My Phone Call From Fred

Greg Kandra is the editor of Couric & Co.
Last night, Fred called.

You know: Fred Thompson.

Now, like a lot of people, I'm used to having politicians call me out of the blue. It's not unusual, during the peak of election season, for me to return home and find three or four voice mails from people running for office – pre-recorded invitations to remember to vote. Preferably, for them.

But imagine my surprise when I got a call last night, and a friendly, southern-tinged voice on the other end said, "May I speak with Greg Kandra? '


"Hi, Greg. I'm calling from Fred Thompson headquarters. How are you?"

"I'm fine."

"That's great. Look, as you probably know, Fred is in the race, and he's eager to get some feedback from you and find out how things are going in New York. "


"Great. Look, I'd like to play for you a special recorded message from Fred and then, hang on, because I'd like to ask you a few questions. Just a second. Here's the tape. It runs about a minute. "

Then, Fred came on. Yelling at me. "THIS IS FRED THOMPSON…"

I took a deep breath.

And then I hung up.

My one prevailing thought from all this: This is not a way to win an election. Did they really think that I, or anyone else, would have the time or inclination to listen to a canned message from a stranger played at peak volume on my phone at nine o'clock at night…and then linger for a chit-chat after?

Sorry, Fred. You have a lot of competition for my limited time and attention – from other candidates, and from the rest of the real world.

You're going to have to do better than that.