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July 24, 2007

Fred Thompson picks one of Florida's best

One of Florida's best political strategist Randy Enright is chosen by the Thompson's campaign to manage the campaign. I suspect fund raising has been good as of late.

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In point of fact, Fred Thompson's fundraising has been bad.

After an initial flurry of donations, buoyed by the excitement about his possible entrance, his campaign has publicly reduced the contributions they expect to file with the IRS (it is still only an exploratory committee, so they file with the IRS, not the FEC) by 40% - from $5 million to $3 million.

Frankly, if the next filing (which will, presumably, be with the FEC) is not close to $20 million, he will have no chance of competing with Romney or Giuliani.

I disagree. His reporting is much more flexible as a non-candidate and his ability to compete with Romney and Giuliani has not been based on financial parity yet. He's winning and he's not even a candidate!

He will have to raise serious cash at some point very soon, but there is no reason to believe at this point he can't. I have a hard time believing RE would have step onto a sinking ship.

Actually, the knock on Thompson is that there is very real reason to believe that he will have trouble raising the money.

It's been said before, and I have no inside info, but the word on Thompson is that he's a lazy campaigner. With his poll numbers bring what they are and with the large number of GOP activists who feel underserved by the current crop of candidates, there should be no reason he couldn't have reproduced something closer to Giuliani's stunning first filing and not something closer to Mick Huckabee's fundraising.

He will be a serious contender, which is why Enright signed on, but he is in danger of becoming another McCain if he doesn't right the ship soon.

Here's my thinking; the difference, and reason for interest in Thompson over Giuliani or Romney, is a perception of differences in belief. If he can garner a leading portion of support based solely on the appearance of a difference, then the money factor is less of an issue in the primary than it is in the general. There aren't a lot of voters who are going to say, "I don't think he can beat Hillary/Obama/Edwards because he hasn't raised enough money," rather they are inclined to vote for a candidate who wants to take the fight to the terrorist AND protects life, lowers taxes, supports the 2nd amendment, will protect the borders, appoint conservative judges, etc.

At this point, I'm not claiming Thompson is that guy. We don't know. But, we do know a few things about Rudy and Mitt and we don't like what we hear. Mitt appears to be a flipper and Rudy openly opposes protecting life in all instances. Mitt is coming off as more of a snob these days and Rudy's commitment to conservative appointments or 2nd amendment rights is seriously being questioned. And lets face it, no candidate can win the nomination without the south, aka the Bible Belt, and Rudy is Catholic and Mitt is Mormon. It's not above political consultants to highlight those differences in the southern states.

My only point, as long as Fred can maintain the perception of these differences, then he only needs enough money to stay in the game. Money obviously hasn't been a determining factor to date.

Thompson need not raise the most money. He only needs to raise enough to be competitive. What that amount is, is anyone's guess.

The GOP primary has seen many well financed campaigns like Phil Gramm of Texas and Steve Forbes, who had the most money at some point, still lose.

We would like to see Thompson/Rice in 2008. Why? Because it would be fun watching Rice skewering the hapless Obama in the VP debates on foreign policy and Thompson deftly handle Clinton the way Sarkozy handled Royal in France.

The Democrats could caterwaul all they want about trophy wives and Iraq, but we would win in a landside. The frothing leftist fits of angst in yet another presidential defeat, would be priceless (not to mention Western Civilization actually might make a go of it in this war we're now in.)

Well, Blog-Stew provides the perfect example. Apparently a true believer, money leader or not, of the results of a Thompson nomination.

I absolutely agree that he doesn't need to raise the most money, but we have seen dyed in the wool conservatives like Sen. Brownback and Gov. Huckabee (who is a baptist minister, no less!) fail to catch fire. Why didn't they catch fire? Well, among other reasons, they lacked (and still lack) the resources to compete with Rommney and others in the key states.

Money counts, because money pays for ads and pays for quality field staff.

We all read the Mike Henry memo, but Iowa and New Hampshire still count for a lot and they both require upwards of $15 million each to compete in (Iowa, in particular, with its caucus structure, needs a lot of shoe leather resources).

Why is the media afraid to be honest about the SC primary?... McCain had more supporters in 2000, I believe his #'s were around 42%, the media considered that a slaughter by Bush. Why is the media and talking heads afraid to be honest and give credit for McCain's win to where it belongs.... FRED THOMPSON. McCain should have been thanking Fred Thompson at his victory speech, not the people of SC. The voters spooke when they gave Thompson 16%. Elementary math.... 30% + 16%= 46%
Huckabee wins by 13% !!! It all becomes clear now.... Thompson stragedy for his buddy McCain!
Hmmmmmm.... Might we see a McCain/ Thompson ticket in Nov?
I think it is important to bring to the public attention before the Fla. primary!

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