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Ready With His Close-Up

VIDEO | Former Senator Fred Thompson Enters Race

The thing about the Internet is, what seems so revolutionary and ground-breaking in December -- John Edwards announcing his White House bid on YouTube! -- can look downright passe by September.

Case in point: Fred Thompson's announcement video, posted on his Web site at 12:01 a.m. today.

Dressed in a three-piece suit and speaking in a somber, serious monotone, Thompson told his story. He was "a small town kid of modest means and modest goals" who married young and ate dinner at factory floors. Through hard work, he made it as a federal prosecutor and served as minority counsel for the Watergate hearings. He found a "most unlikely part-time" career in Hollywood. When his two Senate terms in Tennessee were up, he went back to the private sector. After saying, "Our country needs us to win next year, and I'm ready to win that effort," he turned to a laundry list of familiar issues: terrorism, economy, immigration, schools, energy independence. Towards the end, he spoke of his two small children, Hayden and Sammy, and asked: "What kind of country are our children and grandchildren going to grown up in?" By the time he said his parting words -- "Thank you and may God bless all of us" -- the viewer realized that Thompson spoke for a full 15 minutes.

Indeed, the video felt like a sobering opening statement from a veteran prosecutor -- and "Law & Order" actor -- than a thrilling announcement from a exciting presidential candidate.

Now the jury's out on how the video, heavily touted by the campaign in the past week, will play in the blogosphere.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  September 6, 2007; 10:29 AM ET
 
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