Fred Finally Jumps In

So it’s done, the “speculation” is over, Fred Thompson has officially announced his candidacy for president, and wowee even I wasn’t expecting as big of a let down as I actually got.

Hype for the former actor, senator, and lobbyist has been high since the beginning of the primary season.  Republican dissatisfaction with the current field of GOP candidates had led many to search for the savior of the Republican party, a call to true conservatism and Reagan-esque policies and politics.

What they were getting was Fred Thompson, an old, bald, fat character actor with a wingnut platform, and that same slow rolling Southern accent as our current president.

What a bargain!

Here’s Fred last night on the Tonight Show:

Did you see that? I mean he almost had a kinda guilty, let’s just get it over with air to his announcement. I truly and honestly cannot see how that could possibly play well with voters. If I were enthused and anxious to see him declare his candidacy, I think my reaction would be something of the magnitude of, “That’s it? Really?”

Then you get that dirty feeling when you wake up the morning after and try and gather your things and creep out the back door…

Oh, wait, sorry, nevermind that last bit.

Seriously, that has to have been the most uninspired announcement I’ve seen yet, and so cliche’d too. Ooh, everyone’s announcing on Leno and putting out a video, maybe I’ll do that too, must be the thinking here.

In fact, if you hop on over to Fred’s webpage, you can see his video as well, though, I would clear my schedule first. And probably get hopped up on Red Bulls and mainline some caffeine because… (yawn) sleepy time stuff there.

Even as I have his announcement still running in the background, listening to his cookie cutter conservative platform, I feel eyelids growing heavier and heavier. And really, can you stop your head from bobbing Fred? Just a little? Please? And what’s with the dramatic angle changes?

How drab. In fact, this sentiment is not new, and we heard something like this yesterday.

Jim Mills’ departure from the Thompson campaign is actually even bigger than it looks. Not that Thompson couldn’t function without Mills — he only been in the office for a week, I understand — but the aftershocks are huge.You’re seeing complaints like this, from the innermost of Thompson’s inner circle, as told to Fox News:

When Thompson appears on Jay Leno tonight it will mark the campaigns complete repudiation of a new media campaign strategy and announcement plan that the original Fredheads had designed over several months and finalized in August. More resignations of key founding Fredheads are coming. Soon NONE of the people who got the buzz started in March may remain.

Thompson did Leno in June and numerous senior aides said at the time he would “never return to Hollywood to announce — that’s what McCain did! We won’t use video, that’s what Hillary did. We will let Fred be Fred. We are launching from the (Grand Ole) Opry then hitting New Hampshire and Iowa.”

Now they are copying both McCain and Hilary by appearing on Leno and a video. The original Fredheads are no longer angry or frustrated; most have been fired already or given up.

Here’s the thing: there are only a handful of folks who would count as key founding Fredheads, maybe two handfuls if you use a looser definition. I’ve eliminated a few suspects; one Fredhead who I suspected said he wasn’t the source for the Fox quote, but that “this has changed things.” When asked what happened that gets a guy like Mills out of a job after a week, the response was, “People are callous… this is a Washington power play. You’ve seen people do this.”

McCain and Hillary, that’s where I’ve heard of the Leno Announcements and Videos from.

But there is a simple idea here that should be looked at. If Fred Thompson had announced back in July, he would have easily catapulted up to contender status with nary a question. Buzz surrounding him was high, and doubts were low. The true damage done by waiting this long comes from the hemorrage of supporters who have lost patience and hope, leaked report after report of major campaign structure shake ups, a perception of weakness or undecidedness, and the allowance of other candidates to get into the field and make a name for themselves.

In short, waiting this long has translated into Fred entering the race having to play catch up as opposed to entering the race as the candidate to beat. Only time will tell if he is up to the challenges that face him now.

One Response to “Fred Finally Jumps In”

  1. Dawn Lowen says:

    There are so many people in the race for President, it almost seems impossible to keep up. Kevin price also wrote a blog about Fred Thompson. Check it out at

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