Fred brings out the bomberAfter today's announcement that former Senator Fred Thompson has hired Bill Lacy to join his campaign team and run day to day operations, there is little doubt that Thompson really does intend to run for President. For all of the talk about the dangers of continuing delay in an official announcement (something that I tend to agree with) the fact that Lacy is joining the team is a likely signal that the recent reshuffle at the almost-Fred '08 campaign was less a move of desperation and more of a preparation for the long and hard slog of a long-term campaign.
It was Lacy, after all, who took Fred Thompson from a 20-point deficit in 1994-when the race against Jim Cooper looked all but lost-to an overwhelming victory. With Lacy's guidance, the underdog crushed his Democratic opponent with a Statewide majority of over 320,000 votes and over 60% of the overall vote total. Lacy also made Fred Thompson a marketable candidate. The red pickup truck for which Fred Thompson would become so famous as both a candidate and a Senator was the brainchild of Bill Lacy, who is a real believer in shaking hands, holding babies, and pounding the pavement to reach out to the grassroots.
Lacy has real Presidential Primary experience as well. In 1980, Lacy ran Ronald Reagan's campaign in the Maryland Primary, which that year proved to be a pivitol test for the Republican nomination. Mr. Lacy knows how to lead underdogs to victory, and his depth of experience should be seen as a sign that Fred Thompson is ready to wage a come-from-behind effort to win the nomination if that is what is needed.
Just when I was prepared to say it was getting too late for Fred Thompson, he doesn't hire a Big Gun-he hires the political equivalent of a B1 Bomber. There is little doubt at this point that Fred Thompson is running for President-the only question now is whether he will wait too long to make it official.
Correction (Thu. 8/9 12:40 pm): Adam Groves points out that Tom Ingram is who suggested the red pickup truck, not Lacy. Lacy, he points out, actually opposed the idea.
Labels: Presidential Election