As the man said himself, hard work never killed anybody, but he's not taking any chances. One could hardly call his recent three day swing through Florida taxing.
Since Thursday morning, when the tour began, Mr. Thompson has made no more than three campaign stops a day, with long stretches in between. In recent spins through Iowa, he kept a similarly relaxed schedule.
But even that relaxed pace appears to be a little too much for the candidate.
Next week, his schedule has no public events at all, limiting his appearances to fund-raisers in Florida, Tennessee and Texas.
It's difficult to figure how he's managing to cast himself as a man of the people when he doesn't spend any time with them. His aides blame driving distances between stops and say Freddie needs to bone up on policy. “He’s been going through the briefing books,” Mr. Galen said.
You might have expected that he would have done his homework on the issues in all those months that he was testing the waters. And there's always that lurking concern about his health. Putting aside his work ethic, or lack thereof, one wonders if he has the stamina to go the distance in the campaign, much less in the office.
In a speech here on Friday, he sweated profusely under the afternoon sun, breathed heavily and, while struggling over a question, asked no one in particular if his microphone was on. (It was.)
With an opening act like this, it's easy to see why players like Newt and Keyes are eager to cast themselves in the wild card role as the real saviors of the GOP.