The Thompson Boomlet

When I first heard inklings of a White House run by former Tennessee Senator and semi-successful actor Fred Thompson, I thought it would catch on. There really isn’t a traditional, Bush/Hastert/Frist-type conservative in the top tier. There’s a socially liberal and militarily authoritarian candidate, a socially center-right, fiscally moderate, and militarily authoritarian candidate who for years made a sport of pissing off his party’s base, and a formerly socially liberal, currently welfare-state expanding, and militarily ambiguous candidate who has fairly transparently reversed his position on every social issue of importance to the GOP for political reasons. Thompson has better name recognition than Brownback, Huckabee, the other Thompson (who everyone seems to forget is running for president), or Gilmore, and thus would be better able to break into the top tier. Only Gingrich has a better shot at uniting the conservative vote.
Surely enough, Thompson is considering a run, Howard Baker is urging him on, and there are signs that Bob Dole would be supportive. Now I’d be completely baffled if Thompson took a pass. However, one thing to consider: he’s contributed heavily to Libby’s defense fund, served on its board, and attended the trial “as a friend”. Working in the service of a convicted felon may not look too good, especially in a general election.

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