Evan McMorris-Santoro, "South Carolina GOP Chair Says His State Is GOP Primary Reset Button", TPM 1/11/2012:
“Our voters are fiercely independent and pretty fickle,” [SC GOP chair Chad] Connelly told me over coffee at a downtown shop brilliantly named Immaculate Consumption. “They watch what happens in Iowa, they watch what happens in New Hampshire. They may take that under advisement kind of thing, but they’re going to make their own decisions.”
This is a lovely example of the use of "kind of thing" as a sort of floating discourse adjunct, something that I've noticed recently here and there. It seems to be similar in force to discourse-particle like, and to more conventional phrases like "so to speak" and "as it were":
They may, like, take that under advisement, but they're going to make their own decisions.
They may take that under advisement, as it were, but . . .
They may take that under advisement, so to speak, but . . .
However, I'm not sure about the syntax of this apparently free-floating "kind of thing".
I first noticed something like this in the speech of George H.W. Bush. For example ("George H.W. Bush on 'FOX News Sunday'", 11/4/2007):
WALLACE: So you don't see Putin going back in a new Cold War?
G.H.W. BUSH: Not that much, no, not to a new Cold War. He's defining certain things that he believes in, and he's showing a concern about the old Russian view that they're trying to encircle us kind of thing.
In this case, "kind of thing" might be an adverbial adjunct ("…they're trying to encircle us, as it were") but it also might be the head of the phrase, modified by some fraction of the preceding complex noun phrase. You can see this possibility more clearly in a simplified version like this one:
… and he's showing the old Russian paranoia thing.
which could be expanded as
… and he's showing the old Russian they're-trying-to-encircle-us thing.
… the old Russian they're-trying-to-encircle-us kind of thing.
… the old Russian-view-that-they're-trying-to-encircle-us kind of thing.
Here's another one that that's similarly ambiguous ("President George H.W. Bush Talks About his Son's Reelection Bid", PBS Newshour 9/2/2004):
George Mitchell and Kerry and all these people voted against that, and they viewed - oh, let sanctions work longer, we'll delay this, and they had, you know, rationale afterwards. To their credit, when the war started, you know, we support our troops kind of thing. I remember that very distinctly, and I think that's somewhat different than then, but they made it a partisan vote. And I think a lot of the attacks on the president are partisan attacks.
But because of President Bush's pointillistic syntax kind of thing, none of the analyses quite add up to full formal English sentences. Here's another one ("Tour of the White House", ABC Primetime, 1990):
G.H.W. BUSH: I mean, these are just pictures that we happen to have here and all through the house we have them, but His Majesty the King of Jordan and my dear friend the prime minister of Canada …
SAWYER: And famous tennis players who have played with me.
G.H.W. BUSH: Tennis players I have known and, well, upon the court with whom I've stepped. It's more that. I'm a name dropper. I love getting out there, kind of Walter Mitty, "Yes, I hit with Lendl" kind of thing, poor fellow.
The prosody might give us a clue about the syntax, so here are the audio clips for someone else who seems to use the free-floating kind of thing habitually ("Former US Marine Capt. Josh Rushing", NPR Fresh Air 2004):
You know like they would take a quote, and I don't remember which quotes they chose, took a quote from me and they would say you know uh this wasn't said by someone from France, or a Greenpeace activist, this was by our own government spokesperson, kind of thing. And I thought, oh, man [laugh] I'm g- I'm really going to hear about this.
Yeah, turns out to be the director of the movie, but to me at the time they were introduced through the American University at Cairo, so I- I honestly believed that it was along the lines of a student film, and I think that's one of the reasons that when the request came into our office, it- it was me, the junior guy, who ends up getting it; it- it kind of tumbled down the chain, and like alright, whatever, you do this, kind of thing …
If Mr. Rushing's use is typical, this tends to argue for the discourse adjunct analysis.