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Fred Thompson Joins The Republican Race

Former Senator Fred Thompson (R - TN) announced his candidacy tonight on "The Tonight Show." While the rest of the GOP hopefuls were debating in New Hampshire, Thompson was telling Jay Leno, "I am running for president of the United States."

When questioned about the New Hampshire debate Thompson noted that there would be many more debate opportunities and getting a guest spot on the Tonight Show was significantly harder to get than a spot on the debate stage.

The mystery of whether Thompson was running was long ago put to bed, but now there's no more hiding behind the "exploratory" label. Thompson will be expected to mix it up with the other candidates - something he has yet to do.

Of course there will be much more on Thompson, the other candidates, and all the rest of the campaign news at Wizbang Politics.


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Comments (35)

Good. I was worried I migh... (Below threshold)

Good. I was worried I might have to be stuck with voting for Romney.

'Bout gorramed time. It wa... (Below threshold)
Linoge Author Profile Page:

'Bout gorramed time. It was a given a long time ago... leading us on this long was annoying.

That said, Democrats and Republicans alike are probably a wee bit nervous this night.

A good performance, and a m... (Below threshold)

A good performance, and a minor surprise in making the announcement on air, but the crowd was noticeably less enthusiastic than in his earlier appearance on the show.

Thompson has his work cut out for him, but it's not out of reach. He is running second nationally before declaring, so he has a base upon which to build. He needs to start building quickly, though, with the first voting only four months away.

His fundraising will be key. If he can turn in a surprising or at least respectable number for the third quarter, given his late start, he will be in the thick of things. If the money doesn't come in quickly, though, the talk will turn to where he went wrong.

He waited too long and the ... (Below threshold)

He waited too long and the excitement has strongly dissapated. The money is hard to find now. ww

I have to disagree Linoge. ... (Below threshold)

I have to disagree Linoge. It's been annoying that we've had to endure this much campaigning already, with the election STILL over a year away.

I thought Thomson waiting around this long was a poignant statment of the constant campaign cycle. One I happen to agree with.

a little cut and paste... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

a little cut and paste

"Fred Thompson has been losing a bunch of top staffers at the perfectly opportune time: Just as he's about to finally declare his candidacy.

Jim Mills, who only weeks ago left his position as a high-ranking Fox News producer in order to join Thompson's communications team, has left the campaign. After about a month in the Thompson camp, Mills has been replaced by former Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Karen Hanretty and Bush 2004 communications staffer Jeff Sadowsky.

And now Jim Geraghty is reporting that Mark Corallo, who was with Thompson at the inception of this campaign and has been his chief press spokesman, is also gone."

Anyone know who is running his campaign?
As I watched last night's debate...
each candidate gave and took shots..which is what should happen...Fred may have been better off making his debut there...it will be interesting when FOX has their next debate in OCT.
Are younger Republicans going to vote for someone who is already 65 and is NOT Ronald Reagan?

Way too late, too many staf... (Below threshold)

Way too late, too many staff quittings, control freak with control freak wife, can't beat Hillary, etc......he will be Rudy's running mate.

Just what American needs. A... (Below threshold)

Just what American needs. Another lazy actor. Will he single-handedly win the war against terrorism?

Even with the delay(s), the... (Below threshold)

Even with the delay(s), the staff turn-over and such, his few minutes on Leno, last night, was heads and shoulders above anything I've seen from any of the other candidates.

He actually had a conversation with Leno rather than sitting down on the soap box and kicking off pre-digested sound bites like the rest of the crowd always does.

And the crowd really seemed to enjoy his comment regarding how the US has lost more people and spilled more blood than any other country in the history of the world. Hell, some people were cheering.

The iron is hot for Fred. It could have been hotter had he jumped in, earlier - then again, it could have cooled off, by now, too.

If he's got his shit together, look out.

"Another lazy actor?"... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"Another lazy actor?"

And who would be the other "lazy actor(s)" you are referring to? If you say Reagan you will be exposed as pitiable fool.

America falls hard f... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

America falls hard for actor type. Lots of style no substance or smarts. Bad sequel.

Striving to replace connecticutt cowboy with a rootin tootin dead eye for destruction.

American repervlicans, a sorry excuse for leadership.

civil behavior,Hav... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

civil behavior,

Have you read Thompson's resume? The word actor doesn't cover it. He became an actor late in his career. Facts never matter to blind ideologues.

