Thompson implied at Stamford that Republicans, along with Democrats, are responsible for making Americans cynical. While so far not spelling this out publicly, he deplores ethical abuses, profligate spending and incompetent management of the Iraq war. He becomes incandescent when considering abysmal CIA and Justice Department performance under the Bush administration. He is enraged by Justice's actions in decisions leading to Scooter Libby's prison sentence.
In his Senate voting record and his public utterances, Thompson is more conservative than Giuliani, McCain or Romney. He takes a hard line on the War on Terror and worries about immigration policy creating a permanent American underclass. Beyond ideology, Thompson envisions a 21st-century campaign, utilizing the Internet more and spending less money than his opponents. When speaking to a friendly audience or ruminating off the record, the 6-foot-7 actor-politician does not look or sound like the GOP's announced candidates for President. His challenge will be to convey that impression when he appears with opponents on the same stage in the immediate future.