Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And Then There Were Three

Former Senator Fred Thompson has withdrawn his candidacy for President of the United States, according to a Drudge Report story posted today. Captain Ed Morrissey comments over at Captain's Quarters,
Thompson had a great voice for conservatives in the race, but he had the weakest track record. He only had eight years in the Senate, no executive experience, and a mixed voting record. As a presidential nominee facing either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, the inexperience factor would have been negated -- perhaps the GOP's greatest potential strength -- and his reluctance to campaign as necessary in today's political market would have put the Republicans at even more of a disadvantage. In those senses, Romney, Giuliani, and McCain have better credentials and more upside for November.

I'll miss Fred at the debates, though, if he does withdraw. He put a little stiffener into the GOP's backbone in two breakout showings, and the remaining candidates would do well to emulate Fred a little more in the future.

Regrettably, I must concur. Senator Thompson impressed me when he chose to turn on the fire, but too often he seemed to lack the necessary fight, and his campaign, once he officially announced, never really seemed to get off the ground, despite the buzz preceding the actual announcement.

I think that maybe if a Democrat wins the White House, Fred might be an excellent candidate in four years, and he would be an excellent choice as Vice-President as well. He has not stated his plans, but it does not sound as though he is interested in a position in a Republican White House. Pity. I believe he would be a good adviser, as well as a reliably conservative voice for a Republican Presidency that may not be particularly conservative- especially on fiscal matters.

Fred's exit also means that Republicans are essentially down to a three-man race- Romney, McCain and Giuliani- and only if Giuliani can win in Florida. Huckabee's failure to win in South Carolina means that he also has reached the end of the line, though he may try to stick it out a bit longer. And if Giuliani cannot win in Florida, then his campaign is in real trouble as well. Things ought to be very interesting leading up to the Florida primary.

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