January 2, 2008

GOT Y'ER TAIL, MAVERICK:

Fred Thompson may drop out (Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen, Jan 2, 2008, Politico)

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 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.

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.


Where it could get really interesting is if he has his people at the caucuses switch to McCain.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 2, 2008 11:36 PM
Comments

If Fred endorses Johnny Mac, heads will explode in the ranks of the Movement Conservatives. El Rushbo, for one, has often said kind things about Fred (and Rudy, and Mitt), but never about McCain (or Huckaby). On the other hand, Fred might be able to soften those anti-McCain biases. Tough sell, though.

Posted by: ghostcat at January 3, 2008 2:04 AM

Fred is denying this rumor rather forcefully.

Posted by: Mike Morley at January 3, 2008 11:09 AM

More wishful thinking.

Posted by: erp at January 3, 2008 11:14 AM

if he has his people at the caucuses switch to McCain.

Huh? That bit of idiocy (the 'viability' requirement) is exclusive to the Democrats here in IA. Republicans do a non-binding straw poll for presidental nominees.

Posted by: Chris B at January 3, 2008 3:02 PM

It's classic. The Republicans are democratic and the Democrats republican. But you can't expect people with real jobs to hang around all night....

Posted by: oj at January 3, 2008 6:34 PM
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