The Clinton camp is about to get control of the tabs.
Based on the speech Saturday night, his campaign is already dead and someone forget to inform him and Jeri. It was as vacuous and lifeless as it could have been. Astoundingly bad. "Sound common sense conservative principles" but no call to action, no memorable lines whatsoever.
Salon's Walter Shapiro is more charitable:
While the speech was more forcefully delivered than other recent Thompson appearances, it was also a vintage example of his Hound Dog Macho. The slow-talking, 6-foot-5, late-starting candidate hulked over the lectern and began with this self-deprecating riff, "All of you men out there enjoying a full head of hair -- enjoy it while you can."
There was little memorable in the address that followed ... The Des Moines Register only quoted Thompson's attempt to ballyhoo his right-from-the-start credentials: "I was a conservative yesterday, my friends. I am a conservative today. And I will be a conservative tomorrow."
Watching Thompson Saturday night, I realized how old-fashioned his podium style and his mannerisms are as a candidate. He sounded like a long-ago Southern senator from Central Casting ...
Thompson is a work in progress, a candidate who has yet to test his theoretical appeal through sustained personal campaigning.
Hardy Perennial: WaPo on progress in the District of Columbia:
In 1996, its pregnancy rate for [females age 15-19] was 164.5 per 1,000. Appalled by the triple digits, a coalition of nonprofit groups and city agencies began reaching out to various communities, holding public discussions and trying to teach parents how to talk to their children about love, sex and relationships. ... Advocates vowed to reduce the rate to the mid-70s by 2005. Instead, as statistics released this month show, it plunged to 64.4. [E.A]
Did something happen in 1996? Might be worth mentioning! Not to take anything away from "coalitions of non-profit groups ... reaching out," but one of the post-1996 things they could "teach parents" to tell their children was "welfare won't necessarily be there for you if you have a baby." (Though I suspect parents didn't need "advocates" to learn that.) ... 7:11 A.M.
Photograph of Ann Coulter on Slate's home page by Brad Barket/Getty. Photograph of a wedding cake with two grooms on Slate's home page by Hector Mata/AFP Photo. Photograph of Princess Diana on Slate's home page by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images.