I have to run out in the AM and inspect a hardcopy of Newsweek. It seems they picked a shot for the cover that shows Fred Thompson in much better shape than he is now.
Meanwhile, the pic above, which they chose to lead their slideshow, is a real hoot. What with the intimation throughout the story that Thompson lacks drive (the cover ascribes a laziness to him, and goes on to describe how he hardly ever went after a political job he wasn’t pushed into), the main feature opens with an extended description of how the big man could barely lend himself to schmoozing at the Minnesota State Fair.
The way Newsweek frames the story, this diffidence makes the politician-turned-two-and-a-half-bit-actor a different kind of candidate — as someone who can take it or leave it because he’s “just plain himself” and more comfortable in his skin. On the other hand, the fact he doesn’t turn a head at the State Fair might just as much telegraph how this nascent candidacy is not much more than a desperate Republican Hail Mary.
Besides the nonchalance, the article mentions how Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 04, which is now in remission. Maybe completely true, but he doesn’t look so good to me.
(image: Charles Ommanney / Getty Images for Newsweek. Published September 3, 2007. msnbc.msn.com)