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Thursday, September 6, 2007
posted by Kyle Hampton | 4:41 PM | permalink
Tom Bevan, over at RCP blog, has some details about Fred Thompson's campaign launch:
The buzz among the press at Fred's kickoff event is all about the small-ish size of the crowd. I believe the campaign is circulating an official number of 450 people, but it looked to be considerably fewer than that. I'd guess more in the 250 range, and a decent percentage of folks in the room (perhaps 20-25%) were members of the media.

I asked David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register how Fred's crowd compared to the size of crowds pulled by other top-tier candidates at recent events. Yepsen said he thought Romney could come to Des Moines any weekday afternoon and generate the same sized crowd.

Of course the Thompson folks will surely argue that we should compare it to other candidate launches and not with what candidates can garner after months of campaigning. In an ideal world that would be correct, but in a season where the campaigning started at 8 months ago, the comparison Yepsen makes is apt because Thompson doesn't have the time to make up for lost opportunities that other candidates have taken advantage of. As Mitt emphasized last night, he has done over 400 events in Iowa and New Hampshire. Thompson doesn't have the luxury of trying to compare what he's doing now with what others did months ago.

***Update: More from Yepsen himself

Fred Thompson’s announcement speech Thursday in Des Moines was underwhelming.

The former U.S. Senator and movie actor formally announced his long-awaited candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination at the Des Moines Convention Complex. It wasn’t very impressive.

The crowd of a few hundred didn’t seem enthused. Thompson’s oratory didn’t soar but was somewhat rambling.


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