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A Front-Runner or The Wes Clark of 2008?


Fred Thompson, at the Iowa State Fair earlier this month, has given his candidacy the thumbs up. (AP)

Fred Thompson's path to the Republican nomination is daunting and difficult. It is also plainly obvious.

The former Tennessee senator, who will formally join the crowded Republican field next week, has had a long and uneven preparatory spring and summer. Many Republicans, including (privately) at least one of his rivals, believe he has missed his moment.

At the Thompson headquarters, the newly installed team of advisers has no illusions about the difficulties they face with a late entry and a campaign whose infrastructure is still being assembled. But they share a belief that their candidate has the raw talent to distinguish himself against the rest of the GOP field and a sense of how to navigate the chaotic calendar and geography of the nominating contest.

For Thompson as for everyone else, it begins in Iowa. Winning Iowa may be out of the question for Thompson at this point, but a strong showing in a state known for its right-leaning GOP electorate is crucial to establishing his claim on the conservative wing of the party.

He starts there at a considerable disadvantage. Mitt Romney has spent millions to build an organization, to win the Ames straw poll and to establish a lead in the polls of Republican activists. Complicating his situation in Iowa are the emergence of Mike Huckabee as a credible conservative candidate, thanks to his second-place finish in the straw poll, and the fact that Rudy Giuliani has noticeably stepped up his activity in the state.

Thompson advisers expect New Hampshire to be far more difficult. By skipping next week's New Hampshire debate, Thompson delivered a clear snub to Republican voters there. George W. Bush did the same in 1999 and paid dearly for it.

That decision reflects his campaign's assessment that New Hampshire is not hospitable territory for Thompson. Romney lives next door, John McCain will be making what amounts to a last stand in a state he won eight years ago and Giuliani has set his sights on capitalizing on McCain's slide to appeal to an electorate that is passionate about low taxes but more moderate on social issues. That leaves little room for Thompson.

South Carolina, traditionally a state that has consistently gone with the eventual GOP nominee, will be Thompson's first must-win state. At this point, it sets up as a test of strength between Thompson's Southern roots and Giuliani's unexpectedly strong appeal as a tough-talking potential commander-in-chief -- with Huckabee a potentially nettlesome problem for Thompson as a fellow southerner and rock-ribbed conservative. South Carolina is for Romney what New Hampshire is for Thompson.

Then comes Florida and a potentially decisive contest heading into the mega-primary day of Feb. 5. If Thompson defeats his rivals in Florida, he will be in a far better position to weather what could be a delegate-bonanza for Giuliani on Feb. 5, when New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are among the states in play.

It may be a mere coincidence, but Randy Enwright, Thompson's political director, has roots in both Iowa and Florida. Many years ago, he served as executive director of the Iowa Republican Party. More recently, he has established himself as one of the most knowledgeable and effective GOP strategists in Florida.

The big Feb. 5 states have drawn attention, rightly, for the size of their electorates. But for Thompson, the day's calendar offers Thompson the opportunity for a string of smaller victories.

Among the states with contests that day are: Thompson's home state of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma. They won't produce the delegates of the big states, but by winning Florida and running the table in the South and border areas, Thompson would be in a strong position to challenge for the nomination.

Thompson's entry will have three immediate consequences. First, it will finally give Republicans a sense that they have a full complement of candidates. As one strategist put it, the seat once reserved for Virginia's George Allen -- that of a prominent, southern conservative -- is now filled.

Second, Thompson will deny Romney his desire to turn the GOP contest into a head-to-head battle with Giuliani. That has been the Romney team's goal coming out of the Ames straw poll, but Thompson will force Romney to defend once again his credentials as a true GOP conservative.

Romney's campaign is ready for the challenge and will fire back by questioning Thompson's conservative bona fides. Expect the words "McCain-Feingold," which are anathema to many conservatives, to be hung around his neck by the Romney forces.

For Giuliani, Thompson complicates what had been an emerging southern strategy. Almost counterintuitive in its premise, the strategy was based on evidence that, despite his positions on social issues, Giuliani plays well with southern Republicans because of his strong national security message. Thompson will have more natural affinity in the region that has become the GOP's foundation.

All of this remains summertime speculation. Thompson is not yet a full-blown candidate and there have been enough mixed signals and outright bobbles during his testing-the-waters stage to raise many, many questions about his ultimate viability. It was almost exactly four years ago that Democrats were buzzing about the imminent entry of one Wes Clark. Once in, he fizzled instantly.

