Thompson would be unscripted & like Reagan?

As the minutes tick down to Fred Thompson’s official entrance into the presidential race, I’m reminded of a conversation I had at the State Fair.  Thompson was shaking hands with fair-goers.  Pat Firnhaber of Boone was there, and she was enthusiastic about Thompson.

She shook the soon-to-be-candidate’s hand and told Thompson she wanted him in the race sooner rather than later.

"I’m gonna be back early and often and we gonna talk about all these things," Thompson told her.  Yes, he was drawling.

"Thank you," she said.

"What do you think of Fred Thompson?" I asked Firnhaber 20 seconds later.

"I like him so far.  I want to hear more and I want to see him in some debates," she said.  "I want him to go after what we’ve already got runnin’ in the Republican and Democrat Party because I can follow either one.  I’m a registered Republican but I can go down quick (she snapped her fingers) any time and I want to hear what he’s got to say because we need some strong voice in this country."

"You’re not pleased with the field of Republican candidates?" I asked.

"Not so far and I want somebody who can work with congress.  Somebody with some strength," she replied.

"Do you go to Caucuses?" I asked.

"Yes," Firnhaber said.  "I go to Caucuses.  I go to Straw Polls."

"Did you go to the Straw Poll (in Ames on August 11)?" I asked.

"I did not because I had to work down here," she said.  "I have gone in the past and right now I don’t think we’ve got the strength that we need in some of our candidates and I think they’ve been way too scripted.  When they don’t answer directly and they try to sidetrack it with whatever they’ve had programmed, I’m not for that."

"So you think a guy who’s used to reading Hollywood scripts will be less scripted?" I asked. 

"Hey, Ronald Reagan did well and he could still speak his mind and be a strong president, so if you’ve got the prescence and can get your point across and be honest about it," Firnhaber said.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.