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post #41 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Buh bye


Thompson may drop out, back McCain

By: Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen
Jan 2, 2008 11:05 PM EST



Fred Thompson’s departure could shake up the race more than his continued presence. If Thompson exits, he's expected to endorse John McCain.
Politics, Political News, Campaign 2008 - Politico.com


DES MOINES, Iowa — Several Republican officials close to Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign said they expect the candidate will drop out of the race within days if he finishes poorly in Thursday’s Iowa caucus.

Thompson’s campaign, which last spring and summer was generating fevered anticipation in the media and with some Republican activists, has never ignited nationally, and there are no signs of a late spark happening here in Iowa, where even a third-place finish is far from assured.

This reality — combined with a fundraising drought — left well-connected friends and advisers of Thompson Wednesday evening predicting that he will pull the plug on hype and hope before the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary.

Thompson’s departure could shake up the race more than his continued presence. Friends and advisers said they have long considered it likely that if the lobbyist-actor is forced from the race he would endorse John McCain, his former Senate colleague who lately has been staging a political revival in New Hampshire.

“Without a solid third-place finish, there’s no point in going on,” a Thompson adviser said Wednesday. “It was an honorable race, and he turned out to be a good candidate. The moment had just passed.”

A Thompson campaign source said there is “a strong likelihood” that if Thompson comes in a distant third in Iowa, with less than 15 percent of the vote, he would drop out soon — most likely before this weekend’s New Hampshire presidential debates.


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The Thompson sources said they were describing a consensus expectation that is now widespread among his political circle, not announcing a decision that the candidate himself has definitively reached.

But Thompson lately has been dropping clear signals that he has reached an up-or-out moment of his own. On Wednesday he took the unusual step of raising expectations for himself at a time when most other candidates are trying to lower them.

When asked what Iowa results he’d be happy with, Thompson held up two fingers, indicating a second-place finish, according to reporters who were with him.

He did something similar on Sunday, when Thompson — apparently in a semi-jocular mood — dismayed his staff by telling reporters that he needed to finish second in the caucuses, a bar that nobody here expects him to cross.

Thompson aides have long said he needs an early victory to serve as a bridge to connect him to the key Southern contests that he envisioned propelling him to the nomination. Thompson had pinned his hopes entirely on Iowa serving that role. But every recent poll has showed him lagging in a distant third.

Thompson picked up a key endorsement in the backing of Rep. Steve King, a conservative who represents the western part of the state, and had won acclaim from conservative activists for his closing message to Iowa voters, a Web video arguing that the Democratic candidates are all running to the left and beholden to special interests like the National Education Association.

Thompson, the former U.S. senator from Tennessee and “Law and Order” actor, brought a dash of celebrity and down-home humor to the strait-laced field of Republican candidates. But conservatives’ excitement quickly dissipated after he got off to a sluggish start and showed only sporadic enthusiasm for campaigning.

Recently, his stump speeches have dripped with contempt for the press and the campaign process, and this week he even joked about napping. On New Year’s Day, he held just one campaign event at a time when the top candidates were going full throttle.

His war chest was so depleted that he was unable to advertise on television after Christmas, and was only able to get back on the air in Iowa by blasting a stream of e-mails pleading for contributions.

Friends and advisers emphasized that no deal has been cut to have Thompson endorse McCain. But they note that there would be a logic to doing so soon, in order to help a friend and colleague at a moment when he needs it most. In turn, Thompson might be named attorney general in a McCain administration.

Trying to fend off rumors about an impending demise of the campaign, Thompson issued a news release Wednesday afternoon saying he plans to participate in debates in New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday. Thompson was alone in issuing such a release: No other campaign thought that was necessary.

Despite the air of doom hovering over his candidacy, Thompson has not yet shared his intentions with the campaign or indicated to friends that he has reached a decision in tandem with his wife, Jeri, an influential adviser. Campaign underlings continue to make plans as far ahead as Super Tuesday, Feb. 5.

“Doing well in Iowa means exceeding expectations, and Fred has been exceeding expectations for more than 40 years,” said Karen Henretty, a Thompson spokeswoman. “Thursday’s results aren’t likely to close any chapters.”

