$3 Million

Do I have your attention now? $3 million is, truth be told, an ambiguous sum of money when no qualifiers are attached to it. If you were to hand me three million dollars, I would probably spend the first little bit of it on a new pair of underwear and pants, having soiled the current set in sheer excitement.

Also, I’m sure that there are more than a few charities that would be awash with gratitude at receiving such a large sum.

On the other hand, compared to what we spend on the war in Iraq, that’s chump change, and might, just might buy you twenty fully armored humvees which is nice, but FAR FAR short of how many we should actually be having on hand.

But when you apply that three million dollar amount to the fundraising of a presidential hopeful for the second quarter, that amount is nigh on disastrous, which may be why some Republicans who have been looking at the former “Law&Order” star, Fred Thompson, are beginning to say he’s in serious danger of being a flop.

Allow me to put this in perspective. Barack Obama, not even the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination rose ten times that sum for the second quarter alone, which means that if we were to extrapolate this whole thing out, it would take Fred roughly two and a half years to raise what Barack has done in just three months.

Considering this is a time in the primaries where fundraising is arguably more important than polling numbers, things aren’t looking good for a Thompson White House, or even nomination.

The camp has asserted that they’re still in the “water testing phase” in defense of their disappointing totals, but let’s not get caught up in spin, shall we? From a pragmatic sense, the longer it takes Thompson to join the battle in an official sense, the more difficult it will be. First, you will see his poll numbers flatten out as his lack of participation in presidential debates and free news coverage will result in him peaking in the amount of people he can reach. Then, as people begin to lose faith based on his repetitive postponements of announcement, you will most likely see his polling numbers start to drop.

With this in mind, he’ll have a shorter amount of time to make up more ground against the flagging but still strong Rudy Giuliani. The primary vehicle for doing so as we get closer and closer to the polls is through TV and Radio buys… buys he will not be able to make with a scant three million dollars (or whatever low number he posts up assuming he is unable to really boost the money collecting machine).

But on the other hand, who’s kidding who? Fred Thompson may not have officially announced his candidacy, but he’s very far from being in the “water testing phase”. He’s been gladhanding and making policy speeches for much of the cycle, he’s just had the good fortune to avoide the Aimes straw poll, and the debates, etc. Aside from that, with two fully staffed offices dedicated to electing him president, he is a candidate in every way but name only, and therefore has no excuse for such a low number other than… perhaps a lack of actionable support.

But if this really just a water testing phase, I think the water is telling Thompson something; the water’s not fine, do not come on in.

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