Fred Thompson has declared his intention to run in '08, but to succeed he'll have to get past his longstanding reputation for laziness, writes Slate's John Dickerson. The former senator and "Law & Order" star prefers adages to more strenuous tactics, and that approach could sink the self-styled outsider in the post-9/11 age, Dickerson points out.
Thompson earned the indolent tag in the senate—the 1997 campaign-finance hearings he chaired lost steam precipitously. But the candidate, unperturbed, has shrugged off the claim with the quip, "I wonder how I got so far in life." Southern-fried quipping got him to Washington once, and observers are waiting to see what lies behind the folksy style.