Here's the transcript. I've got some comments in last night's post, but I'll just say he didn't do anything to create excitement or even fulfill expectations. He had his big chance to make a first impression, and since everyone else was an old impression, he should have made the difference work for him. Instead, Giuliani, Romney, and Huckabee took advantage of their experience with the debate format. (I'm leaving McCain off that list intentionally.)
Thompson was asked about his performance at the end of the debate:
Ms. Bartiromo: Senator Thompson? Senator Thompson, this was your first debate. How did it feel?That's a joke that didn't happen.
Mr. Thompson: Just like home.
I didn't say which kind of home.
Ms. Bartiromo: Do you regret waiting so long?Why that gets laughter... you can't tell from the transcript.
Mr. Thompson: No. I don't think I waited too long. It seems about right to me.
I've enjoyed...What's with Matthews?
Mr. Matthews: Do we have any questions?
Mr. Thompson: I've enjoyed watching these fellas. I've got to admit, it was getting a little boring without me, but...It was getting a little boring without me... That's a good line. A line prepared in advance and delivered well. But... didn't he bring the boring? It was getting a little more boring with him.
.. I'm glad to be here now.
IN THE COMMENTS: A recurrent defense of Fred: We like boring, we want boring, boring is good...