As the GOP primary season rolls on, and the issue of substance rears its head, it's becoming increasingly clear that Fred Thompson remains the only true conservative choice:
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — John and Ann Berenberk dutifully watched the umpteenth Republican presidential debate on television on Thursday night and had an epiphany. It was about the candidate they had previously referred to as the tall, silent one. Fred D. Thompson.[SNIP]
The last of the candidates to enter the race, Mr. Thompson, 65, a former Tennessee senator, has so far seemed to distinguish himself mainly by a laconic style that has made him almost invisible beside the others on the stage in past debates, the Berenberks said.
“But then last night — we hadn’t even been thinking about him — all of a sudden it was clear he was the one,” said Mr. Berenberk, a retired teacher. “The bluntness, the forcefulness. He was really impressive.”
Whether this was a new Fred Thompson, or just a sign of mirage-inducing campaign fatigue among voters, many people attending Mr. Thompson’s campaign rallies here on the day after the debate reported having similar revelations.
The more the campaign wears on, the more that everyday people are starting to realize that, far from being a slick re-packaged candidate that speaks in focus-group tested soundbites, Fred Thompson is a genuine man who has, and will continue to deal in true conservative principles and ideals. To Fred, they're not soundbites, nor trite platitudes. They're the core of his being.
Mr. Thompson has made all the same points during campaign events throughout the state, aides said. But many voters who flocked to his rallies on Friday had never heard him make them until they heard him in the latest debate on the Fox News Channel.
Jim Sickles, a retired corrections officer; Natalie Bankowski, an office manager; and Maryanne Gasper, who said she was “a waitress, with two other jobs,” were among a dozen people randomly interviewed who said they had been undecided or leaning toward other Republican candidates — mainly Mr. Huckabee — until Thursday night.
As time goes by, epiphanies to that effect will become the norm, not the exception.
Joe Sixpack isn't the only one awakening to the merits of a Fred Thompson presidency; the major media pundits are taking note as well.
See Flopping Aces for a great compendium of thoughts around the MSM as well as the blogosphere.