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Not Ready for Takeoff?

Can the wheels come off a wagon that hasn't left the assembly line?

That is the Jesuitical question for Fred Thompson's campaign-in-the making as he reports to the IRS today that he raised approximately $3.4 million in the month of June.

After a week of staff shakeups and a financial report that fell short of expectations Thompson's people set for themselves, Republican strategists wonder whether the former Tennessee senator's campaign is experiencing something far more worrisome than normal growing pains.

First the signs of trouble:

Money: While not shabby, the financial report suggests fundraising is far more difficult than Thompson and some of those around him may have anticipated. Veteran fundraisers all tell the same story: raising tens of millions of dollars for a presidential campaign takes organization, time, enthusiasm and a belief on the part of donors that they're backing a winner. Any sign of weakness vastly complicates the hunt for money.

Polls: The good news for Thompson is that he has surged into second place in most polls. The bad news is that he is still well behind Rudy Giuliani in national polls and well behind Mitt Romney in Iowa and New Hampshire. The only place where he is rising to the top of the heap is in South Carolina.

Looked at another way, after several months of extraordinarily positive news, Thompson is roughly tied with John McCain in the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, though McCain has suffered through several months of terrible news.

Campaign organization: The man Thompson recruited to organize his campaign, Tom Collarmore, was forced out last week. At this point, it's not clear who the campaign manager will be. Thompson's wife Jeri has been intimately involved in campaign operations and, according to one strategist, was running staff meetings last week.

Veteran strategist Randy Enwright is in charge of political operations and he brings a wealth of experience and deep knowledge of Florida. Former energy secretary and ex-senator Spence Abraham has been tapped to chair the campaign, but he also has his own business to run. There's no sign of serious organizing in the early states. In short, much work needs to be done to build the infrastructure for a winning campaign.

Message: What is Thompson's rationale for running? In his pre-announcement travels, Thompson has been heralded as the next Ronald Reagan, but his message has lacked the crispness or clarity of the Gipper in his prime. While it hasn't been necessary for Thompson to have a fully developed message during this testing the waters stage, he will have to have one if and when he announces.

A strategist in a rival campaign described the situation in Thompson's campaign as "total chaos. They don't even have the basic feel for the fundamentals of a presidential campaign."

Another strategist from another campaign said that Thompson at least will enter the campaign as a serious candidate, but added, "Going from serious candidate to winning candidate takes a while. They have to put together a campaign team, they have to raise a lot of money and they have to get out there and campaign."

"The campaign's been on the vine too long," said. John Weaver, whose experience in McCain's campaign gives him some expertise on campaign turmoil. "But having said that, he's entering the most fluid situation, at a comparable stage, in modern Republican Party history. The question is, when will his announcement be? What will be his themes and how will he conduct himself in the time period following that?

Another strategist agreed that Thompson may have stretched out his testing-the-waters phase too long. "It strikes me people are getting very anxious for the Fred Thompson campaign to begin and if they're going to go, they need to go," he said.

Now the not-so-bad news:

Talking with rival and independent GOP strategists makes it clear they are not drawing overly dire conclusions about the state of Thompson's campaign. Given the fact the he has never run a national campaign or been heavily involved in organizing one, it's not surprising, they say, that he has hit some bumps in the start-up phase.

They also noted that few voters know or care much about Thompson's new financial report or the internal staff machinations that have drawn the attention of political insiders. "What matters more is, do you have a message that sells?" said Terry Nelson, who was McCain's manager until a few weeks ago and was a senior official in President Bush's campaign.

Signs still point to a September launch for the Thompson candidacy. Veteran strategists expect that, once that happens, Thompson will get a boost in the polls, as Giuliani did earlier this year when his support surged as it became clear he would be a candidate.

Then comes the more difficult period, when the hype about a Thompson candidacy will have met the reality of life on the campaign trail. By late fall, Thompson will either have lived up to the advance billing or seen his star fade.

Given reservations about Giuliani, McCain and Mitt Romney among GOP conservatives, Thompson may have more control over his own fate than his rivals. "He will have an opportunity -- I'm not suggesting he'll seize it -- to coalesce a large part of the base around him if he is able to conduct himself and run an aggressive campaign after Labor Day," Weaver said.

Thompson hasn't come close to doing that during his testing-the-waters summer. The question is whether, as a real candidate, he will have the drive, the discipline and the message to turn an attractive concept into a winning campaign.

