Nothing makes for a lackluster afterparty like a tie for third place. And that’s where Fred Thompson finished in Thursday’s caucus.(via)
The former Tennessee senator won 13 percent support, too close to Arizona Sen. John McCain to call third place in the Republican race.
The crowd of about 100 Thompson supporters watching the Iowa returns in a downtown Des Moines hotel ballroom milled about, chatting amiably and noshing on the free food as if they were at a cocktail party.
“Third place is fine,” said Barnes Kelley, 21, with a resigned tone. “I think he’ll do better in Southern states,” added his younger sister Onnalee, 17.
Thompson spoke very briefly, congratulating his opponents and thanking his supporters.
He asked the crowd where he needs to go next. At their shouts of “South Carolina!” Thompson nodded approvingly. Thompson’s last best shot will be in the south, where he polls significantly better than New Hampshire.
Thompson implied he might soon drop out of the race, saying, “We’ll have to look at our finance numbers.”
But there’s nothing like playing to a crowd with low expectations.
“It looks like someone’s gonna have to carry a strong conservative message, and it looks like it’s gonna be me.” The crowd went wild as if Thompson had just sworn up and down that he was sure to win.They gamely shouted and waved signs for the television cameras.
Michael Murphy, a Thompson volunteer who drove down from Cleveland, shouted exuberantly after the speech, “You hear that? No dropping out!” Not just yet anyway.
As Murphy gamely put it, “there are three tickets out of here: first class, business class and coach. Coach gets you to New Hampshire.”
Thompson’s supporters were pleased that the potential catastrophe of a fourth- or even fifth-place finish, a specter raised by low poll numbers for Thompson in the last few days, was averted.
But the chants of “Fred, Fred, Fred” seemed forced.
But we already know about their lack of observation skills.
Judge for yourself (it's really helpful to have the video to verify the veracity of the MSM).
Thompson energetic? Not so much
Do we believe Politico or our own eyes?
Thompson is denying reports that he'll drop out if he doesn't place third in Iowa