Fred Thompson’s Image Ill-defined

Gallup Poll Fred Thompson I love the title of Frank Newport’s latest Gallup analysis: “Despite Strength in Poll, Fred Thompson’s Image Ill-defined.” It might better have been entitled, “Lack of Defined Image Improves Fred Thompson’s Poll Numbers.” The same can, and has, been said of Barack Obama.

This isn’t to say that Thompson and Obama will necessarily drop off the radar screen once subjected to public scrutiny. Indeed, I find them both bright and likable. But vague voter perceptions based on gravitas on the silver screen or a particularly stirring convention speech may prove ephemeral.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    But at least Obama is “articulate.”

  2. The blank screen that voters can project what they want to see is not a bad starting point. The problem is that as the candidate actually takes positions, he will tarnish that blank screen.

  3. James Joyner says:

    Don’t forget “clean.”

  4. If you’re right I hope it’s not contagious.