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August 31, 2007
Fred Announces that he will Announce his Announcement
Fred Thompson running for President is the worst kept secret in politics at this point. Nevertheless, the former Tennessee Senator has let on that he will make the official announcemnt of his candidacy on a webcast scheduled for September 6:
Thompson, 64, a former Tennessee senator and Hollywood actor, had delayed his announcement for months, keeping supporters on edge and raising questions about his enthusiasm and commitment to what could be a grueling presidential run. Those challenges are, as Thompson defines them, global terror, the underlying national debt, and out of control entitlement spending.
But he said he was confident about his prospects and heartened by the response he received as he tested the waters for a presidential bid.
"I believe that there are millions of Americans who know that our security and prosperity are at risk if we don't address the challenges of our time," Thompson said in a statement.
To address these issues, Thompson will push for a new kind of federalism that will feature much greater cooperation between state and federal government. His prescriptions will likely not enthuse the Republican base. But Thompson is reaching beyond that base and trying to recapture some of the libertarian Republicans who have either left the party or stayed at home on election day recently while also reaching out to independents.
If he can raise enough money, it may be a winning strategy. But Thompson has a scant 3 months before primary and caucus season gets underway and it remains to be seen just how competitive he can be against the smooth running organizations fielded by his main rivals Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
One curious note on the timing of the announcement. Thompson is taking a risk making his declaration the day after a Republican debate in New Hampshire on September 5. There's always risk of a major gaffe by one of the candidates or some other spark of controversy that will draw attention away from his formal announcement. He's had numerous problems with his staff, his image, and his credentials as a conservative over the last 6 weeks. He certainly can't afford to make such an error right out of the gate.