Fred Thompson — Inevitable? or not?

It has been a long time, if ever, when a non-candidate has both built support in polls and attracted media attention.

Everyone expects him to run… even his own campaign:

I've been testing the waters, and the waters are feeling pretty warm.
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In the past few months, I've traveled the country talking and listening to folks. I've been discussing where I see America going, about what we need to do to keep our nation secure, what we must do to keep this remarkable economy growing, and the challenges we must address together for the next generation of Americans.

I believe the United States is at a crossroads, and what I'm hearing on the road is that a lot of people agree with me. They're ready to move forward together to meet our challenges here at home and abroad. They aren't buying into the defeatist talk about our security, our economy, and our future.

During this "testing the waters" effort we've undertaken, I've been saying the political waters feel pretty warm. It's allowed us to start laying the foundation of a good team across the country and to keep up this national conversation we've been having. Now we're going to take that conversation to a different level.

On Tuesday, August 7th, we're inaugurating a new weekly "I'm With Fred" email, complete with news, updates, and photos from the road. We're also working on the ImWithFred website 2.0, in order to keep in touch on a daily basis and to give you more opportunities to join us at events, help us organize, and spread the word about our efforts.

I'm excited about what I'm seeing out on the road. I appreciate everything you're doing for our effort.


Paid for by Friends of Fred Thompson, Inc.

Okay. So it sounds like he’s getting ready to run… so how much has he raised thus far?? Well, a little more than $3 million for the month of June. But it is being cast as a problem.

Wayne Garcia noted:

… he had a lackluster fundraising period, even though he is only in exploratory mode. Reports have put the figure at $3 million for June, below the campaign’s $5 million goal. Many writers pounced on this and said the bloom is of the rose for the man who once uttered, “This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.”

Of course, I prefer the “What’s his plan?” line… but I digress.

In response to Thompsons fund raising totals, the Politico wrote:

Fred Thompson plans to announce Tuesday that his committee to test the waters for a Republican presidential campaign raised slightly more than $3 million in June, substantially less than some backers had hoped, according to Republican sources.

Thompson plans to make the disclosure in a filing with the Internal Revenue Service, as he continues to operate his prospective campaign as a political organization that does not require disclosure to the Federal Election Commission.

Many Republicans had seen the “Law & Order” actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee as a potential savior in a tough election cycle.

He attracted support from such top-shelf party figures as Mary Matalin, Liz Cheney, George P. Bush and other GOP stalwarts who saw him as a potential Hillary Clinton slayer.

But many Republicans have turned queasy as Thompson has ousted part of his original brain trust and repeatedly delayed his official announcement, which is now planned for shortly after Labor Day, in the first two weeks of September.

Okay. He’s not officially running, but he’s already failing to live up to expectations.

Well, Ben Kelly – head of the Fred Thompson MeetUp group – sent this email:

While many consider $3,000,000 a “flop” in candidate fund raising for Fred Thompson’s exploratory committee, a fact that seems to go ignored is that Fred Thompson’s first month beats that of Giuliani and McCain.

Indeed, Fred Thompson raised more that ten times Giuliani did in his first month, and beat McCain’s starting month by three times.

Here’s the initial exploratory month (from the time they started taking money) for GOP candidates…

Giuliani – total raised in first month (Nov. 15-Dec. 15): $258,660

McCain – total raised in first month (Nov. 14-Dec. 14): $1,130,351

“Ah.” as Khan would say, “Not so wounded as we were led to believe. So much the better.”

Hat tip to Wayne Garcia for the Newsmax and Politico links …

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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