--Dan Balz

Posted at 12:27 PM ET on Jul 31, 2007  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Lets face it - the media wants a weak republican candidate - that is why they want to see Guiliani keep his weak #1 spot.

To those that snipe at Fred having a forty year old wife - maybe that will keep him off interns :-)
Posted by: pmoog | July 31, 2007 02:35 PM

That's quite an incisive anaylsis you've offered, pmoog. If I were a Republican I'd be absolutely convinced that the GOP should give up a "weak #1" that has been more consistent than any of the other candidates, and that will put him in position to compete strongly with Hillary, if she's the nominee, in all sorts of blue states.

Yes, they should abandon a known quantity for an unknown quantity like Fred. I'm sure everyone outside the deep south will just fall right in love with him.

Your statement about the media is ridiculous. In fact, the media are entirely responsible for turning Fred into a virtual contender, because he sure isn't a real one, not yet at least.

The media thrive on conflict in these campaigns, not ideas. That's why they love it when Obama, Edwards, and Clinton spar. Reporters are bored with the Republican race so they want Fred to get in.

And by the way, last time I checked, Fred is part of the media. He's on ABC radio, he's been on NBC TV, etc., etc. He hobnobs with liberal and conservative commentators alike and he leads a privileged, and yes, elite life as the media do.

And if the media are so powerful, how come the candidates you say they love almost never seem to win? If they're really out to get poor ole Fred, you should welcome that.

Unless things change drastically, Giuliani will be the Republican nominee and he won't be a weak one, either. If Freddy the Freeloader wanders in the race Rudy will take care of him quite handily. I doubt he'll break much of a sweat doing so, either.

Posted by: rpence3 | August 2, 2007 3:46 PM

Like it or not, America is in transition. The billions spent "rebuilding Iraq" came out of the tax dollars that this country desperately needs for "deferred" infrastructure maintenance such as bridge repair across the country. If Mr. Thompson needs a winning issue, how about "Rebuild America". We don't have to go around the world to find a need, it's right here at home.

Posted by: proximal1 | August 2, 2007 3:12 PM

Let's not forget that the ONLY reason this guy is even being mentioned is because:

1) single-issue Republican voters are concerned about Giuliani's moderate social views

2) he is an actor and this makes these same single-issue voters think he might be the next Ronny Reagan

It has NOTHING to do with his leadership qualities or his record. Does anybody think we need a former lobbysist/TV actor to be the president of this country? His career in no way suggests that he would be a capable leader of the greatest country in the world. And his ONE issue has proven to not be an issue at all given the recent revelation that he has lobbied for pro-choice causes in the past!

Once single-issue Republican voters realize it's either Giuliani or Hillary there is NO question as to who they will get behind. If you don't realize that, you don't understand much about the Republican party.

Posted by: gthstonesman | August 2, 2007 2:39 PM

Nice private jet Fred....It's good to know in advance exactly how you plan to be fiscally responsible with the taxpayers money.

Did you second wife come along on this trip?

Or was it just a trip you and your corporate special interest lobbyist friends?

This way you can get to your CFR and AEI meetings in style without even paying for it with your own money. Corruption sure does pay well.

Posted by: bigrubes2000 | August 1, 2007 7:33 AM

It's somewhere for the crazies to pour their money, not having a convenient rathole or toilet to put it down....

Posted by: thrh | August 1, 2007 12:35 AM

Face it: Fred's a joke. And not a particularly funny one.

Posted by: thrh | August 1, 2007 12:30 AM

"We who support Thompson will do so with our heads higher than the smell of the rotten politics you are so quick to express, and you'll be surprised how many will be standing tall, when the primaries do come."

Reminds me of Coriolanus's comments on democracy: "You common cry of curs, whose breath I hate as the reek of th' rotten fens; whose live I prize as the rank bodies of unburied men who do corrupt my air...."

Posted by: thrh | August 1, 2007 12:28 AM

"We who support Thompson will do so with our heads higher than the smell of the rotten politics you are so quick to express, and you'll be surprised how many will be standing tall, when the primaries do come."

WOW! Whatever that might have been intended to mean, I'll be extremely surprised if any of you are standing at all, with all the rank odors and all that....!

Where do you buy your metaphors? Get a wholesale price on them?

Posted by: thrh | August 1, 2007 12:20 AM

The only television show he's been on whose ratings have exceeded the Marx Brothers!

