If anyone has any doubts that Fred Thompson is serious about making a run for the White House, he's surely removed any doubt.
His announcement that he's forming an exploratory committee is but the first step towards openly declaring his candidacy.
Unlike many of the other candidates, he's not exactly starting at the bottom.
Thompson would join a crowded GOP field, but polls indicate he would start in a strong position. Recent national surveys of Republican voters have shown Thompson with double-digit support, tied with or slightly ahead of Sen. John McCain. In most national surveys former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads all GOP contenders.
Thompson has a dedicated band of supporters, many of them former Ronald Reagan activists, who have mounted a determined "Draft Fred" movement over the past several months.
It appears that the “Draft Fred” movement has had its desired affect. It has also had the effect of making it more difficult for some of the less well known or financed Republican candidates. One in particular will have to deal with name recognition issues: Tommy Thompson.
The other day I heard on the radio that “Thompson was visiting in the Lakes Region” of New Hampshire and I immediately thought they were talking about Fred Thompson. It wasn't until later in the day when I caught the evening news I realized they were talking about Tommy Thompson. That's going to work against him, particularly once Fred announces.
Run, Fred, Run!