I've made no bones about my beliefs that Thompson may be the best hope that the GOP has for retaining the White House. The more I hear, read, and see about the former US Senator only strengthens those beliefs.
Here's what's been making the rounds on the blogsphere over the past week:
First is Fred Cagle's piece about Fred Thompson, where one thing he shows us is to not underestimate the former senator.
The myth has arisen that Thompson has never had a hard political race. At the beginning of the 1994 Senate campaign he was down 20 points to Cooper, and East Tennessee conservatives were just not that impressed. Tennessee had had two Democratic senators in Al Gore and Jim Sasser; it appeared that would not change. What people remember at the end of the campaign is that Thompson led the ticket, won with 61 percent of the vote.
Then there's the poll numbers showing that Thompson is doing pretty well considering he hasn't even announced his intention to run.
After that, Fred's take on Michael Moore, Hollywood, Fidel Castro, and the myth of Cuban health care.
Then he follows up with an op ed piece about America's efforts to save Muslim women's lives.
He's been expanding his presence on the Internet through blogging, including this opinion about the NFL draft that I find poignant:
"Why do these teams keep drafting players with character defects you can see at 100 yards in the dark with your back turned?"
After that, there's the speech he gave at the Lincoln Club Annual Dinner in Orange County, California
And finally, an interview given after the Republican debate the other night. Fred lets us know his thoughts about the declared candidates, his intentions, how he is different from the existing candidates, his qualifications, his track record, and criticisms aimed at him. It's well worth the time required to download the video. (If it doesn't download and play, click here and select the Fred Thompson interview - “I've Never Casually Run For Anything”.)
Fred is certainly sounding more and more like a candidate. I have a feeling that he's going to wait until the American people are getting bored with the current field and then announce his candidacy, probably sometime around September. That still leaves him plenty of time to raise funds before the caucuses and primaries. In the mean time he can keep up the increased visibility without having to declare, something that may ultimately work in his favor. However, I do have one bit of advice for him that I've also heard voiced by Doug from GraniteGrok:
He won't win in New Hampshire unless he does slog through the cold and snow and press the flesh prior to the primary.
Let's hope he heeds the advice.