Posted by: thrh | August 1, 2007 12:16 AM

let's see, the GOP is made up gay gay bashers,cowards that spin brave men and women as being weak, criminals that come off like they're tough on crime, slavers;(abramhof and his sweat shops in tai pan),african americans that wanna be white (clarence thomas), mexican americans that forgot who and what they are and crafty slicksters that would pass a lie dectector test cause they're just so smooth AND a attorney general that is about to be investigated for perjury, people that dye their hair blond, to go with their blue eyes, tough talkin conservatives trying to convince us that their all about this nations security but would give the keys to the kingdom (the nations ports) to the highest bidder and religeous fanactics that now have a museum that shows mans footprints next to those of a dinosaur.

they can't even by honest with themselves, why on earth would you think that they'd ever be honest with us. i hate to break this to you all, but their crazy. misfits if you will. the only republican that i'd ever trust is arlen spector. i wouldn't wrap garabage with the rest of them. they'd only make it stink worse.

Posted by: herealongtime | July 31, 2007 11:30 PM

why don't the republicans just get it over with. instead of nominating an actor, or another idiot like bush...or both, they should nominate the good rev haggard. now before you think that's over the top at least you could give them credit for being candid and stop lying about what they really are....richard simmons could be v.p!!!!

Posted by: herealongtime | July 31, 2007 11:13 PM

Somebody end this nightmare run. The man is half dead already, and his child-like wife (in age compared to Freddie) is the person wearing the pants in that relationship. The GOP doesn't have anybody with a spine running. They really are losers in 2008, and each month they continue to support this corrupt regime, add another year to their being locked out of power in America.
And deservedly so, after doing our country so much damage, both at home and abroad.

Posted by: rdfreel | July 31, 2007 10:57 PM

Its you or edwards ? get off your A-s an on your horse !! Charge an don't look back !!

Posted by: mgilfoy | July 31, 2007 10:53 PM

Laziness? That didn't seem to stop Ronald Reagan from being elected...Wasn't he the one falling asleep at staff meetings all the time, couldn't recall the names of some of his Cabinet secretaries, and was for the most part intellectually devoid most of his second term? Thompson can't outdo that?

Posted by: ScottTNixon | July 31, 2007 10:47 PM

YES FRED IS AND LOOKS TOO TIRED. PROBABLY HAS A HARD TIME KEEPING UP WITH HIS GRANDDAUGHTER. EXCUSE ME IM CONFUSED I MEAN HIS WIFE!!

Posted by: WILLEM1 | July 31, 2007 10:44 PM

Fred Thompson is dead in the water as a presidential prospect. The press will chew up his Barbie Doll trophy wife.

Posted by: tuttlegroup | July 31, 2007 10:30 PM

Fred is not afraid to plan outside the box and withstand the pressure until the time is right. For those who think Fred has no themes or ides, check out his hundreds of substantive podcasts and blogs on important and broad topics. He is not afraid to take a stand on principle. He seems very charming and would run circles around others in a debate. This guy does his homework so don't be surprised when he aces his midterms and final exam. So I am with Fred and will (along with millions of others) send him money when he declares. America is gonna love this guy!

Posted by: george | July 31, 2007 10:26 PM

From where I sit, Fred Thompson has a very high Dean Quotient. Let's see where he sits come next February (I suspect it will be in a Port-O-Potty). I find it both humorous and a sad commentary that he is compared to Ronald Reagan. This man isn't even in the same ballpart at Reagan, and anyone who compares Thompson to Reagan is obviously suffering from grand mal hallucinations. Reagan stood for things and you knew exactly where he stood. And he stood there no matter how the winds shifted - he was a man with a spine. The current crop of contenders for the GOP nod continue to surprise me in that I wonder how they can stand upright without a backbone. Wonders never cease.

Posted by: kbuchholz2004 | July 31, 2007 9:35 PM

Yet another anti-Thompson article from the Post. The left must be really worried about this guy. I can't wait to see him destroy Hillary in the debates.

Posted by: Frishoo | July 31, 2007 9:18 PM

As bad as the rest of the Republican field is at the moment, Thompson doesn't have much to contribute. His reputation for preferring to avoid hard work keeps coming up, and there's more than a little truth in it. Most of all, Thompson is no Ronald Reagan. Not even from the same planet.

Thompson may be dragging his feet some while he thinks about what the cancellation of Law and Order reruns will do to his retirement, especially when a likely alternative is a pile of campaign debts.

