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McCain Files Prez Paperwork, Thompson Mulling a Run

On Thursday, Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) will take the first formal step in an expected run for president in 2008, filing papers with the Federal Election Commission to establish an exploratory committee.

The announcement -- and the unveiling of a new Web site to accompany the exploration phase -- is not surprising. McCain and his political team have spent the last two years organizing for a national bid. Expect major McCain speeches to be made available on the new website as soon as tomorrow.

"Senator McCain by filing an exploratory committee with the F.E.C. will initiate the appropriate legal steps to explore his candidacy for President of the United States," said Craig Goldman, spokesman for McCain's exploratory effort. "He will not make a final decision until early next year."

The formalizing of McCain's intentions comes just two days after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) filed paperwork to create a presidential exploratory committee of his own in New York.

These committees allow aspiring candidates to raise money and travel around the country as they weigh the pros and cons of a presidential bid.

Speaking of exploratory committees, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) told an audience in Des Moines today that he is looking at a run for president. "There should be a Midwestern candidate for president," said Thompson. According to the Des Moines Register, Thompson will set up an exploratory committee in early 2007 and make a final decision on the race by the spring. Thompson served as governor of Wisconsin from 1986-2001 when he left to serve a stint as secretary of the Health and Human Services department.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 15, 2006; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: House Majority Leader Race: Hoyer vs. Murtha


Someone should tell Tommy Thompson (and Chris) that there already IS a Midwesterner in the race. John Cox of Chicago, former Cook County GOP President, has been running for months, and has state committees established in 20 states and already has over 100 county chairs in early primary and caucus states.

Thompson is another Washington insider and career politician who cannot win over the base of the party, who are desperately looking for CHANGE.

John Cox is a fiscal and social conservative, and would be a far better choice than any of these jokers the leftist media are pushing.

Posted by: Stephen A. | November 26, 2006 10:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Movies | November 23, 2006 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is pro-gay and pro-abortion.
McCain is pro-illegal immigration.
How about a real Republican, are there any?

Posted by: me | November 17, 2006 2:25 AM | Report abuse

The idea of Tommy Thompson making a run is only slightly less ridiculous than Duncan Hunter's "bid," which promises to be nothing if not entertaining. I still doubt Gov. Thompson makes the jump. He toyed with the Wisconsin press, dropping hints he would run against Gov. Jim Doyle for his old job or against Sen. Herb Kohl before ultimately not making the jump. He lacks any relevance on the national stage and his tenure at HHS is uninspiring to say the very least.

Posted by: TarHeelDem | November 16, 2006 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't underestimate a four-term GOP governor who won in the high 60's of a blue state which hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Reagan. He knows how to command a room during speaking engagements and is a master at pressing the flesh. My opinion is he could do good if he works the first primary states like he was running for local office.

Posted by: Wisconsinite gone Texan | November 16, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Tommy Thompson running is akin to the janitor of Microsoft becoming the CEO.

Tommy...get off the juice

Posted by: L. Frogg | November 16, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

McCain's exploratory website looks like it has some potential, but there's very little on it right now. And his biography is out of date: "Now in his third term in the Senate, McCain was re-elected in November 1998 with nearly 70% of the vote." In actuality, he's in his 4th term and was re-elected in 2004 with, well, 76.7% of the vote.

Posted by: the maine man | November 16, 2006 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Obama Land Deal Dims Rising Star

It appears that the media honeymoon is over with wunderkind Senator Barack Obama.

Raising his profile for months, the Dems #1 fundraiser and potential Presidential candidate purchased land from an indicted real estate developer and Democratic fundraiser to enlarge his southside Chicago lot using advance money from his book.

It does not appear to have any legal or ethical problems for Obama, but the appearance of a US Senator who has dealings with a person who has been indicted for violating numerous laws is seen as a mistake by many.

Inevitably, when you are moving as fast as Obama seems to be, these mistakes will occur more often and be magnified.

It should give him pause before he makes any decisions.

Posted by: RMill | November 16, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Funny how Murtha running for House majority leader has dredged up Abscam (DOJ refused to indict or prosecute and House ethics panel voted not to pursue filing of charges) and yet all this talk of McCain running for President and very little talk of Keating, where Senate ethics panel criticized McCain for "questionable conduct."

Posted by: RMill | November 16, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I think Tommy Thompson could surprise many and gain some traction. There was a story today that Huckabee is even being looked at favorably by some conservatives in NYC. Giuliani and McCain both have a lot of baggage. If no else emerges one of them may end up with the nomination but will have a hard time in the general election.


Posted by: Rob | November 16, 2006 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Thompson has a style that made him very popular in WI, but I'm not sure how that would transfer to the national stage. I think his worst move was taking HHS secretary. He didn't know what he was doing and ended up looking bad. Someone brought up education; there definitely is a feeling that he helped ruin education in WI. In any case I feel like he would be in a better position now if he had just stayed governor. He probably would still be in office.

Posted by: WI guy | November 15, 2006 9:47 PM | Report abuse

For more information regarding McCain's presidential campaign, please visit:

Posted by: Michigan4McCain | November 15, 2006 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm a cheesehead. Frankly, I think most fondly remember Thompson for his seemingly inumerable chins. The guy is not extremely physically fit. He was decently popular in Wisconsin, but let's be honest. Russ Feingold was dismissed because he was not a household name. Feingold is a guy who's been more outspoken than any other Congressman in opposing the Bush Administration. Additionally, his name heads the most significant piece of finance reform legislation in the past 50 years. So, to put it bluntly, Thompson doesn't really have anything going for him.

