Fred Thompson Bites the Presidential Campaign Dust

In 2008 Presidential Elections, politics on January 23, 2008 by Editor Z

Republican Presidential contender Fred Thompson, stated Tuesday he will abandon his quest to be the party’s presidential candidate, after disappointing showings in recent state primaries and caucuses and dismal fundraising since his entry into the race in the Fall.

He ended his campaign not with the usual statement carried on live television typical of most candidates who withdraw, but by a statement.

ABC News:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States,” read a statement that the former Tennessee Senator released this afternoon.

“I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri (Thompson’s wife) and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.”blockquote>

Thompson, made a name for himself as a legal counsel for the Republicans in the Watergate hearings in the 1970s, would eventually become a television and feature film actor before entering elected politics in 1992 in a special election, becoming a U.S Senator from Tennessee. He served two terms, before deciding not to seek re-election. He then went back to acting, where he became a cast member on the longtime popular NBC Drama “Law and Order”.

In the spring of 2007, as the Republican field had become more cluttered, yet lacking a dynamic candidate who could appeal to the various constituencies of the party, calls for Thompson to run gained traction. The towering, husky voiced Hollywood actor with the southern accent, was perceived as a possible savior who could nurse the wounds of a party in his disarray. His on screen charm, high name recognition, conservative stances on social, economic, and foreign policy issues was seen as an authentic conservative that could mobilize the party and give the Republicans a chance to retain the White House in 2008.

Despite calls to enter the race by party insiders and conservative activists, Thompson was hesitant to openly and officially enter. He was seen to garner much support, in terms of poll numbers to get the party nomination.

But in the Autumn when he finally decided to enter, the slow and laid back Thompson seemed to fall far short of the expectations laid out for him. His indecisiveness to enter and his almost flirting with the press about a run without officially proclaiming he was to be a candidate until several months ago, had widdled away the patience of Republicans. What was expected to be a fountain of campaign money that could be raised and support that could be gathered, instead was a barren desert for the Thompson campaign.

Thompson seemed indifferent about his campaign, giving the man who many said could be a possible modern day Ronald Reagan the image of an indolent old man who only reluctantly embarked on the path to possibly becoming the next U.S President.

In the caucuses that began in Iowa on January 3, and the primaries that followed Thompson came in near the bottom of the polls, most recently this weekend in Nevada and in South Carolina where a win for Thompson was seen by many as essential for his campaign to continue. But he came in a distant third, giving him only a total of eight delegates total for the convention.

Thompson has not yet stated whether or not he will endorse one of his fellow Republicans currently locked in a tight competition for the prized nomination. But for now Thompson seems content with steeping back and according to some heading back home to Tennessee to be by the side of his sick mother.



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