Olympia Snow may be the best alternative candidate, especially if Clinton keeps leading the Dems. Snow is articulate and thoughtful. She's not a right winger, but that dog won't hunt in 2008, anyway. Unfortunately, Snow has even less national organization and recognition than Thompson. She also seems to have little desire to leave the Senate.

Posted by: maxbyte | July 31, 2007 8:27 PM

Fred is like the Iraqi "Parliament". He's on vacation until September 4.

Posted by: mikeVA1 | July 31, 2007 8:19 PM

Ain't it so! The only reason ol' Fred hasn't announced yet is that he's still being briefed on why he wants to be President.

Fred has no vision for America....he just wants to cap-off his working years by inviting his friends to party at the White House while his wife roller-blades in the Rose Garden. What a joke!

Posted by: Subroutine1 | July 31, 2007 8:08 PM

Fred has high energy, put in long, productive hours while in D.C., and oozes tons of charisma when he is not taking himself too seriously. Do not underestimate the power of stardom to get a candidate elected-think Arnold-California. That said, he made a fatal mistake with wife number 2. She was a regular diminutive,average woman-no young trophy wife-whom you would pass by in the metro and not even notice,when in DC.Somehow,he had to quit Congress in order to make money,as he said,to support her. Now we see a woman with lots of New York glitz-and plastic surgery- worked on her, wearing plunging necklines on her post childbirth figure and wearing inappropriate outfits for a campaign spouse.It gets worse with her taking over campaign duties-how can a woman who jealously complains of women talking to the candidate at functions when she gets up to get a drink ever make a suitable spouse for a president? Sorry, Fred, you made a mistake, as you feared for years, in your choice of wife. You will not be the leader of our nation, but enjoy the run.

Posted by: americancitizentalks | July 31, 2007 7:29 PM

Fred has high energy, put in long, productive hours while in D.C., and oozes tons of charisma when he is not taking himself too seriously. Do not underestimate the power of stardom to get a candidate elected-think Arnold-California. That said, he made a fatal mistake with wife number 2. She was a regular diminutive,average woman-no young trophy wife-whom you would pass by in the metro and not even notice,when in DC.Somehow,he had to quit Congress in order to make money,as he said,to support her. Now we see a woman with lots of New York glitz-and plastic surgery- worked on her, wearing plunging necklines on her post childbirth figure and wearing inappropriate outfits for a campaign spouse.It gets worse with her taking over campaign duties-how can a woman who jealously complains of women talking to the candidate at functions when she gets up to get a drink ever make a suitable spouse for a president? Sorry, Fred, you made a mistake, as you feared for years, in your choice of wife. You will not be the leader of our nation, but enjoy the run.

Posted by: americancitizentalks | July 31, 2007 7:29 PM

Thompson doesn't seem lazy to me. He is deliberate...which compares favorably to all the other candidates of all parties who seem afraid to allow any dead air at all when asked a question.

He seem more willing to listen than to chastise others, more willing to think other people might have good ideas too, more willing to be civil regardless of the other person's viewpoints.

Thompson doesn't strike me as anyone trying to be anyone else but himself. And,if he operated successfully as a lobbiest, then I would think he would operate successfully on my behalf if elected president.

And it speaks highly of him that he couldn't stand more than one term as Senator. After all, the founding fathers did not picture our government representatives as staying in power for ever...they were supposed to serve their comunity for awhile then go back to earn their living in the real world just like everyone else.

Fred Thompson hasn't insulated himself from the real world of earning a living in the United States. He hasn't forgotten what it is to live in a real world that isn't Washington,DC.

I would welcome a decision on his part to make himself available to be voted into office as President of the United States.

I suspect that I am not alone...

Posted by: TKPedersen42 | July 31, 2007 6:55 PM

Check out www.ronpaul2008.com, especially if you haven't heard of him yet! Here's a link for some direct quotes and philosophies: http://youtube.com/watch?v=FG_HuFtP8w8&mode=related&search=
Enjoy.

Posted by: mclm51 | July 31, 2007 6:34 PM

To reply to a previous comment, Fred doesn't look like he has the energy to bother any interns. He hardly gets out his lines on ''Law and Order.''

Posted by: barrypatricia | July 31, 2007 6:30 PM

Save you money Fred. Stay home and take care of your family. You don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected.

