AUDITIONING FOR THE ROLE. Now that Fred Thompson has dipped his toe in the waters of the presidential race we can go back to discussing the way he smells and the way he looks so very presidential. He also has lots of experience as a performer of authoritarian roles on television.

Jay Carney at Swampland pointed out, in jest, that Thompson looks like a president. Perhaps he should get the role on just that basis? The Brits have an advantage over Americans in not having to select figureheads, given their royalty habit. I think we urgently need something similar, without those awkward historical connections, because otherwise it looks like we might as well have a beauty pageant for the president of the United States. Or perhaps we should elect a pair of presidents: one for the looks and aura of authority, the other one for the actual work.

--J. Goodrich