Thompson's rivals point to the staff turmoil that has afflicted the organization. Multiple advisers have come and gone in a matter of months, hampering Thompson's ability to build a national campaign over the summer. But there are signs that some order is beginning to take hold.

As one Thompson adviser put it today, the campaign has had to shift from kitchen table to the headquarters, and the arrival of veteran Bill Lacy as campaign manager has helped to settle things.

With Lacy's help, Thompson has recruited a group of advisers with experience in many presidential campaigns. What isn't clear is whether these veterans of campaigns waged in the 1990s are prepared for the rigors of the kind of campaigns that have been waged successfully in the 21st century, in an era of round-the-clock news cycles, metrics, micro-targeting, blogs and other new media.

John Weaver, who was McCain's chief strategist until a parting of the ways earlier in the summer, called Thompson either a serious threat for the nomination or this year's Wes Clark. He predicted the verdict would be clear by the end of September. "Will he seize the moment," Weaver asked in a message today, " or let it, once again, languish?"

The curtain rises next Thursday.

-- Dan Balz

Posted at 1:14 PM ET on Aug 31, 2007  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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'Lazy' Fred Thompson is kind of a ketchy handle. At least it's sounds better than 'Lazy Eye' Fred.

Posted by: henrywallace | September 5, 2007 9:43 AM

Fred Thompson is a nice guy, but a Republican who will not go to New Hampshire is a dead duck.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | September 2, 2007 6:48 AM

I will be voting for Fred Thompson.As President, his Federalist style and Conservative values will serve to reverse the flow of power from Washington and return it to the States as was the original intent of the framers of the Constitution.I look forward to the debates between Mr. Thompson and Ms. Klinton.Hillary's upbringing, being so deeply immersed in Socialism, has so much to learn about democracy.

Posted by: eteeuwe | September 2, 2007 3:33 AM

Commanding physical presence?? Are you kidding? Have you looked closely at this man lately? He has cancer. Incurable but treatable. It's not going anyplace folks. If, by some miracle he is nominated, he'll take that cancer to the white house. He is ashen and often appears to be short of breath when speaking. He rode in a golf cart in Iowa and even still took frequent breaks in the VIP tent. He is planning to hit the campaign stump in a bus. (so handy for people who can't handle those pesky walks through the airports) At appearances, he is often driven even from one hotel entrance to the other one. He has hired a personal trainer in order to get into shape for the campaign.

Doesn't have any of the socially moral issues that some of the other candidates have? Again....have you actually even looked at this man? He has an adolescent wife who looks like she'll be roller blading through the white house, and two small children,one still a babe in arms. Don't you guys ever wonder why he is never photographed with the wife and kiddies? The contrast between their youth and vitality and his tired, worn out demeanor is just too, too obvious. I'm a Republican but I'll vote for literally anyone in order to vote against this empty flannel shirt who pontificates but says absolutely nothing. I listen. I read. I've watched all his Youtube appearances. There is simply nothing of substance to this man.

Posted by: myrasavant | September 1, 2007 11:47 PM

As of now, Fred Flintstone would lose to Hillary Clinton by 11 points; to Barack Obama by 11 points; to John Edwards by 17 points.

Bring the old fool on!

Posted by: Mithras | September 1, 2007 11:26 PM

Gen. Clark has an honorable record of service to his country. The closest Fred Thompson comes to that is he looks like an Atlas missile. The media must be doubled over promoting this guy. All hail Fred Thompson, Mr. Excitement ... The Candidate From Elmer Fudd!

Posted by: philip_riggio | September 1, 2007 7:12 PM

The Wes Clark of 2008 -- only nowhere near as sharp.

Posted by: femalenick | September 1, 2007 4:44 PM

Oh boy, rkb2000 posting above has ALL us conservatives and Republicans figured out, as knuckle-draggers and six toed Neanderthals. Can I laugh now? Can idiots like this guy knock it off with the kindergarten jokes and get to the real substance of the issues?

That being said, this goes out to the adults posting here, not children like rkb2000. The Republican Party has gotten itself into a lot of trouble because of incompetence under the Bush Administration, highlighted by events like the war in Iraq AFTER the initial invasion, the handling of Katrina, and a constant stream of cronyism shown with characters like Harriet Miers, Alberto Gonzales, and former FEMA director Mike Brown ("you're doing a hulluva job, Brownie").

