Strong-to-Mixed Reviews for Thompson's Keynote
Pundits disagree on how former McCain rival performed
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Sep 3, 2008 1:03 PM CDT
Former Sen. Fred Thompson, of Tennessee speaks about Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in front a video image of McCain and his wife, Cindy, during the Republican National Convention...   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Pundits from across the political spectrum were moved by Fred Thompson’s tribute to John McCain’s heroic military service. They differ, though, on how well Thompson sold McCain as the next president:

  • Thompson couldn’t have done better, Peter Wehner at the National Review writes: “Fred Thompson did his close friend and former colleague proud. He made the case for John McCain as well as it can be made.”

  • The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber found the bio talk irrelevant and oddly distant: “All the talk about duty, honor, valor—it's as though the presidency were a lifetime achievement award.”
  • Mickey Kaus of Slate listened to Thompson and heard a bad actor. “Thompson seemed to be a guy reading his lines,” he writes. "He's no Zell Miller. And I don't think he'll have the Zell-like effect the McCain people probably hoped for."
  • Time’s Mark Halperin thought Thompson hit all the right notes: “Folksy, big, broad, and populist—and the crowd loved it.”