Thursday, March 29, 2007

Your Mr. Thompson.

It's not exactly new stuff, but it's sounding like former two-term senator and actor Fred Thompson is seriously thinking about running for president. When his name was just mentioned last week, he immediately generated significant support and daydreams from conservatives.

The latter seem desperate for an alternative to McCain, Giuliani, and Romney. Too many conservatives I think just don't like McCain personally, and his attempt to woo them unfortunately hasn't much worked, and has left him campaigning as someone he's not. They really like Giuliani, but not a lot of his positions. And Romney just isn't making the connection, through a combination of bad campaigning and a past that's easy to distrust.

Thompson has a lot of advantages. He's independent but generally conservative, likely could raise a lot of money, is well-known outside politics, and has perhaps a perfect personality to run for president. He looks like one. Finally, he's been out of office for all the unpopular parts of the Iraq war, having left the Senate in January of 2003.

The book is not all positive, though. He's thought to be a bit lazy, which doesn't jibe with a job that requires huge ambition and energy. He also had a deserved roving bachelor reputation in Washington, which may keep some conservatives away as well. And his ballyhooed investigation of the China-Clinton influence scandal in the mid-'90s yielded nothing concrete amid plenty of smoke.

Despite his flaws, he'd probably be a formidable candidate for the nomination (he's already listed in 3rd place), and could be a nightmare for Democrats in 2008.

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