Posted by: eco-pharm | July 31, 2007 6:23 PM

Thompson would be running as the candidate most like George W. Bush. Arguably, he is exactly that on all the issues salient with the public at the moment. He doesn't have McCain's record as a party maverick, doesn't have Giuliani's social liberalism, isn't a Mormon or from Massachusetts. For a lot of Republican voters, this is enough.

Thompson's problem is that presenting himself as the natural heir to a very unpopular President is a fool's game in the end -- he might get nominated, but he could never get elected. Thompson may be many things, but he's not a dummy. He probably figured this out a long time ago. If he hadn't, he would have announced his candidacy a long time ago. This is a campaign he's been nagged into beginning by friends and admirers, and maybe relatives. Once he starts it, he'll stay in the race as long as the other candidates continue to look weak and he doesn't take a lot of hits himself. As soon as either of these things change, Thompson is out.

Posted by: jbritt3 | July 31, 2007 6:16 PM

Just curious; What on earth does Thompson stand for? Why is he considered such a serious candidate? Ronald Reagan had established a very specific idealogy in his years as a California governor and as a spokesman for the Republican party, and one unsuccessful run for the White House. Like him or hate him, you know what he stood for. For now, all Thompson stands for is some kind of image of what? The second coming of Reagan? The most conservative candidate?

Posted by: johndunsmore | July 31, 2007 5:54 PM

When you get right down to it, Thompson looks very good indeed, when compared to the pair of sleezebags we are likely to get to choose from. Give me a break! - Clinton vs. Guliani???? That's akin to a ticket of Cheney vs. Bush, so staggering bad that you are just left standing there, numb.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 31, 2007 5:43 PM

Men at this galloot's age, with cancer no less, do not "Take Off"...They rise slowly, bones creaking, shakily, gasping, from the recliner.
(Typical republican candidate)

Posted by: kase | July 31, 2007 5:14 PM

What will the GOP supporters do when McCain (who has already imploded), and Guliani, and Tancredo et al. come up short at the primaries and then the Nat. Conv.? Will they swing thier liberal votes to the DNC? They are so busy hammering on a guy that isn't even in the race, why exactly are they here doing that? Are they politico pudits paid to post thier hateful remarks? Or like many, scared they will be embarrased for supporting liberal GOPs?

This lack of experience I keep reading, is that the lack of mud flinging you talk about? Keep it up, it only hurts those YOU support, because America's voters are already quite tired of the childishness of these early campaigners. Fling, Flang and Flung can say or do whatever they want, but those who understand Mr. Thompson's message will not be deterred. If that makes me an idiot by your estimation, then so be it. If that makes me a fool, where's my clown nose? Oh, you have it. Do you really know how foolish you sound, berating another person who isn't even a declared candidate yet?

We who support Thompson will do so with our heads higher than the smell of the rotten politics you are so quick to express, and you'll be surprised how many will be standing tall, when the primaries do come.

Posted by: rcountry | July 31, 2007 4:58 PM

Interesting how Republicans (ie "The Daddy Party") are promoting henpecked men with powerful wives. Thompson's wife pushed out a professional campaign manager to seize control of the campaign. Guliani's wife (see Vanity Fair) seems to be following the same script.

Maybe when the Republicans said that Thompson was like Ronald Reagan they were referencing the fact that Nancy Reagan set his schedule (with the help of a astrologer).

Republicans always seem to swoon over fake tough guys; Reagan's fake cowboy image, Bush's prop of a ranch (ever seen him on a horse, any cattle at that ranch? it should be called what it is; an 'estate').

Posted by: Mendel | July 31, 2007 4:36 PM

These negative comments are the typical backlash against hype - not to mention rival camps desperate for something with which to bash Senator Thompson. If their candidates were worth anything, there wouldn't be such an outcry for an alternative like Thompson.

He appears to be surrounding himself with top-notch talent and finding the right team before he declares. Polling as high as he is and bringing in $3.4 million without declaring is very impressive. He will be a force they have to reckon with.

Posted by: bohuslav | July 31, 2007 4:35 PM

he should just stay on Law & Order

Posted by: ADCDENIZEN | July 31, 2007 4:35 PM

This guy should take off into the trash heap of history. All you idiots who are looking for a savior need to get real.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | July 31, 2007 3:57 PM

Enough with reverential reference to Gipper. He was not-so-bright actor, loved by the establishment that in turn did lot of lifting for him. On his own, he had trouble answering the simplest of questions, and to avoid answering he pretended he couldnt hear the questions...the sycophant press even loved that.

