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Fred Thompson: "Late"…and "riled"

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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 10, 2008 11:20 PM

Update midnight: Interesting post from Peter Robinson at The Corner…

Just got off the line with someone close to the Thompson campaign—and, more to the point, to Thompson himself. His reading of what took place tonight? Fred Thompson was riled.

“Nothing ever upset Fred Thompson more than the story [on the day of the Iowa caucuses] that he was considering dropping out to endorse McCain.”

Plus: A rightosphere temperature check from John Hawkins.

***
The Luntz focus group on Fox (no sign of that repeat dude) weighed in on Thompson. The majority said he won the debate, but wondered how much it would matter. He has a few diehard supporters, but several more expressed doubts about his viability. He’s entertaining, said one member, but lacks consistency in his performances. Several agreed: “He’s late.”

What say you?

***

In related Fred news, there’s a lot of hype over a major endorsement he’s scheduled to receive tomorrow. Bryan Preston listened in on a conference call he held with bloggers earlier this afternoon. And Jim Geraghty ponders the road ahead:

The following week it comes down to Rudy, McCain, and a reinvigorated Thompson in Florida. I think McCain and Rudy are competing for a more overlapping group of the Republican primary electorate than Thompson is, but maybe I’m wrong.

In a three way race, shorn of Romney’s millions and Huckabee’s grassroots manpower of evangelical Christians, Thompson has a pretty good shot. If he can pick up an endorsement or two along the way, great.

By the way, it’s not unthinkable that Romney wins Michigan, Thompson wins South Carolina, and Giuliani wins Florida. Under that scenario, the five biggest contests of the early GOP Primary season will have generated five different winners.

If only Thompson had been as tough on McCain as he was on Huckabee tonight.

Sigh…

***

Bob Owens: “The Republican debate in Myrtle Beach was a clear win for Fred Thompson, and that seems to be the building prevailing sentiment. Everyone else seemed content to play defense and just attempt to hold ground. They failed.” Click over for Bob’s assessment of Ron Paul. Ouch. Looks like he’s going to get some of Brit Hume’s Ronulan hate mail forwarded to him

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