THOMPSON IN -- McCAIN'S CAMPAIGN SAVED?
Dean Barnett, at Hugh Hewitt's blog, started a McCain campaign dead pool yesterday ... and less than 24 hours later, the Politico reported that Fred Thompson is definitely running for president. I connect the two because I don't think the McCain campaign is dead at all -- in fact, I think Thompson might just help McCain win the nomination.
I've given you bits and pieces of this theory, but let me run through it again: There's a fairly solid McCain vote in the GOP (mostly among non-wingnuts), and then there's the wingnut base, which is largely going for Giuliani because he looked (to them) like a terrorist ass-kicker on TV. However, as soon as Thompson, a professional TV star, sent up a campaign trial balloon, Giuliani's numbers started to drop. So Thompson cuts into Rudy's lead, and then maybe Gingrich gets into the race in the fall and cuts into it some more ... and then just enough old-school Republicans vote for McCain, and he squeezes through. (Remember what I told you yesterday: the American Research Group poll has McCain leading in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.)
But can't Thompson actually win? Well, yeah, he might -- but as I said a couple of weeks ago, he may be overdoing the Reagan folksiness and not grasping the fact that he needs to seem like a potential psychopath to win. We'll see once he gets out there.
Anyway, it's a hunch. I really don't know how it'll play out.