Monday, April 2, 2007

Fred Thompson in 08? Bob Novak Says Yes!

Bob Novak devotes his whole column today to the emerging candidacy of Fred Thompson. Here's what you need to know (my hyperlink):

[Thompson] privately assures friends that this is for real. His performance on Fox News Sunday was no accident; he went on the show for the purpose of unveiling his possible candidacy. . . .

Friends bet that Thompson will run. He clearly wants to try, and his wife, Jeri, is all for it.

Chris Cillizza, in the mark of a true reporter, has made the case for and against Thompson, while John Dickerson has pointed out the hype-killing obvious:

[O]nce Thompson enters the race, he will have to either embrace or distance himself from GOP policies, which will either ruin his chances in the general election or hurt him with his conservative supporters. In short, he'll become just like any other candidate—something he might not like after such a big buildup.

On the other hand, the seductive power of celebrities is awesome. Who would have thought Arnold Schwarzenegger—who had zero political experience—would not only win the governorship of California, but also get re-elected?

Update (4/3): Just as the Politico's Mike Allen has slowly been peeling away the layers behind Obamamania, so Allen's colleague, Kevin Vogel, commences the scrutiny of Fred Thompson that befits a presidential candidate:

Over about two decades of lobbying . . . Thompson . . . represented clients including a British reinsurance company facing billions of dollars in asbestos claims, Canadian-owned cable companies, and deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to government documents and media accounts from his first run for the Senate in 1994.

During that [race], Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Thompson's opponent, had blasted him as "a Gucci-wearing, Lincoln-driving, Perrier-drinking, Grey Poupon-spreading millionaire Washington special interest lobbyist."

[And even though] Thompson crushed Cooper, 61 to 39 percent[,] [t]hat . . . was in a watershed Republican year, and it was before the Jack Abramoff scandal tarred lobbyists in the public's mind as corrupt, self-dealing influence peddlers.