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Fred Thompson, Stuck In A Bad Meme

I've argued previously that the standards by which Fred Thompson is judged to be lazy are silly and not predictive of a great president. That said, we live in the world as it is. And a main goal of Fred's current Iowa bus tour must be dispelling the laziness rap. Which is why this hilarious Roger Simon story is sort of a disaster:

We waited for Thompson outside the conference room and after a few minutes he emerged, left the newspaper office and headed straight onto his large, brown bus.
But what happened to the “tour of downtown Waverly” that was on his schedule?
Canceled. Not going to happen. He was not going to walk the streets of Waverly in search of voters.
Instead, Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station... and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.
Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.
“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.
In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.
To save the moment, Jeri Thompson took the hat from her husband’s hands and put it on her head....
The chief invited Thompson to climb up behind the wheel, but Thompson said, “Naw, this is fine.” And he stood there looking at the fire truck...
Thompson walked away from the fire truck, posed for a picture or two and the event was over. He and his entourage got on his bus and roared out of town.
Later, his press aide sent Mark and me an e-mail of explanation, though we had not asked for one....
The press aide also claimed that “ice and snow on the streets presented a safety issue,” but Halperin and I had no problem walking on the mostly well-shoveled avenue, both before Thompson arrived and after he left.

Memo to Fred: It's a stupid and debasing process. But you can't fight it.

--Michael Crowley