Unconventional Thompson--Crazy like a Fox!

August 13, 2007

Still unofficial candidate Fred Thompson has promised an unconventional campaign, if he runs, and it appears that he wasn't kidding. Conservatives are getting increasingly impatient for a formal announcement from Thompson and here's why...

Democrats are leading Republicans in the presidential fundraising race by more than $100 million and every day that goes by without closing that gap makes GOP'ers as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof.

Barack Obama is leading the fundraising field at a reported $59 million raised, followed by the former First Victim of President Bill Clinton, who has raised a reported $53 million. Hillary moved $10 million left over from her last senate race into her presidential campaign, bringing her total to $63 million and she is leading Democrat polls with a safe double digit lead over all other challengers. 

Trial lawyers are once again pouring millions into the John Edwards campaign. But this time he is running far behind, raising only $23.1 million, less than half that of Obama or Clinton.

GOP'ers are wondering if any Republican can catch up with fundraising juggernauts Obama and Clinton and Thompson's sitting on the sidelines isn't helping that cause at all. But is this the measuring stick Thompson is using when deciding the timing of a formal announcement? Clearly not... 

Things look quite different over in the Republican primaries race where the guy with the most money is not leading in the polls. 

Mitt Romney is leading the GOP fundraising race at a reported $44.4 million raised, some of it his own money. However, Romney has peaked at around 10% in GOP polls, running at best third or fourth and he appears to be stuck there no matter how much money he raises or spends. He has already spent most of his campaign fund, with only $3.1 million left to play with after debt, as of August 1st.

Leading most GOP polls by a slim single digit margin is NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani who has raised a reported $35.6 million, but only has $18.3 million left in his campaign coffers. John McCain, who is steadily sinking in the polls, has raised and spent a reported $25.3 million and he's barely hanging on with only $1.4 million left in his beleaguered campaign fund.

Beyond leaders Giuliani, Romney and McCain, none of whom can break above 35% with GOP voters, are "the others" who can not break above 3% with GOP voters. The GOP has every right to be nervous about 2008, based upon this dismal field of fast failing candidates. The DNC is looking at the 2008 election as a lock and GOP'ers are reviewing the suicide options! 

Then along comes unconventional Fred... late to the party, or is he? 

He's not yet in the race and has not yet spent a penny, but he is running a solid second in GOP polls, first in some. His fundraising is not yet officially reported as he only started raising exploratory funds a few short weeks ago. Upon announcing his exploratory committee, he announced a goal to raise $5 million by September. He is expected to report raising $3.46 million over the last three weeks for his "testing the waters" campaign, which should make hitting his goal of raising $5 million by September a breeze. 

Thompson hasn't raised as much money because he just started raising money three weeks ago and he's not yet officially in the race. But he hasn't spent any money yet either and he's steadily moving ahead in the polls, running second or even first without running at all... 

I've read all the expert analysis about how Fred can't "catch up" with the big campaign fundraising candidates who have been at it for months now. But let's take a less "expert" more realistic look at where Thompson is actually sitting in the race at this moment. 

Already, only one GOP candidate has more money "on hand" than Thompson. After months of raising money, Rudy Giuliani has a reported $18.3 million on hand as his campaign moves forward and Thompson is already second with $3.46 million on hand, after only three weeks of raising money and not yet officially in the race. On this basis, Thompson appears to be in the catbird seat, if you ask me.

As he takes his good old fashioned time to set his staff and his platform, he is raising without spending and allowing an already overcrowded field of campaign losers to thin out before formally announcing. He's either the smartest man in the race, or the luckiest fool in the race. Crazy? Like a fox maybe... 

Whether reading the polls or the campaign fundraising tea leaves, it appears to me that the GOP nomination is indeed Thompson's to lose. If those sitting on their wallets are waiting for Thompson's formal announcement as I expect, myself being one of them, then hold on to your hats. Thompson could set new records for the most money ever raised in the shortest period of time, once he announces. 

I'm happy to bet my money on that eventuality at this point. The remaining question is how he might stack up against Obama, Clinton or Gore in the general election next year.

According to my crystal ball, Obama will continue to raise money, but he will never win the DNC nomination no matter how much he raises. Not because he's black, but because he is patently unqualified and even the most uneducated Americans know it. 

The Clintons will continue to raise money too. It's what they do best.

However, although Hillary is the likely DNC nominee as of today, once she faces real opposition and is forced to answer for all the scandals and criminal charges that make up the entire Clinton political legacy, Democrats will once again find themselves saddling up good ole Al Gore for one more ride. Howard Dean is already slipping under the covers to cozy up to Al. Dean too, knows that no other Democrat has even a remote chance at the White House in 2008.... 

My money is on a Thompson - Gore battle for all the marbles in the 2008 general election and nobody is more experienced at losing that battle than Al Gore... 

So I say to my fellow conservatives, - don't slit your wrist just yet. I know what the "experts" are saying, but the experts aren't going to decide what happens between now and November 2008. We average folks will decide what happens next... we'll let the experts figure out what happened later. 

My checkbook is waiting to hear the Thompson platform straight from the old war horse's mouth. I'm a common American looking for a common American leader who believes in common American ideals, like me. I'm not looking for an old man or a young man, just a good man. I don't like hardcore right-wingers much more than hardcore left-wingers, which I don't like at all. 

I suspect I have lots of company... 

Run when you're ready Fred - and don't screw it up!

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