Apropos of Peter L’s post, I wonder if Fred Thompson’s "laziness" isn’t a sign of Aristotelian magnanimity (or perhaps a gesture in that direction, self-conscious or not). Aristotle’s magnanimous man is famously slow to do anything other than the greatest things, thinking well enough of himself to think that much of the petty stuff isn’t worthy of him.
This is of course a problematical virtue (even from Aristotle’s point of view), and it doesn’t sit well with us democrats, as we like to be flattered and worshipped almost constantly. That Fred Thompson is short with reporters asking inane questions, doesn’t want to cozy up to the butter queen, and isn’t frenetic about campaigning (and that he wasn’t just absolutely enthralled by being a Senator) may speak well of him from a (sort of) aristocratic point of view. But "we the people" want someone whose most important concern is paying attention to our petty concerns. Or do we? Is it a sign of respect to be a "helicopter President" or to treat us like responsible adults?