Q&A Friday #71: Is Fred Thompson Making A Mistake By Taking So Long To Get In The Race?

Question: “Do you think Fred Thompson is making a mistake by waiting until after Labor Day to officially enter the race? Also, is there a possibility in your mind, of a Thompson-Hunter ticket?” — jewells45

Answer: There are two ways of thinking about this: the first is that it makes sense for Fred to take his time getting into the race because his numbers have gone up a lot even though he hasn’t been in the game. Right now, he’s tied with Rudy or a little behind him in second place, depending on what poll you buy into.

On the other hand, because he’s not in the race yet, it reinforces the stereotype that he’s lazy, his supporters are starting to get a little antsy, and perhaps most importantly, he can’t go full throttle on fund raising.

I’m of the opinion that Fred’s poll numbers have probably gone about as high as they’re going to get until he gets in. Moreover, the fact that he’s not in the race isn’t keeping his opponents from taking shots at him. It’s also worth noting that with it looking like the Iowa primary is going to now be starting at the beginning of January or maybe at the end of December, time is getting short.

So personally, I think Thompson would be better off getting in now, rather than waiting.

On the second question, if Fred Thompson were to win, would he consider a Thompson/Hunter ticket? Anything’s possible, but my guess is that Thompson would probably be more inclined to go for a Northern “moderate” like Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani to balance out the ticket.

But again, it’s very difficult to figure out whom a particular candidate would want as a veep because everything from geography to personality conflicts can play a role.

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