Fred Thompson’s “Silly Hat Rule” (UPDATED)

Via Allahpundit at Hot Air, it seems that Politico is a little down on Fred’s campaign visit to Waverly, Iowa:

Thompson rode four blocks to the local fire station. Local fire stations always have captive audiences (unless there is a fire).

Inside, Thompson shook a few hands — there were only about 15 people there — and then Chief Dan McKenzie handed Thompson the chief’s fire hat so Thompson could put it on.

Thompson looked at it with a sour expression on his face.

“I’ve got a silly hat rule,” Thompson said.

In point of fact, the “silly” hat was the one Chief McKenzie wore to fires and I am guessing none of the firefighters in attendance considered it particularly silly, but Thompson was not going to put it on. He just stood there holding it and staring at it.

Jeri the FiremanPutative First Trophy-Wife, Jeri, saved the day by donning the cap herself:

“You look cute,” Thompson said to her. She did.

(Photo by Mark Halperin) Of course, that can’t excuse Fred’s refusal to wear the fireman’s hat. I mean, where did he ever come up with the “silly hat rule” anyway?

Dukakis in the tank

Kerry Bunny

Oh. Maybe that is a good rule after all.

UPDATE: Ed Driscoll adds: “Violate it while campaigning at your peril.” (Thanks for the link, Ed!)

MORE: Stop the ACLU links (thanks, Jay!) and remarks: “This is what they call in politics, making something out of nothing.” Jay also suggests that the “awkward” view of the events may have something to do with the author’s decidedly dismal view of Fred. Could be!

YET MORE: Hmmm. It gets curiouser and curiouser. It seems that Jay was on to something about the author of the Politico piece, Roger Simon, letting his apparently low opinion of Fred color the article describing the “silly hat rule” scene. Dan Riehl links (thanks, Dan!) and posts a video of the scene filmed by CBS. After reading Simon’s account, do you think they match?

I can’t say for sure, but it sounds to me like Fred said “I’ve got a silly hat rule, which I’m about to break” right before the fireman all laugh and then Fred puts the hat on Jeri. That’s decidedly different than the account provided for by Simon. There’s a big enough difference between what Simon claimed and what really happened just on the demeanor of the whole affair. Dowdifying the actual money quote is blatant bias if you ask me.

EVEN MORE: Instapundit links (thanks, Glenn!), and Jimmie at The Sundries Shack provides more analysis regarding the differences between the Simon story and the video.

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12 Responses to “Fred Thompson’s “Silly Hat Rule” (UPDATED)”

  1. on 20 Dec 2007 at 3:43 am Freddy Hill

    Jeri may be a trophy wife, but she’s a trophy wife with a brain. She stepped right in and saved Fred from breaking the silly hat rule.

  2. on 20 Dec 2007 at 3:51 am hbowmand

    All he had to say to get out of the situation with considerable grace is “I haven’t earned the right to wear this hat”.

    BTW, I doubt the Chief wore it - maybe an engine officer (Captain). Chiefs normally wear white helmets as an identification under NIIMS/ICS

  3. on 20 Dec 2007 at 4:04 am MichaelW

    Jeri may be a trophy wife, but she’s a trophy wife with a brain. She stepped right in and saved Fred from breaking the silly hat rule.

    Yes she is, and yes she did.

    All he had to say to get out of the situation with considerable grace is “I haven’t earned the right to wear this hat”.

    You know, it’s interesting you say that because, at the end of the clip, one of the fireman points to Fred and says something about making him an honorary fireman.

  4. on 20 Dec 2007 at 7:31 am Dsinope

    I think the silly hat rule existed before John F’n Kerry -

    http://digitaljournalist.org/issue0309/images/life/dukakis.jpg

  5. on 20 Dec 2007 at 7:33 am Dsinope

    Damn not being able to cancel a post, anyway.

  6. on 20 Dec 2007 at 9:40 am ic

    Those dangerous standardless bloggers again. Can’t they just fall in line? A trained professional journalist is reporting here.

  7. on 20 Dec 2007 at 1:18 pm Keith_Indy

    I’d rather see the silly hat on future First Lady Jeri Thompson. Hmmm, wonder if they’ll do a First Lady calender.

  8. on 20 Dec 2007 at 2:04 pm ChrisB

    Hmmm, wonder if they’ll do a First Lady calender.

    I hope you’re talking about all Jeri Thompson on every month.

  9. on 20 Dec 2007 at 2:19 pm WCarter

    Yeesh you anti-Fred people are dopes.

    The SILLY was applied to the rule not the hat.

    As in …

    I have a silly “hat rule” that I’m about to violate.

    Watch the video - its very clear fromt hte context, his smile and Jeri rising to the occaision.

    And Remember that the original reporter has a history of anti-Thompson screeds, and his article that started all this is now shown clearly to be a deliberate distortion, aka LYING, based on the video.

    And you peopel went for it hook line and sinker. Morons. NEVER trust the press.

  10. on 20 Dec 2007 at 2:26 pm MichaelW

    WCarter:

    You should probably read the post before commenting. Kind of like reading the label before taking your meds.

  11. on 20 Dec 2007 at 3:46 pm ChrisB

    Who are you talking to WCarter?

  12. on 20 Dec 2007 at 5:58 pm Dave

    I’d rather see the silly hat on future First Lady Jeri Thompson. Hmmm, wonder if they’ll do a First Lady calender.

    Thank you, I really don’t want to see Bill Clinton in a Bikini.

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