across the country, his campaign needs to realize how delicate their new popularity is. Time magazine recently published an article calling Thompson "Lazy as a Fox." In doing this, Time basically did the work of every opposing campaign. As all politicos know, a candidate wants to define himself or herself before their opponents are able to. Kerry was labeled a flip-flopper in 2004, and it very well could have cost him the election.
As Sam Youngman's article in TheHill clearly points out, the Democrats are trying to build up this idea that Thompson is lazy. DNC spokeswoman Amaya Smith went as far as to say that “At his current pace, Fred Thompson will still be trying to catch his breath while voters are casting their ballots.” And don't think that only the Democrats will take advantage of this. As the primaries draw nearer and nearer, Republican candidates will be out for blood as well. Skipping two days (even though one of them was September 11th) can easily magnify the "lazy" label (or libel if you're a FredHead).
The Thompson campaign should get out the message that they were breaking in remembrance of the anniversary of 9/11, and they might want to take a step further. While avoiding negative politics as much as possible this early in the game, they should come back and attack other candidates FOR campaigning on Wednesday. I can see the article now..."During a time when the nation should be remembering those loved ones lost on that tragic day six years ago, candidates/Senators/Governors X, Y, and Z were out in full force on the campaign trail on 9/11, putting their political ambition above their respect for the Americans that died that day..."...Or something to that affect.
It would also be a great time to denounce the fund raising events targeted at people who can profit off of the events of 9/11. Senator Clinton, for example, will be hosting a homeland security-themed, $1,000-a-plate fundraiser next week. Many Democratic congressmen and senators will be there as well to lead smaller break-out sessions for the lobbyists who can profit from the changes that have occurred since September 11, 2001.
It's time for Thompson to get away from being "lazy as a fox" and time to start being "clever as a fox." So far, I'm not convinced that either are completely true.
- Kevin Hoggatt