Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The (Fred) Thompson juggernaut keeps on rolling

From Real Clear Politics:

First, there was Thompson's interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday in March, which generated major buzz in the conservative blogosphere; next, the series of endorsements, most of them from Thompson's home state of Tennessee; then came Thompson's interview with Neil Cavuto disclosing his cancer, which he says is in remission. Thompson told Cavuto that he was announcing his cancer publicly because he wanted to see how it affected voters. That's one way to put it. Another way is that Thompson was doing the prerequisite "airing" of possible revelations that might hurt him on the campaign trail. And finally there was Saturday's Wall Street Journal op-ed in which Thompson embraced supply-side economics.

Add to this the relative despondency in conservative circles these days with the current crop of candidates and Wamp may be right that a Thompson candidacy isn't a matter of if but when.
Not only that, but Thompson's reception by GOPers on Capitol Hill was anything but lukewarm (login: Username: OptionalBugmenot, Password: FG9KTP25):
WASHINGTON -- The welcome for Fred Thompson wasn't just warm, it was effusive. The former Tennessee senator and actor is still weighing whether to run for the GOP presidential nomination but House Republicans who met with him Wednesday gushed over the prospects of Thompson candidacy.

They called him presidential, a leader, a proven conservative, an exciting prospect and "a breath of fresh air."
Some 50 House Republicans attended the private meeting arranged by Rep. Zach Wamp of Tennessee, a Republican leading a draft-Thompson campaign.

Several lawmakers who were there said Thompson indicated that while he was seriously considering a candidacy, he had not decided whether to run. They said he talked about his life and answered questions. A handful of lawmakers said they encouraged him to run and told him they'd endorse him if he officially enters the race.

"He was called presidential, and he was. He was told he was electable, and he is," Wamp said.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., said: "there was a breath of fresh air in the room today," while Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., added: "he spoke as though he was a president." Rep. David Davis, R-Tenn., said people are looking for a candidate with a proven conservative voting record and "Fred Thompson's the man."
The Grass Roots GOPers are still taking notice of Thompson:

In a Floyd County Republican Party straw poll, former senator Fred Thompson was the top choice for president — with 38.9 percent of the vote.

Thompson has not announced he is running for president.

Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker from Georgia, took second place with 30.5 percent and former New York mayor Rudy Guliani was third with 15.2 percent.

For once there appears to be a GOP Presidential candidate that both the Party machinery and its rank-and-file can agree on.

Run, Fred, Run!

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