"No substance or smarts" = projection.

The serious Republican pres... (Below threshold)

The serious Republican presidential candidates such as the former mayor of America's largest city, a successful businessman who organized the Olympics and was elected Governor of one of the most Democratic states in the nation, and a war hero who was held prisoner of the North Vietnamese all took the time and effort to study for a very good debate that they participated in yesterday. Meanwhile an actor who wants to be president went on Jay Leno so he could tell jokes. So who's the serious candidate here?

CB and PH:LOL. Tho... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

CB and PH:

LOL. Thompson has his reasons. In part, it is a statement against the constant election cycle and state of angst libs like to keep us in. He just announced his candidacy and will now enter the fray. Be that as is may - what do you care? Like you would ever vote for ANY Republican? Thanks for your feeble, pathetic efforts at evaluating our conservative candidates for us. You must be afraid... very afraid. This is an in-house debate.

Those are all seemngly good... (Below threshold)

Those are all seemngly good points, Paul Hooson, but I think Thompson is right in saying that "regular people" don't watch the Presidential Debates anymore. Increasingly, people are going to different sources (internet, blogs, talk shows, campaign appearances, etc.) to make their choice. Bill Clinton recognized this in 1991-2 and began the trend of appearing on talk shows, MTV and the like (although I still think the "Boxers or Briefs?" question represents the nadir of the strategy). I don't want to see Fred appear on MTV like some cheesy Hollywood star pimping out his latest movie, but I hardly fear the possibility of Fred making a fool out of himself in such an undignified way.

... and just think of all o... (Below threshold)

... and just think of all of those folks who know NOTHING about politics but are addicted to "Law & Order."

If he can get those folks to the polls, done and done.

Yup, it's pretty darn funny... (Below threshold)

Yup, it's pretty darn funny. It used to be you declared after Labor Day. Now? People who are afraid of him try to take him down a notch because he waited until after Labor Day.

Well Poorly played nitwits.

Ummm, strike through works ... (Below threshold)

Ummm, strike through works in "preview" but not when you hit "submit". Weird.
So assume there's a strike through on "Well" in the last sentence.

The almost perfect ticket, ... (Below threshold)

The almost perfect ticket, IMHO, would be Thompson/Duncan Hunter or Thompson/Mike Huckabee and either of those two combinations can and will defeat the Hildabeast and her "first lady".

The Libtard naysayers come ... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

The Libtard naysayers come out in force against Fred... You can smell their fear.

Buh-bye, Hillary.

One 2nd rate actor/2nd rate... (Below threshold)

One 2nd rate actor/2nd rate president and now an actor/lazy 2nd rate politician? God help the universe. And the Bush bunch in between - oh my god I might become a survivalist! It's more than the world could stand.

JFO, you couldn't survive i... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

JFO, you couldn't survive if you were out of range of a Domino's pizza franchise.

Actually I prefer Pizza Hut... (Below threshold)

Actually I prefer Pizza Hut.

JFO, have at it in the wood... (Below threshold)

JFO, have at it in the woods, man.

Face it, even a (supposed) lazy, 2nd rate politician/actor can and probably will mop the floor with Hill's wide-assed pant suits.

Not to over-work a theme, but people HATE Hillary (and I do mean HATE .. loathe, despise ... Hillery), and a good number of those people LOVE Law and Order.

And regardless of how many nifty political tricks the left will use to chop down Tree-Free, those will fall on deaf ears since, quite simply, the swing voters will see a woman they cannot stand and then a guy who doesn't seem so bad.

And, if the best argument against Fred is that he entered late, or blew off NH, or ... um, what else is there? Regardless, if those are the best weapons against Fred, I'd recommend that you buy yourself a good knife.

Reagan didn't officially an... (Below threshold)

Reagan didn't officially announce until November of 1979 (skipping a bunch of events with other candidates in the process). Granted, he was also a known entity who'd run before, but even in '76, he didn't announce until October.

That's a good precedent/president to follow.

The charge of "lazy" agains... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

The charge of "lazy" against Thompson is ridiculous on its face. Would that I were as lazy. It just goes to show how desperate the left is. Virtually every criticism - from the left - of Thompson posted so far is ad-hominem, except for nogo (shocking), whom I credit.

Hey Jeff, to back up your s... (Below threshold)

Hey Jeff, to back up your statement, just look at Fred's wife.

