09 August 2007

Of August Sun and Fred Thompson

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson electrified conservative onlookers back in the spring when he, in an almost offhanded fashion, mentioned that he was "considering" a Presidential run. In the weeks following the statement, Thompson engaged in an incredible dance with hungry conservatives and anxious reporters, every Fred Thompson action was covered with an almost breathless anticipation. By the time that Senator Thompson appeared at the 2007 Prescott Bush Awards Dinner in Stamford, CT, for CTGOP, he was, arguably, at the peak of his unrestrained popularity. Like kittens, reporters lapped up the warm milk that was a potential Thompson candidacy. The only people more eager were the legions of conservative bloggers, commentators, and activists who hungered for a True Conservative in the mold of Reagan that could win. In Thompson, they saw the opportunity for deliverance.

It then became widely rumored that Thompson would announce his candidacy on the 4th of July at a huge announcement celebration in Nashville, Tennessee. After only a few days, that rumor changed and became a 'beginning of August' announcement, which has now become a 'Labor Day' announcement. At the same time, there have been a number of news articles about Jeri Thompson, the accused trophy wife and widely acknowledged "power behind the throne". The ridicule and haughty pontification of these reports, along with the revelation that the Thompson effort raised "only" $3.5 million during the month of June, as well as the two changes at campaign manager, rounded out a seemingly rough July in the papers for Fred Thompson.

And now with a boiling August has many Americans on vacation or hunkered down next to the air conditioner, the rap on Fred Thompson is that his moment has passed without him seizing it. Frustrated lament is setting in with many as their original enthusiasm has waned. The earliest primary season in history continues to roll on with the natives getting restless. But for Fred Thompson, the best strategy is to wait out the vacations of August and hone in for an aggressive September. Why bother trying to electrify uninterested Americans who are enjoying weeks at the shore or trips to Grandma's house? The high mercury will pass, the kids will start back to school, and then Fred Thompson, critics, cynics, and sycophants alike will be ready to take a fresh look at Fred Thompson. Stay tuned.