The Republican Party has got to show that it IS the party of the little guy, not big business or big government. But that makes liberals scoff because they don't want to understand that a true conservative cares about personal power and responsibility over government power and responsibility. To them, we're all a bunch of six toed knuckle draggers...right rkb2000?

Posted by: pconti777 | September 1, 2007 4:34 PM

Former Sen. Thompson cared so much for his country that he left the Senate when the going got rough to make LOTS of money for himself. I don't think that's the best the Republican Party can do. I mean, really!

Posted by: proteusdecision | September 1, 2007 4:32 PM

Fred Flintstone deciding to run is a gift that, for the Democrats, will keep on giving.

The sub-prime mortgage and predatory lending debacle will continue through and beyond the '08 election.

In many ways it is reminiscent of -- and has many of the same causes as -- the Reagan-era Savings & Loan debacle (which resulted in a $150+ billion bill to the American taxpayer and helped to cause a recession).

Who was a principal lobbyist for Savings & Loan de-regulation?

Why none other than good ol' Fred.

But why hold that against him?

Instead, America should vote for Fred Flintstone and Jeri Juggs -- and put two big boobs in the White House.

Posted by: Mithras | September 1, 2007 3:27 PM

THOMPSON-RICE ...

OOOOHHHHH YAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: algorelost2000 | September 1, 2007 3:12 PM

Finally,

A true conservative joins the race.

I'm so sick of Liberal Nut Cracker Republicans that care more about power than principals. They should join the Deceit Nonsense and Corruption party (DNC).

Thompson is going to be the next US president.

All the GOP needs to do in order to establish a permanent majority is:


1) STop illegal immigration that breeds democrat voters.
2) Encourage democrats to continue aborting their babies so electoral votes keep shifting southwards.

Thompson will do just fine.


Posted by: algorelost2000 | September 1, 2007 3:07 PM

Waiting for my comment to be posted

Posted by: airborne507th | September 1, 2007 3:05 PM

So what's stopping the WaPo from doing a complete investigative piece on Thompson?

I guess Thompson thought if he waited long enough, he would do a Craig, and escape the microscope of the debates and a background reality check.
All I have seen from Thompson so far as a lot of party line rhetoric, empty slogans and and a big empty suit.
Where's the beef?

Posted by: morningglory51 | September 1, 2007 2:05 PM

nupa, do your homework. Clinton had far higher approval ratings than GWB: around 60 percent even during the witchhunt -- oops, impeachment hearings.

Posted by: ssomo | September 1, 2007 12:32 PM

HaHa

Its funny how so many liberals have responded to his announcement of his announcement. You lefties know hes a threat.

With Hillary going to be the nominee because of your rigged primary, you guys know you have no chance with Fred. Or against anybody as long as Hillary is the nominee.

Its too bad because Dems would be competitive with somebody else.

But this election is going to be about why Americans dont want to put the scandalous, corrupt, polarizing Clintons back into the White House.

Wathching you guys now is likewatching a 2 year trying not to eat his vegatables.

Posted by: nupa2003 | September 1, 2007 10:12 AM

He has too much work at home for a man his age to have any left over to run this country. Look how long it's taken him to get on his horse.This is real life. Actor? You bet. The plot? You don't know it. That's why he looks so damn tired all the time.

Posted by: frankrier | September 1, 2007 5:38 AM

Like I said earlier, anything the further fragments the GOP is good news for America.

As for Fred's 'branding,' he's got the same problem as the restof the GOP field: the GOP's brand is corruption, failure, and incompetence.

Internally, I can see a split GOP. Rudy gets the big states (NY, CA, FL). Fred -- if he can raise money -- could take much of the south. Romney could split the Mormon mountain west with McCain & the NE with Guiliani.

I'd say Rudy is still the front runner, but not with enough to clinch the nomination.

Posted by: ssomo | September 1, 2007 1:40 AM

nitedove: I think if you check all things about the quality of life in the 20th centuary, you will find the 8 years while Clinton was in office is the best overall for all the people of the US.

Posted by: lylepink | September 1, 2007 12:32 AM

I can see by reading some of the comments that some of you have no clue what this man has done other than acting....check it out... I think he was a politician first... can't swear but God knows he's gotta be better than a Clinton.... either one of them.

Posted by: nitedove | August 31, 2007 11:57 PM

Old Basset Hound Face Fred- much noise about not much of a candidate. Prediction: Enters race and it's all downhill from there.