Posted by: IrateCitizen | July 31, 2007 3:56 PM

Thompson's forte is special interests -- not the American public.

He spent close to 20 years representing special interests (against the interests of the American public - viz the S&L debacle).

For example, after being elected to the Senate, he left after just one term -- for a bit part on a television show.

Thompson -- a Visiting Fellow at that neo-con nuthouse, the American Enterprise Institute -- thrives on working his political agenda out of sight from the America public.

Hence his peekaboo campaign.

Then, there's the issue of his "trophy wife"(so described by Murdoch's Times of London).

According to the Times, she's the undisputed capo of his campaign -- much to the distress of almost everyone except poor, old Fred.

Posted by: Mithras | July 31, 2007 3:55 PM

Dan,

You wrote: "...belief on the part of donor's that...." Get rid of the apostrophe.

Posted by: pcstorandt | July 31, 2007 3:48 PM

Atlast, we have a Hollywood star. Hope is a better actor than Bush.

Posted by: loewsing | July 31, 2007 3:43 PM

Or, more likely, Thompson's lack of either intellectual capacity or honesty may cause him and his not yet ready for primetime campaign to implode. There's simply no meat on the bone, here. See Richard Cohen: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/30/AR2007073001273.html?hpid=opinionsbox2

Posted by: theviewfromuphere | July 31, 2007 3:14 PM

thompson is pretty hollow. the media have given him a pass, not really looking at what he stands for(a lot of nothing). there has been no real investigation of the conflict of interest deals his family is involved. the press has been complicit in this, too willing to accept his corn pone joe don baker schtick because he IS media savvy as a professional actor. oh yeah, didn't he leak one of the early watergate reports back in the day, he is just an opportunist.

Posted by: nobleone | July 31, 2007 3:07 PM

Let's not forget that Thompson has cancer. It may never be an issue, but it's something to keep in mind.

Posted by: Gutavo | July 31, 2007 2:52 PM

Fred's going nowhere fast. My money's still on McCain. In the end, the establishment's candidate gets the nomination. And McCain's much better as an insurgent, contrarian underdog. It's McCain's turn. No young Southern governor this time. They're letting the old guy run, and lose.
www.concerntroll.com

Posted by: concerntroll | July 31, 2007 2:37 PM

thebuckguy: That's an interesting insight about Thompson's history of laziness. I think there is a chance that the Republicans will arrive at their convention without a candidate who has enough delegates to get the nomination on the first ballot. A brokered convention would make great television but it might be a losing hand in the general election.

Posted by: mmeyerdc | July 31, 2007 2:36 PM

Gosh - according to the RIVAL camps Thompson campaign is in trouble - gee whiz - he might as well quit now.

Lets face it - the media wants a weak republican candidate - that is why they want to see Guiliani keep his weak #1 spot.

To those that snipe at Fred having a forty year old wife - maybe that will keep him off interns :-)


Posted by: pmoog | July 31, 2007 2:35 PM

He has a long history of being lazy and running for president involves more than renting a truck and laying in a supply of flannel shirts (ask "Lamar!" Alexander, whose already tried this, with comic results). Beyond that, he clearly doesn't stand for much of anything and this has already become apparent with the reproductive health flap. he appeals to people who haven't had enough of Law & Order (which was better in the beginning with George Gzunga), which probably isn't enough to launch a real campaign.

Bush had the field largely to himself in 2000 and with Karl Rove to run the dirty tricks, he easily routed McCain. This field is large and filled with guys who have baggage of various sorts, much of it akin to Thompson's. Thompson would really have to be a skilled, determined politician to come out a winner. I have yet to see any evidence that he fits the bill for that.

Posted by: thebuckguy | July 31, 2007 2:30 PM

Oh please. As I noted elsewhere, this man has a wife half his age & two kids under 5. He can barely keep up with the life he has much less run for president. I'm with Fred? Fred's with Geritol.

Posted by: ssomo | July 31, 2007 2:16 PM

Nice summary. The impression that comes through is that Fred Thompson simply has no fire in the belly, that there are quite a few people more interested in him running for president than he is himself. This isn't necessarily fatal--the same thing was certainly true of Bush in 2000--but it does make a big difference.

Posted by: jolcom | July 31, 2007 1:50 PM

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