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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fred Thompson COULD fill a void amidst presidential contenders

While we do occasionally pick up on things at NRO's Corner, we rarely touch on anything else around National Review unless it's pretty compelling (like this from VDH today on Iran). Today though, something caught my eye on Jim Geraghty's HillarySpot. But it's not about Hillary. It's about Fred Thompson, and a piece from New York Sun today:

When George Allen fell to Jim Webb in the Virginia Senate race, it opened up a slot in the upcoming Republican presidential primary: the role of the reliable longtime lawmaker who has no serious disagreements with the conservatives who make up the party's base.

That slot is moving closer to being filled by a former senator of Tennessee, Fred Thompson. The potential candidate is about "50–50" on running "because the polls have caught his eye," a source close to Mr. Thompson told National Review. The AP suggested this week that a bid by the former "Law and Order" actor would be hindered by "a shrinking pool of campaign professionals" not yet affiliated with GOP candidates.

But a longtime Thompson associate said the former lawmaker has received many calls from veteran Republican campaign staffers expressing interest in working with him if he decides to run. At least one high-level staffer of another Republican presidential candidate has expressed concern about running against Mr. Thompson, citing a long personal connection to him. And last week, Alex Castellanos, a press strategist for a former Massachusetts governor and Republican White House hopeful, Mitt Romney, was seen with Mr. Thompson at a restaurant in Alexandria, Va.

Mr. Thompson's powerful friends in Tennessee may also help assemble a viable campaign staff. A former Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, once considered his own bid for president but has endorsed Mr. Thompson and would presumably put his network of supporters, fund-raisers, and strategists at Mr. Thompson's disposal. Another retired Tennessee senator with extensive ties in Republican circles, Howard Baker Jr., also has been nudging Mr. Thompson to run.

One powerful organization that may breathe easier at news of a Thompson bid is the National Rifle Association. Each of the "big three" Republican presidential frontrunners has a glaring flaw in the eyes of the organization, although the group has not sought to emphasize its disagreements with the trio.

As we've said before Fred Thompson brings a whole new dynamic to the race. First, he'll take from every candidate on the field right now, including Rudy, Mitt, and McCain. Second, he'll probably knock out people like Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, and Tommy Thompson for the sheer fact that he's more than a "one trick pony," and he has solid name recognition. Third, as he continues to fill in on the Paul Harvey show, he can reach a national audience, and that audience likes what they're hearing.

With the recent missteps by Rudy, Fred will tend to gain the most from Rudy supporters. He'll also pick up quite a bit from McCain supporters, namely those that picked him because he seemed to be the odds on favorite. That illusion was shattered when the first quarter fundraising numbers came out, when McCain announced a revamp of his team and their fundraising efforts, and when he declared he was holding off on the fomral announcement of his candidacy. With both men stumbling over their gaffes right now, the time could be close for Fred to announce his inclusion to the race.

Fred Thompson brings to the race something that is seriously lacking. Right now, the only person with a set of conservative credentials is Mitt Romney, and with Romney we also have executive leadership. Like Romney, Fred Thompson has charisma (he's not an actor for nothing, folks), and he's believable. Anyone who doubts this might want to view this from the Hot Air archives earlier this week. Allah found it on YouTube, and it's more than believable. You can feel the emotion coming from him, and know that he feels for those who lost loved ones at Ground Zero, and that he feels for the troops being dispatched in harm's way.

Those who aren't all that thrilled with a Fred Thompson run can keep thinking that. But you can't disavow that if he jumps in, all bets are off, and we have a brand new race on our hands.

HT: Captain Ed Morrissey.

Publius II


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