Posted by: cfeher | August 31, 2007 11:34 PM

For more information, visit dc briefing

Posted by: chmielewskt1 | August 31, 2007 11:30 PM

I have a classmate obsessed with law & order & very much would vote for Fred Thompson based on that. That sort of mentality is just sad when it comes to making informed decisions about the way our country is run. Thompson will be just like Wes Clark, he'll struggle in the GOP field & on a national scale he'd get crushed by even Dennis Kucinich. Clinton & Obama are ROCK STARS, the GOP (grand ole pigs - thanks to Craig & Vitter - um, why isn't Vitter resigning also!!!! he PAID TO HAVE SEX WITH A PROSTITUTE!!!) has no one that can compare. Rudy has Rock Star potential, but he'd have better luck as an Independent.

Posted by: neecee | August 31, 2007 11:20 PM

I'm excited about a Thompson candidacy. I think that once he gets his message out so more people hear his ideas, he will very likely energize the base of the GOP. This combined with a Hitlery Clinton Commiecrat nomination, it will ensure a Republican victory once again. The LAST thing this country needs is a bunch of spineless, socialist, bordering on Communist/Marxist Democrats running the country....especially the likes of a Clinton! And Hitlery's as Commie as they come. Why else would she have worked for the Communist party of California back in the 70s? She's just like them! And to all you Ron Paul supporters....keep dreaming!!!

Posted by: OuachitaGrad02 | August 31, 2007 11:02 PM

Oh, wow! "Uncle Fred" or "Elmer Fudd!" With their(oof!) candidates, are the Republicans trying to ensure a Hillaroid victory?

Posted by: filoporquequilo | August 31, 2007 11:02 PM

If Ron Paul does not win, I'm moving.

Posted by: jdadson | August 31, 2007 10:48 PM

Before you immediately bash Sen Thompson there are facts that should be known. Fred Thompson served as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal. He was counsel for the Republican Minority. On Capitol Hill, there are few, if any, clear-cut rules to keep politics out of investigations. Mr. Thompson said in the interview that as an aide to the committee's Republican minority, his mandate was to do what the Democrats would not, and that included talking to the president's lawyers and looking at the Democrats.

"The minority counsel's, I think, proper role is to walk that line and to assist in carrying on the investigation, while at the same time making sure that it's done in a fair manner," he said.

Several of the committee's Democratic lawyers said Mr. Thompson had walked that line appropriately. Mr. Dash's assistant chief counsel, Terry Lenzner, said that if he had been in Mr. Thompson's shoes, he would have consulted with the White House, too.

Sen Thompson is a self made man that married his first wife while he was still in high school. He put himself through college and law school, eventually working as an AUSA. He is supported and thought highly of by members of both sides of the
aisle as a man of integrety and honesty. Fred Thompson is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. China Economic & Security Review Commission.

For more info on the bio of Fred Thompson and to view his stance on the issues visit: www.californiaforthompson.com

Sean Mullins
San Francisco, CA

Posted by: adamsgolf | August 31, 2007 10:15 PM

i was hoping that thompson would be in the debate. at least americans would see just how uniformed he is and that he's nothing more than another old man who desires to cruise through a presidency just by appearing to be presidential. next to him, hillary should be a shoo-in. but again, after watching the news, very few people could identify thompson. are we really that uninformed? a crude rude awakening about the intelligence level of some americans. sad...

Posted by: glenknowles | August 31, 2007 10:05 PM

Good! Fred ran interference for Nixon while he was being investigated during Watergate. It's about time the role Fred played in trying to protect Nixon was finally published in detail.

Posted by: fishingriver | August 31, 2007 9:59 PM

Thompson's the front-runner. Gen. Clark's 2004 implosion can be
attributed the four factors: 1) The grassroots was already energized
by another candidate; 2) The big-money donors has already coalesced
around two leading candidates; 3) He was concurrently stiff and too
telegenic in his early television appearances; and 4) He'd never run
for office.

Sen. Thompson's campaign has learned from the Clark mistakes. Yes,
he's gonna have to sprint hard for the next five months, but he's
already running strong in state polls from Michigan to South Carolina
-- most importantly, his long-term conservative credentials and
commanding physical presence cast him as the most authentic
"patriarch" in the group. Sen. Thompson's brand, as "Southern-Fried
Reagan" is already sticking with both pundits and Christian
Conservatives.

