While I have thought that Rudi Giuliani was a decent enough candidate, there were some very big holes in his platform that have made me believe he's not the best candidate. If Thompson were to run, then I must admit that I would support his candidacy. It seems I'm not the only one.
In the first Gallup poll that listed Thompson (March 23-25), he scored 12 percent -- amazing for someone out of public life for more than four years who has not campaigned. More important than the polling data is his backing within the political community. Buyer's remorse is expressed by several House members who had endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Romney.
Thompson's popularity reflects weakness among announced Republican candidates, as reflected in the Gallup survey. Sen. McCain, no longer an insurgent but still not accepted by conservatives, is stuck in the 20-25 percent range. Former New York City Mayor Giuliani has dropped precipitously from 44 percent to 31 percent, amid attacks on his ideology and personal life. Most startling, despite a well-financed, well-organized campaign, Romney has fallen to 3 percent.
Thompson isn't even in the race, at least not yet, and he's scoring better the Mitt Romney and in a statistical dead heat with Rudi Giuliani. It makes one wonder what would happen if he announced his candidacy. Would he quickly overtake John McCain? I get the feeling he would.
I've felt that he could become the next Ronald Reagan. Novak comments about certain parallels between the two.
The principal complaint about Thompson concerns not his ideology but his work ethic. The rap is that he does not burn the midnight oil -- the identical criticism of Reagan, before and during his presidency. That carping may betray resentment that Thompson has emerged as a full-blown candidate without backbreaking campaign travel and tedious fund-raising.
Sometimes it happens like that. The front runner(s) look like they're gaining momentum and then out of nowhere comes a candidate that throws all of the carefully laid plans into a spin, someone that can effectively communicate with disaffected or cynical voters. The next thing you know the others have have fallen to the wayside. And so it could be with Fred Thompson.
And here I thought that the race for the Oval Office was going to be boring. If Fred gets into it, I think it will be anything but boring.