Report on Fred’s visit to Gwinnett last night.

From the AJC’s Ben Smith:

Thompson’s last-minute Georgia visit was launched after midnight Monday when the unannounced candidate told an aide that he would accept Hannity’s invitation to attend the concert. The conservative Fox News talk show host made the offer to Thompson on Sunday afternoon, said Joel McElhannon, a staffer for Thompson’s exploratory committee.

McElhannon also arranged for a “meet and greet” session with nearly 200 supporters, local officials and business leaders at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce before the concert. The chamber is adjacent to the arena.

Dressed casually in a camel-colored jacket without a tie, Thompson spoke for eight minutes to the chamber group. The former “Law & Order” star focused on traditional conservative themes.

He never mentioned President Bush, the two major political parties or any of the Democratic or Republican candidates officially seeking the presidency by name.

“I think folks are for a limited government, limited by the delineated powers found in that Constitution,” Thompson said. “I think they’re also look for a competent government . . . they’re also looking for a government strong enough to protect us.”

“I think about the shenanigans that you’re seeing in Washington, D.C., these days and I say do the opposite of what’s going on up there,” Thompson, said to enthusiatic applause from the chamber crowd.