Fred Thompson Finally Enters The Race

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After privately considering the race for a year, publicly mulling the race for six months, and testing the waters for three months, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has finally entered the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. He entered the race with an announcement on the Tonight Show and with campaign rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire.

His appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on September 6, 2007, was less than a huge success since it drew criticism from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others, as his "I'm running for president" statement seemed sluggish and decidedly less than presidential. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reviewed Thompson's announcement to enter the 2008 election campaign on the Tonight Show as follows: "The lackluster appearance shows that what works for one candidate may not work the same way with someone else. Thompson may have been an actor, but his labored humor and lack of charisma showed that he does not follow in the footsteps of either the California governor ( Arnold Schwarzenegger) or of President Ronald Reagan."

Even reviews of his first events in Des Moines, Iowa, to which he attracted about 250 people, were dubious at best. Here are some comments from the British paper, The Telegraph, " His style on the stump is curiously low-key, occasionally bordering on the lugubrious. He speaks off the cuff, often rambles and seldom builds to a rhetorical climax." The Des Moines Register's David Yepsen called it ( Fred Thompson's Iowa speech) "under whelming."

Thompson enters the race with conservative credentials. His Senate voting record has consistently scored high marks from conservative groups. His entry into the race is another indication that Republicans are wary of Rudy Giuliani's candidacy.

Thompson's focus right now is raising enough money to show he can mount a viable campaign for the nomination. His campaign needs to move quickly to begin to build its organization a mere four months (or less) before the Iowa and New Hampshire nominating contests. However, his campaign has only scheduled two appearances a day for the ten day kick off tour. In comparison to the other Presidential candidates campaigns, this is a light workload indeed. In the past, Thompson has sometimes been viewed within the Republican party as a lazy Senator and campaigner. He will quickly become a second tier candidate if this proves to be the case with his campaign in 2007.

Despite the visibility of appearing in over forty movies and starring on a television show, the former Senator from Tennessee has never been a real leader within the Republican party. He was severely criticized within the party for his lack of aggressive handling of the investigation of the Clinton's illegal campaign contribution scandal when he was chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in the summer of 1997 Also, Conservatives within the party remember when he not only voted for, but was a major booster of, the McCain/ Feingold campaign finance reform bill. Many conservatives believe this bill infringes on free speech.

Thompson has southern roots and conservative credentials. However, despite these advantages, Thompson's personal background is certainly not ideal for a party that has a Christian, evangelical base. Thompson is divorced, and was single for twenty years before he remarried. He had this to say in April concerning his background during a meeting with House Republicans. " I was single for a long time, and, yep, I chased a lot of women ... And a lot of women chased me. And those that chased me tended to catch me."

In addition, he disappointed some listeners in South Carolina last week with this disclosure on how he gained his values, "sitting around the kitchen table with his parents and the good Church of Christ." and said his church attendance "varies".

Thompson has been trailing Rudy Giuliani in most of the public opinion polls by a few percentage points all summer. His entry into the campaign has given him a small boost in those polls, and now the race at the top for of the 2008 Republican Presidential Election nomination is a statistical tie.

Fred Thompson has officially entered the race for the 2008 Presidential Election.
His success will depend on his ability to raise money and quickly build a field organization over the next thirty to forty five days. His campaign must generate some excitement and momentum to stay in the top tier of Republican candidates. Thompson's candidacy presents a challenge to the Mitt Romney campaign as the conservative alternative to Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 Republican presidential field.

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James W Smith has 1 articles online

James William Smith has worked in Senior management positions for some of the largest Financial Services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. He has always been interested in writing and listening to different viewpoints on interesting topics.

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Fred Thompson Finally Enters The Race

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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