James Dobson is right about one thing: Fred Thompson can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail. This was Thompson's grand opportunity to show this audience more than his Senate record, more than his affection for John Roberts or Tom Coburn, more than his dedication to the institution of marriage (twice), and more than his moment of awe when he saw his daughter's sonogram. That's baseline stuff for this crowd; they're looking for catchy phrases drawn on scripture and rhetorical venom for perceived enemies.

Thompson delivered none of that. He doesn't know what he'd do in his first hundred days, he said, but knows that in his first hour, he "would go into oval office, close door and pray for the wisdom to do what is right." He might think that's a sufficient blueprint for a presidency, but even this audience appeared unmoved, and gave him only polite applause.

--Sarah Posner

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