Tell me Fred is lazy.

Thelma's Pizza had it befor... (Below threshold)

Thelma's Pizza had it before Pizza Hut.

yo:Isn't that swel... (Below threshold)


Isn't that swell. People voting, not on the basis of ability, but on the basis of a TV show? I bet you'd vote for Kiefer Sutherland in a heart beat wouldn't you - moron. You probably believe Jack Bauer is a real person.

As for the Hillary "hatred" factor that's pretty much the domain of the lunatic fringe, i.e. you and other wingnut loonies. Personally I don't like her, won't vote for her in the primary and hope she doesn't win the nomination.

The best part of all this Hillary obsession from you wingnuts is that you're the same folks who holler like stuck pigs that any criticism of [b}ush is BDS. Get a grip pal, she'll probably be the democratic nominee ( I wish it was Richardson) and could wipe the floor with this 2nd rate politician/actor.

My mother is angry with me ... (Below threshold)

My mother is angry with me for not supporting Dems. Angry. Very angry. She said she would only vote for Giuliani if he ran as a Dem even though she thinks he's the best candidate. She lives in upstate NY.
I was talking to her about politics yesterday, usually a touchy subject, but she said something to warm even my cold, hard heart, she will never, ever vote for Hillary! for pres.
The Democratic party is driving my family away, only two will be left if they nominate Hillary!. They'll still be Dems, but they won't vote for them. Two aunts, who previously made fun of me for supporting Bush, voted for Bush in 2004 because they were furious the Dems nominated Kerry.
The biggest problem for the Dem party is that the leaders believe what they read and see in the NYTimesWashPostCNNABCCBSNBCetc. so they only have a tenuous grasp of reality. Much like JFO, Barney and that comic genius, Freedom Fries.

Actually, CB, if you want t... (Below threshold)

Actually, CB, if you want to talk about sorry excuses for leadership, care to explain why the congress has a below 20% approval rating?
Your tips at Stuckey's are usually better than that.

As much as I like Fred Thom... (Below threshold)
rrita m:

As much as I like Fred Thompson as a candidate, reviewing his campaign strategy and what issues he takes priority with will be the deciding factors for me.

Fred's running, huh?<... (Below threshold)

Fred's running, huh?

Don't know the man that well, except of course for what I've seen on YV. His wife Wilma seems nice, he seems kind to his daughter Pebbles, but I noticed he's got a little anger management problem, shows up every time he even chats with his neighbor Barney.

What's that? Flintstone's not running? Hmph, well, I guess this Fred will have to show me something. I will give him a chance, but he's starting behind the cartoon Fred for playing us voters up to now, and that is not looking smart just now.

Linda shares this:<blockquo... (Below threshold)

Linda shares this:

As for the Hillary "hatred" factor that's pretty much the domain of the lunatic fringe, i.e. you and other wingnut loonies. Personally I don't like her, won't vote for her in the primary and hope she doesn't win the nomination.

First of all, there is a rather large amount of Hillary "hatred" among the Democrats. Secondly, I've heard a lot of Hillary "hatred" among ordinary moderate, or unaligned independants. She has a lot of people in the country disliking her who are not in the right "fringe". For you to think otherwise means that you are just hiding from a lot of polling that's been done over the years. The number of people who have a strong negative opinion of Hillary is higher than any other politician in the presidential race on either side. Pretending otherwise does not put you as far outside the "wingnut" category as you would like to believe.

The best part of all this Hillary obsession from you wingnuts is that you're the same folks who holler like stuck pigs that any criticism of [b}ush is BDS. Get a grip pal, she'll probably be the democratic nominee ( I wish it was Richardson) and could wipe the floor with this 2nd rate politician/actor.

It is just so classic for you to call us "wingnuts" and claim we are full of hatred when you display so much hatred yourself, Linda. Bile like that is not healthy for you. But it sure tells us a lot about you.

I completely agree, ExSubNu... (Below threshold)
Linoge Author Profile Page:

I completely agree, ExSubNuke - this whole "Let's start campaigning two years before the elections!" crap was/is just that - crap. However, I was simply expressing my frustation over Fred's seemingly incessant, "Oh, I am just thinking about it... I might run... but I might not... still thinking about it... Hmmm... maybe I should run..." That kind of nonsense is almost worse than declaring early.






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