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The Carpetbagger Report: “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t Thompson be under pressure to do better in today’s debate? He’s been awful as a candidate thus far, flubbing every policy test, boring his audiences, failing to raise a lot of money, and disappointing supporters.”
The New York Times Caucus: “Chris Matthews asks the toughest question of the night. He asks Fred Thompson who the leader of Canada is. Mr. Thompson nails it. (I think.)”
The Politico: Chris Matthews’ versus Fred Thompson.
“You should’ve stopped at no,” Matthews told Thompson.
“Well, that’s your opinion, Chris,” Thompson shot back.
Washington Wire: “The former Tennessee senator offered up more substance on policy matters than he has in his first few weeks on trail.”
Roger Simon at Politico: “He wasn’t terrible. He wasn’t great. He was just ‘eh.'”
Arena of Ideas: “Believing in the power of the individual over the government to solve problems is both truthful and inspiring. It is the silver bullet which could, if used properly, defeat the socialistic menace which we are facing in the 2008 election.”
Wake Up America: “Fred is debuting very well, he looks awake, aware and into it, although we all know how he feels about these soundbite debates.”
Mountaineer Musings: “Is it the government’s job to fix [mortgage foreclosures], or is it the job of private enterprise?” I’m sorry, I don’t see Option C, so I’ll just tell you, Miss Crazy Lady. It’s the job of the people taking out the mortgages to not take out mortgages that are more than they can handle. And I mean people need to really think about it before they sign those papers.”
Naked Politics: “McCain sides with Florida on oil drilling.”
Red State: “Lacy emphasized throughout the call that there is a real disconnect out there on how the campaign is viewed. He said the media traveling with Fred is amazed by the reception Fred is getting and this goes to a larger issue of the disconnect people feel about the candidates right now.”
Captain’s Quarters: “Thompson has to perform well in this debate, and not just to impress Chris Matthews and Michigan. He has to establish that he can campaign well in the field, and no one gets a second chance to make a first impression.”
Real Clear Politics: “Today’s GOP debate in Detroit has been hyped by some as ‘make or break’ for Fred Thompson. True, it is his first and the punditry will be watching closely. But because the debate is being held at 4 pm EDT on CNBC, it will likely have a fraction of the audience of other debates.”
Power Line: “The debate will be moderated by Chris Matthews, which is more or less like the Democrats agreeing to a debate moderated by Ann Coulter.”
John Podhoretz @ The Corner: “I’m not among those who thinks it should be a scandal and an outrage that Chris Matthews is moderating a Republican debate today. Is there really a profound difference between Matthews, say, and Jim Lehrer, whose hosting would provoke no outrage – save for Matthews’s unfortunate tendency to speak more words than the debaters?”