Bill Frist: The Reviews Are In
Several of The Fix's loyal Iowa sources were in attendance when Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist addressed the state Republican Party's annual Ronald Reagan Dinner over the weekend.
Reviews were somewhat mixed, suggesting that Frist's first major speech since allegations of insider trading may have slowed the momentum of his budding 2008 presidential campaign.
On the positive side, Rose Kramer, a member of the Republican state central committee, said it was the first time she had seen Frist in person and she came away "greatly impressed with him as a person of great conviction and certainly a man of great intelligence."
Kathy Potts, chairwoman of the Linn County Republican Party, said Frist received applause several times during his remarks, including standing ovations when he was introduced and when he finished speaking.
Others, who did not want their names used, said the speech did not light up the room and was boring. "I've seen him speak before, and he was much, much better last time," said one attendee who didn't want his name associated with a negative remark about a party leader. "I also didn't see him work the room at all -- before or after the event -- or even during it while people were eating and there were no speakers."
Frist met with both Potts and Kramer before his speech in smaller, more private gatherings and took pictures with some in the crowd after he finished his address, they said. Potts said Frist was particularly inspired by the story of Emma Nemecek, a Filipino woman who is seeking a state House seat in the Cedar Rapids area.
If you were at the speech, I'd love to hear your opinions. Either post in the comments section or e-mail me.
October 25, 2005; 12:40 PM ET
Categories: Eye on 2008
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