Will America turn to the political comfort food offered by Thompson in
an increasingly uncertain time? We think so. Sen. Thompson's brand is
clear, concise, and ultimately more engaging than his Republican
competition.

For Democrats, Thompson poses a real challenge. He offers none of the
socio-religious ambiguities posed by either Romney or Guiliani -- he
represents a clear choice.

The larger question is: who is best capable of rallying the troops
against one of America's most recognizable, and some might say,
reasonable faces, in the critical Purple States of Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Missouri, New Mexico, New Hampshire,
and Colorado? Does Sen. Clinton best Thompson in Missouri? Can Obama
ensure the biggest turnout in Ohio? Is Edwards capable of delivering
North Carolina? If the Democrats can't answer, "yes" -- they need to
get someone into the race who can deliver Purple America. Fred
Thompson clearly thinks he can -- and he'll likely have coattails.

Peter S. Cohl
The Political Brandwagon
http://www.politicalbrandwagon.com

Posted by: pscohl | August 31, 2007 9:30 PM

The Republicans continue to look for heroes who can deceive the people, so they failed with Giuliani the home wrecker and inveterate liar, then with people able to buy their way into the Presidency, old soldiers, who kowtow to Bush failed, so many others. Now the attempt is to recreate a useless do nothing Senator and failed actor as a Presidential candidate. Really, anyone following Bush is doomed to failure and doomed to find the money to pay for a dollar on its last legs, a debt that would choke an elephant (GOP) and a morality recreated by the Republicans as they stick it to any Male they can find. Should take some cleaning to rid the Male Prostitutes stench from the Lincoln bedroom.

Thompson ran for office in Tennessee n pickup truck. It will take a lot bigger fleet of trucks to pay for the Republican SURGE in the national debt and its extremely unweildly interet, which has to paid. Thompson is a fool, but then aren't all REPUBLICANS?

Posted by: 274627 | August 31, 2007 9:05 PM

Now that Hillary has been caught AGAIN with her hand outstetched to PRC shills and her spokespeople have exclaimed AGAIN "Oh I didn't know that money was Red Chinese money" The path is wide open for someone else to get some quick donations from the Chinese Commies.

Since Hillary can't have it. Perhaps Fred Thompson should go for it. Just think a whole pile of money available to him even though he is entering the race late.

All he has to do is pop by the Clinton Library any day of the week ,except Chinese New Year's week, and he will run into many Red Chinese donors admiring what their previous donations have purchased.

Oops I forgot Mr. Thompson is a Republican so he may not be willing to put his own self interest above the future of this nation.

Never mind.

Posted by: msmithnv | August 31, 2007 8:39 PM

Since most of the bloggers responding thus far are obviously liberal, I would expect nothing less than Fred-bashing going on here. It wouldn't matter who the candidate discussed is...if they are republican the left attacks without regard for truth or reason. I'm not sure how the Democrats became the party of hate, but it is MUCH more than just the leftys whipping boy G Dub. At this point it has become obvious to the point of embarrasment for ANY liberal to try to take part in an actual intelligent discussion, choosing instead to simply go with the hate mongering.
Due to the above sentiments, most of you have no idea who Fred Thompson is or what he believes in. If you will tape your mouths shut long enoug to actually listen to him talk, you may find him a rather refreshing change from the other politicians of both parties. I don't know if he will win the nomination or not, but I do believe he will be widely liked from actual fair minded voters on both sides of the aisle. At this point in the game, I believe he has a pretty decent shot at becoming our next president...we'll see. One thing is for sure, he will not be a Wes Clark type of candidate. He will be there for the long run. You guys are getting ready to "get to know" Mr. Thompson over the next few months!!!

Posted by: KJB013 | August 31, 2007 8:09 PM

Does anyone remember that this Fred Thompson was a young lawyer on the Watergate committee and in that capacity was passing information from the hearings to the Nixon White House?

Posted by: barj | August 31, 2007 7:50 PM

HURDLEPRINCE-If you think Dr. No is anything but a Dimocratic stooge, out to "Spoil" the conservatives chances, I'd say you think I must be as foolish as the Dims were who let "Kinky" see Rick Perry back in!

Sorry, ain't gonna fall for it!

Besides, Dr. No would just be a Four year long Lame Duckling!

Posted by: rat-the | August 31, 2007 7:22 PM

Slope-headed? Rump-ranger? I used to be convinced, based on what type of stuff was posted, that almost everyone who posted on the internet was a seventh grade boy typing in a library while in detention. I was wrong. I guess that posting on the internet just makes a lot of people act that way.

