DEMOCRAT TO RUN UNOPPOSED IN '08?
Well, maybe effectively unopposed, if Steven Stark of The Boston Phoenix is really on to something:
...the Republicans may well be headed to a deadlocked race and convention. And history teaches us that the likeliest candidate to emerge in that scenario is someone like Warren G. Harding: the prototypical, less-than-stellar candidate to which conventions turn when the going gets rough.
This year's Harding? Believe it or not (are you sitting down?), despite the fact that he's withdrawn from the race, is Fred Thompson.
... , Harding's showings [in the 1920 campaign] were so atrocious that he had to be continually convinced not to drop out of the race by his advisors. Sound familiar?
...[Thompson] has always been the establishment's choice. The flip side of his failure to articulate much of a platform is that he hasn't really alienated anybody. He certainly looks like a president...
Oh, don't even get my hopes up this way.
Stark, I gather, leans left, but at least one righty blogger seems to be taking this seriously.
Me, I'm not sure who would emerge from a brokered convention. It occurs to me that "brokered" might be a real misnomer this year -- who's going to broker it? Can anybody, given how much some segments of the party seem to hate each candidate? The GOP will probably be a ruthless machine once it has a candidate in place, but I'm not sure it will be able to settle on a candidate.
Any idiot would know that the Republicans should just go with McCain -- but the Limbaughs and Coulters and Hewitts would howl, and they'll probably lead a Harriet Miers/Dubai Ports-style campaign to get the base to threaten revolt. Romney might seem a risky choice to evangelicals. Giuliani would make those evangelicals walk out. Huckabee is surely seen as a wacko fundie by the golf-and-scotch wing of the party and is definitely seen as a liberal by the right-wing talkers. And party pragmatists would recognize that Condi Rice and Jeb Bush and Tommy Franks all bear the stench of the current president and the current war, so they'd all probably be rejected.
As for Thompson, I assume a prerequisite for the candidate will be that he actually shows up regularly and campaigns -- you know, every day. That would seem to eliminate Fred from consideration.
I half-think the Republicans will adjourn without a nominee, let Hillary or Barack duke it out with Bloomberg, and then do to the presidency of whoever wins what they did to Bill Clinton's.
Or maybe they'll just cut to the chase and run Rush.