But other advisers to Thompson described his campaign as “broke” and said that without a shot of momentum from Iowa, continuing the campaign would be pointless and impractical.

Thompson advisers expect Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee to claim the two top spots in the Iowa caucuses. The main suspense is whether Thompson will finish close enough to get credit for a surprisingly strong performance, coaxing him to keep battling, or will finish far behind.

Thompson and McCain had a close relationship until the former actor entered the White House race. In 2000, Thompson was one of just four Senate Republicans to endorse McCain’s presidential bid.

At the start of this year, Thompson was even making phone calls on behalf of McCain’s campaign. Thompson has built little support in New Hampshire, so his endorsement would not mean a lot for McCain there.

But Thompson has been near the top of most polls in South Carolina, which holds its primary on Jan. 19. So his backing there could help McCain capitalize on any momentum he picks up in the first two contests.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #42 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:04 PM
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Dang, ed will have to get a new avatar.

If Fred drops out we COULD have a BWOT contest to pick one out for him. I'm just saying...

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post #43 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:08 PM
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He is more than welcome to the avatar I use on Mercedesshop.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #44 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:14 PM
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He is more than welcome to the avatar I use on Mercedesshop.
???

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post #45 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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I'd much rather pick one for Jayhawk.



It is so hard to choose


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #46 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:39 PM
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Eh, I'll be searching for a Ron Paul avatar should that come to pass. I have been disappointed, to say the least, in Fred's campaign activities, or lack thereof. I expected him to get his roll on when the race shifted to the south. He was a good 2nd in being a true conservative, to Dr. Paul, but he has the presence and demeanor that Dr. Paul lacks. Unlike the frontrunners, he is neither a religious flake nor has he just recently discovered his positions. Were he the nominee, I would have expected him to run very well against Obama or Edwards (I don't give HC a chance).

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post #47 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:45 PM
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Eh, I'll be searching for a Ron Paul avatar should that come to pass. I have been disappointed, to say the least, in Fred's campaign activities, or lack thereof. I expected him to get his roll on when the race shifted to the south. He was a good 2nd in being a true conservative, to Dr. Paul, but he has the presence and demeanor that Dr. Paul lacks. Unlike the frontrunners, he is neither a religious flake nor has he just recently discovered his positions. Were he the nominee, I would have expected him to run very well against Obama or Edwards (I don't give HC a chance).
That is a very good assessment. I just don't think he has the time to pick up the slack.

Now if 1,2,3 can't come up with a clear lead by Feb5 then this thing goes to the Convention in August for Ballot 2. He does have the time to pick up steam for that.

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post #48 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Eh, I'll be searching for a Ron Paul avatar should that come to pass. I have been disappointed, to say the least, in Fred's campaign activities, or lack thereof. I expected him to get his roll on when the race shifted to the south. He was a good 2nd in being a true conservative, to Dr. Paul, but he has the presence and demeanor that Dr. Paul lacks. Unlike the frontrunners, he is neither a religious flake nor has he just recently discovered his positions. Were he the nominee, I would have expected him to run very well against Obama or Edwards (I don't give HC a chance).
HC beats all other Republicans in poll matchups with one exception: McCain. Thompson isn't smart enough to be president, never has been, never will be, and has failed as predicted by the Feel The Love Prognostication Institute. Next prediction: Guiliani is a dead man walking.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #49 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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That is a very good assessment. I just don't think he has the time to pick up the slack.

Now if 1,2,3 can't come up with a clear lead by Feb5 then this thing goes to the Convention in August for Ballot 2. He does have the time to pick up steam for that.
You are right if Huckabutt wins the Iowa caucus. If he doesn't, man it is going to be a slugging fest between McCain and Romney that will be dirty, mean and nasty. I doubt if McCain is going to stand to be "nigger babied" again, but it should be settled on Super Tuesday. If Huckee continues to splinter the party with his liberal in conservative's clothing shctick, I agree with you 100%.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #50 of 101 (permalink) Old 01-03-2008, 02:53 PM
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Not smart enough? Who's president today?

Hillary will implode, Obama and Edwards have a far better delivery of the message.

Guiliani will implode, as well, far too many skeletons in that closet.

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