This Washington Post story on Fred Thompson’s seemingly unconventional approach to a campaign clearly seeks to poison the waters with an insinuation that Thompson might be just a little crazy. Notice the mention (twice) in the article of Thompson’s op-ed on the Virginia Tech shootings wherein Thompson notes that VT’s override of Virginia carry laws may have aggravated the situation in this case (i.e., no one could stop this guy). This was followed closely by speculation that such candid talk might cost Thompson politically. Of course, I find such candid talk refreshing and I’m betting most Americans will agree. It stands in sharp contrast to the strained and measured cadences of a Hillary Clinton, for example. And--as we have seen--even among Democratic primary voters there is a developing distaste for her kind of holding back. Obama’s "naive" moment seems to have won him some points--at least in the short run primary season. It is arguable whether Thompson’s short run gains with Conservatives will translate into long term gains or pitfalls in a general election. A clever wag could make an argument that Thompson is putting his foot in his mouth in much the same way Obama is doing--but I wouldn’t buy it. Why? Because I think that will depend on whether the American people are more afraid of armed and law-abiding fellow citizens or armed and crazed dictators. I think I’m still pretty confident that the vast majority of the American electorate looks with stronger disfavor on the notion of a game of political grab a-- with Ahmadinejad than they do at the suggestion of a 45 pointed at the head of an armed gunman in a school.