Posted by: steveboyington | August 31, 2007 7:20 PM

Thompson is nothing more than just another dilettante with a big ego. He has enjoyed several mediocre careers. We should think twice before facilitating another.
Then again, maybe Fred Thompson is what we deserve after allowing eight years to the current dilettante in chief ...

Posted by: mikie44 | August 31, 2007 7:18 PM

Thompson is nothing more than just another dilettante with a big ego. He has enjoyed several mediocre careers. We should think twice before facilitating another.
Then again, maybe Fred Thompson is what we deserve after allowing eight years to the current dilettante in chief ...

Posted by: mikie44 | August 31, 2007 7:01 PM

I can't remember ever seeing the GOP look like such a bunch of dopes.

Posted by: lostintranslation | August 31, 2007 6:50 PM

Why on earth would anyone believe this dead man walking is ahead in this election. Fred looks like he might not make it to the election. Now Mothers have to watch out for their daughters as we know Fred is a ladies man. Sure he has a young wife but you never know when his eye might be looking for more. I wonder will he explain how he spied on the Watergate hearing for President Nixon. Yes Fred is dirty and he will steal just like his buddies. I hope he doesn't talk about Religion, family values or morals if he does he's finished.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | August 31, 2007 6:50 PM

I sincerely believe that Ron Paul is the only candidate who can win for America. I've been completely uninterested in politics until I heard this man speak about liberty and the direction of our country. I sincerely urge you all to at least see what he has to say. For more info go to www.RonPaul2008.com.

Posted by: hurdleprince | August 31, 2007 6:27 PM

TO THE FOOL WHO WROTE: God save us all from the stupid, knuckle-dragging, hirsute, slope-headed, six-toed, gun-monkey Republicans (RKB2000)
----------------------------------
You're kind of tripe is what's destroying the political process for clear thinking Americans who make up the majority. So let's just follow suit:

God save us from all the pot-smoking, sexually deviant, hippy-reject, dung-eating, HIV infested, rump-ranger, wife-swapping, panty-waist liberals who've hijacked the Democrat party.

Posted by: TheRealTonyV | August 31, 2007 6:02 PM

TO THE FOOL WHO WROTE: God save us all from the stupid, knuckle-dragging, hirsute, slope-headed, six-toed, gun-monkey Republicans (RKB2000)
----------------------------------
You're kind of tripe is what's destroying the political process for clear thinking Americans who make up the majority. So let's just follow suit:

God save us from all the pot-smoking, sexually deviant, hippy-reject, dung-eating, HIV infested, rump-ranger, wife-swapping, panty-waist liberals who've hijacked the Democrat party.

Posted by: TheRealTonyV | August 31, 2007 6:01 PM

I could never be sure that I was voting for Fred Thompson and not Arthur Branch.

Posted by: karenfern | August 31, 2007 5:27 PM

An honest mistake. And easy enough to make, given that Sen Jim 'hollywood' Webb has at least one film credit.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 5:22 PM

Oops, wrong Jim Webb. Nevermind that part...

Posted by: ssomo | August 31, 2007 5:17 PM

Fred Thompson is only getting into this race to please his young trophy wife. He is way over his head and for the most part doesn't know what he is doing, doesn't know when he is gonna announce, etc.. He said the other day that he didn't know why half of his hired staff left the campaign. The wheels have come off a long time ago. He is way past overtime. That loud crashing sound will come anytime now.

Posted by: kraven001 | August 31, 2007 5:10 PM

bsimon, following up from yesterday...

It appears that both Fred Thompson AND Joe Don Baker were in Cape Fear (co-screenwritten by Jim Webb, BTW).

A true powerhouse of talent, that film was. ;-)

Posted by: ssomo | August 31, 2007 5:08 PM

"A Front-Runner or The Wes Clark of 2008?"

Didn't Wes Clark win a primary?

Put me down for Thompson being out before Christmas. Possibly Thanksgiving.

Posted by: bsimon | August 31, 2007 4:56 PM

Thompson is nothing more than an aged and bald Bush. Another empty suit. Dems own 2008 with thanks to Bush, Cheney, and Rove. They have proven that Repugs can't govern.

Posted by: dakselrod | August 31, 2007 4:54 PM

It will be easier for me on voting day if he wins the GOP nod. I'll vote for whoever is running against him, no matter how awful. We could talk about real issues with two qualified reasonable people, one republican and one democrat, but it would be much easier to have a clear bona-fide butthole to vote against.

