Fred Thompson's Campaign Shake Ups

fdt.jpg Wow, there's a lot of stories coming out about Fred Thompson's stealth campaign for the Republican nomination. Can you imagine if he actually declared?First there was the story of his would be campaign manager being pushed aside, allegedly due to friction with Fred's wife, Jeri Kuhn, herself a GOP operative. And the next day, another staffer resigned, reportedly for his frustration (after just a week and a half) with the lack of structure for the as yet undeclared campaign. However, the good news is that Thompson appears to be wooing McCain campaigners (That's well thought out, seeing as McCain's campaign is doing so well and raising lots of funds /snark), so perhaps those positions will not remain empty too long.

Meanwhile, the New York magazine devotes an 8 page article to asking whether Thompson's home-spun folksiness and big protective daddy persona is real or just an act. I'll let you guess which side they fall down on with this passage:

Although some of his campaign staff protested the move as cheesy, they leased Thompson a red Chevy pickup and he hit the road. Cooper attempted to paint Thompson as phony, calling him a "Gucci-wearing, Lincoln-driving, Perrier-drinking, Grey Poupon-spreading millionaire Washington special-interest lobbyist." But voters loved the truck. They didn't seem to mind that the candidate often switched from a sedan to the truck just miles from his appearances. "We couldn't believe anyone was buying it," says Kopp. "We underestimated him. What we didn't get is that Fred is the country version of a street kid. He's been talking his way out of situations since he was in high school. He's a charmer. People fall for it."

and suggesting that Fred might not have been the most popular man in the Senate during his short tenure:

The greatest testament to the power of Fred Thompson's down-home likability might be that his Senate years were widely viewed as a train wreck, yet he emerged not only unscathed but also as a presidential contender.[..]Thompson spent the next two years accomplishing almost nothing of significance other than raising money for his 1996 reelection: Thompson brought back the red truck and won in a walk.

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[..] Thompson was also accused of grandstanding, and his relationship with then Republican Senate leaders Trent Lott and Mitch McConnell quickly soured. Soon Thompson was warring with both sides. "[We have] presidents at fund-raisers, Lott [saying] raising money is the American Way, [and] McConnell [is the] Darth Vader of Reform," Thompson says in one of the off-the-record sessions found in his archives.

Shall we start a pool on how long it will take Thompson's campaign to crash and burn...or will he be out before he's ever in?

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