Posted by: politicalmind | November 15, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Thompson is certainly a surprise. He scares me as a potential candidate not because he could win (because that is highly unlikely) but because of his positions. He truly hurt education in Wisconsin during his time as governor. That is not something that we need from the the next president.

Posted by: Aaron | November 15, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

John McCain has lied and lied to the American Indians!!! He has promised over and over to help settle their government mismanagement suit, Bush said no, no John and John is Bush's puppy dog. He could never be trusted!!!!

Posted by: swbraden | November 15, 2006 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I've heard a number of times that Thompson also has woman issues in his background, not sure if they are true, but I wonder if there's cause for concern there...

Posted by: DC Mike | November 15, 2006 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It's kind of silly to dis McCain for not being a straight shooter and then complain when he tells you things you don't want to hear.

McCain has hardly been a Bush "yes man" on Iraq. He's been after Rumsfeld's head for years. As far as sending in more troops, he's just calling a spade a spade. Either pull everyone out and leave the Iraqis to their fate or put in enough people to do the job. The worst possible option now is the current situation: enough troops to make a tempting target but not enough to bring order to the country.

Posted by: On The Fence | November 15, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

McCain has rolled the dice on Iraq. He is hoping for two things to occur: (1)The US is out of the Irag War completely, (2)the reaction to the continuing carnage by and among the the Iraqi participants will cause the people to regret the pullout and turn to "If they just listened to me" McCain. In the short run, if Bush goes nuts and increases troops, he has Honest John McCain as cover, but McCain goes down the tubes because this War is over, in my view, as far as the US is concerned (but not tragically for the Iraqis.

Posted by: A Hardwick | November 15, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I remember Thompson as being decently moderate and being one of the more successful innovaters with welfare reform. Not a big fan of his as Secretary of Health & Human Services.

Posted by: Chris | November 15, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

"Speaking of exploratory committees, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) told an audience in Des Moines today that he is looking at a run for president. "There should be a Midwestern candidate for president," said Thompson."

Yeah, sure, his name is Evan Bayh. Or Tom Vilsack. Or Barack Obama. Pick one.

Interesting that Thompson has such a negative (and in my mind, accurate) view of the current crop of R candidates. How many more dark horses will emerge?

Any cheeseheads out there want to comment on whether they have a positive view of a potential President Tommy?

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | November 15, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

What turned me off completely with McCain was that after Rove & Company completely eviscerated him (and in such an ugly way)in the South Carolina primary in 2000, he whole-heartedly supported Bush (and, by extension, Rove) in 2004. The only imagery I can muster is that McCain walked up to Rove in 2004, turned around and bent over. He has no principles whatsoever, and will say and do anything to get elected.

As for Guiliani, he's got the same kind of womanizing problem that Gingrich has -- serial mistresses. He may end up marrying 'em, but there does seem to be an assembly line of sorts. Hmmm, I wonder how they feel about the "defense of marriage" whine.

It's not about leading and protecting the country, it's all about power. Not much changes, really. But there are some good people out there, nevertheless, with both intelligence and authentic leadership qualities -- you know, where you are a leader because you lead, not where you *say* you're a leader. If you have to tell people you're a leader, by definition you *aren't* one.

Posted by: sooze | November 15, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Guiliani gets the good press for 9/11. Then he wrote a book. Everyone kisses his butt.

But when he runs for President people will take a closer look at his record.
Until 9/11, he was a lousy mayor.
After 9/11 he has raked in the cash working for various politically connected lobbying firms.

Posted by: matt | November 15, 2006 5:25 PM | Report abuse

subpoena power:

You are funny. . .really, I mean that.

Posted by: star11 | November 15, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Sorry McCain you had a chance with me and blew it
Now I will have to take my chances with what the Dems put up

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 5:18 PM | Report abuse

So, THREE DOLLAR BILL, John McCain really thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: russell | November 15, 2006 5:14 PM | Report abuse

So, THREE DOLLAR BILL, John McCain really thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: russell | November 15, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

So, THREE DOLLAR BILL, John McCain really thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: russell | November 15, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

So, THREE DOLLAR BILL, John McCain really thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 15, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Do you think we'll still be in Iraq in two years? Aren't the Dem's going to "fix" it? Wasn't that the majority of their campaigns?? Yup...

Posted by: Get over it | November 15, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Before the 2004 election I would have enthusiastically supported Senator McCain. I believe, however, that when he appeared beside George W. Bush and actively campaigned for him John McCain demonstrated that he is not independent, he is not from a different mold, and he is not fit to be our president.

Posted by: Maryland Indy | November 15, 2006 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to a 2008 campaign featuring McCain and Obama, so long as the parties are smart enough to nominate these men. I don't know who will win, but I suspect the campaign would be considerably more tolerable than most of the recent ones.

Posted by: Bill Baxter | November 15, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Has Michael "Came Up Just Short" Steele filed any paperwork for a presidential run in 2008? I'm sure he'd have the most awesomely fantastic commericials *EVER*!!! Am I right, or am I right, Chris?

Oh, and yeah, McCain is at odds with 90% of the country on the most important issue of the day. Less than 10% support sending in MORE troops to Iraq. And this makes McCain a credible candidate on national security issues how?

Posted by: subpoena power | November 15, 2006 4:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain is completely out of step with the country on Iraq. Giuliani is out of step with the GOP on cultural issues. Neither will make to the finish line. Look for the governor of SC to join the fray in '08 and be recruited by the Club for Growth.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | November 15, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

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