Posted by: grimmix | August 31, 2007 4:48 PM

Hey, when there's a clique of adoring fans out there who would vote for President Thompson tomorrow based on how handsome he is or how good he smells (a la Chris Matthews), there's no such thing as declaring too late. Some of his batty fans would vote now for him to be president in 1972, and make it retroactive.

Posted by: marknesop | August 31, 2007 4:46 PM

Oh just wait til the spotlight shines and he has to, ya know, talk and ask questions. I mean unscripted Fox News talk. Dumbo Fred is about as much a front runner as I am. But I sure hope they nominate him. =) What a blessing that would be for more Dem advances in the WH and Congress.

Posted by: notbuyinganyofit | August 31, 2007 4:45 PM

How can the republicans claim moral issues in this election with Guiliani and Thompson as front runners. One kicks his wife and kid out the mansion for his mistress. his own kids endorse another candidate. The other is known lady's man, with a trophy wife half his age.

This election season will be entertaining if nothing else. romney has probably the best record of the media leaders, but the true right will never back a mormon.

Posted by: oknow101 | August 31, 2007 4:32 PM

What has happened to my party? THOMPSON? So the choices are: Romney, with the bullet-proof hair and no principles; Guiliani, who did a good job on one day, many years ago, but lacks any other credentials; Huckabee, whose platform is "did you hear the one about..."; McCain, who had principles once and now wishes we would forget what they were, because he was a brave person once upon a time; and Thompson, who has as much chance against Hilary Clinton in a debate as Custer had at Little Bighorn.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | August 31, 2007 4:30 PM

Dorothy, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but don't count your chickens yet.

Fred's gotta beat Rudy, Mitt, McCain & several others before he gets anywhere near a Democrat.

Posted by: ssomo | August 31, 2007 4:07 PM

LOL! When do people ever learn?

Historically, Balding Candidates are for some reason, Un-electable!

But, just like the Dick, they do make very powerful VP's.

Romney / Thompson 08!

Amigos, time to go home now! Come back LEGALLY!

OH, and take your Anchor Babies with you!

It will make it HARDER for you to sneak back, and it will keep you from having a Reason to have to sneak back in-Like Elvira Arellano is OBVIOUSLY planning to do!

Posted by: rat-the | August 31, 2007 4:06 PM

Sure, keep gloating and telling the 'pubbies how to run for office...while you are enjoying splashing in the ol' swimming hole, making your snide little comments, Fred is going to steal your clothes from the riverbank and run off with them. A formidable campaigner, our Fred, and not one to be taken lightly - as you are going to find out the hard way.

Posted by: DorothyfromColumbus | August 31, 2007 4:00 PM

I am disappointed that Thompson won't be participating in the Sept. 5 New Hampshire debate. I think he would have found an open and receptive audience nationally who have been anticipating his entry but have very little current knowledge about his policy positions.

Posted by: rdklingus | August 31, 2007 3:54 PM

Fred Thompson, now there is a guy with one foot in the grave. I am sure republicans will prop him up. Keep him alive as long as possible! Even after his quality of life diminishes to the point where he would turn Democrat for someone to pull his plug.

Regan= bad actor, mediocre president.
Thompson= Fair actor, believable lies.

Posted by: Froward69 | August 31, 2007 3:52 PM

Great. The more fragmented the GOP the better. With any luck, they'll be deadlocked from February to August.

Posted by: ssomo | August 31, 2007 3:49 PM

More like the sacrificial lamb of 2008, akin to McCain in 2000.

The idea that America wants another actor as President shows how desperate the anti-American Red Bushies and their Gay Old Party really are.

Not gonna happen.

P.S.: Being a creationist anti-evolutionist might get you points in the primary, but means you're unfit to be President, too.

Posted by: WillSeattle | August 31, 2007 3:47 PM

Oh, Great! This is just what the country needs. An entertainer for president! It's all just a beauty contest anyway. Just look at the worthless idiot, Bush. If getting to be president of the USA required brains he would never be here... and we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. The problem is that Republicans are so utterly worthless and gullible that they would vote for someone based only on their looks and whether or not they can deliver lines believably.

God save us all from the stupid, knuckle-dragging, hirsute, slope-headed, six-toed, gun-monkey Republicans.

Posted by: rkb2000 | August 31, 2007 3:45 PM

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