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Opinion: Fred Thompson under a microscope

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Fred Thompson may be taking his own sweet time before he ambles into the Republican presidential race, but the vetting of his record and character is proceeding full-speed ahead.

After The Times’ Janet Hook earlier this month took a broad look at Thompson’s willingness to chart his own path during his time in the Senate, the Washington Post today spotlights how his legal career ‘has given Thompson an affinity with one of the Republican Party’s perennial targets, trial lawyers.’

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Within the last few days, two lengthy magazine articles have appeared that raise personality questions about the Tennessean, with a particular focus on whether he has the drive necessary to persevere in a White House run.

The cover story in the New Republic wonders whether Thompson is ‘enough of a go-getter’ and ‘really enough of a man for this fight.’ Meanwhile, a profile in New York magazine asserts that he could be hampered by two key liabilities: ‘his work ethic and authenticity.’

Thompson’s commitment to the task at hand apparently has long been in doubt. As it became clear back in the spring that Thompson was seriously interested in pursuing the presidency, the caption under his picture in an old high school yearbook was widely reported: ‘The lazier a man is, the more he plans for tomorrow.’

We sympathize with Thompson on this last front. Who among us, after all, wants to have his or her teen years revisited?

-- Don Frederick


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