At least that's how it was hyped up to be, with this quotation getting a lot of press recently:
"I'm not particularly interested in running for president..."
This is the sort of thing that kills a candidate -- after all, if you're not dedicated to going the distance, why should anyone else waste their hard-earned money, their precious volunteer time, and the one vote they get to cast?
Jim Geraghty at NRO is pretty convincing in asserting that Thompson has repeatedly been the victim of half-quotes and mis-quotes with regard to this issue.
Even better is the extended account by the very Iowa Republican who asked the question of Fred Thompson that elicited that statement.
That Republican who asked the question, far from being put off, was convinced by Thompson's answer to support Fred. Again, read what he has to say -- it is an interesting look inside the mind of a Republican voter who cares about his country and who believes that the conservative vision is the right one for America.