Wednesday’s come and gone. How’d they do? With one exception, there’s nothing about it on Google News. Nothing on Fred’s campaign site, either, or on Blogs for Fred Thompson, which promoted the event on Wednesday morning. In light of the holiday and the fact that it wasn’t an official campaign initiative, it may be that they haven’t run the numbers yet or that they’re not planning to do any official count. But someone at Lew Rockwell (the exception on Google News) claims to have been watching the running tally of pledges and reports that they … didn’t do quite as well as Ron Paul did with his own unofficial grassroots fundraiser a few weeks ago. Take it with a grain of salt, obviously, but do also note that one of the commenters in this Politico post also claims to have been watching the tally and his number roughly corresponds to Rockwell’s. If there’s any news about this today, I’ll update.
Meanwhile, Politico reports this morning that “[e]ven his own aides and advisers acknowledge privately that there are days when he seems disinterested in running for president at all.” The ‘Net-centric campaign model was supposed to solve that problem but it never had a chance:
Thompson is frustrated for another reason: He didn’t think he’d have to endure so much of the “inside-the-Beltway political B.S.” In being convinced to run, Thompson was swayed to think that he could “YouTube” his way to the nomination. He apparently thought he could bypass many of the traditional campaign rituals such as tromping from one Iowa diner to another or appearing on the Washington wise-guy shows.
He even bragged that he wasn’t going to follow the rules and that he would run the race his way.
In some ways, he’s kept his word. He’d prefer to talk about serious, if not politically sexy, ideas like entitlements, and he’s doing that. He doesn’t want to keep up the frenetic campaign pace of some of his rivals, and he’s not.
But, in many other ways, Thompson is giving in and running a conventional campaign. The man who was going to exploit the power of “new media” has spent hours this week doing the traditional grip and grin in places like Orange City and Le Mars, Iowa. And the candidate who would bypass the filter of the “old media” will have, after this weekend, done three Sunday show appearances in the month of November (even going so far as to cite that ultimate horse race indicator, polling data, on ABC’s “This Week”).
His camp says they’re planning to start pushing the distinction between Fred and “phony conservatives.” Between Rudy, Mitt, and Huck, there’s no shortage of targets.
Update: The Rockwell post specifically mentions the tally as of the morning and the Politico post references the night before, so it’s safe to say the number of pledges ended up a lot higher than ~80. The question is, how much higher. Paul got 21,000 donations on his money bomb day. Did Fred break four digits?