Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson Drops Out

After another disappointing showing, this time in a must win state for him, Fred Thompson, who catapulted to frontrunner status briefly this summer amid speculation that he would run, has dropped out of the Republican presidential primaries. Since his actual announcement, his campaign quickly deflated as his poll numbers went on a steady downward spiral.

Citing the need to spend more time caring for his sick mother in Tennessee, the former star of Law and Order, has not yet thrown his support to any of the other candidates. It was once assumed that he would endorse John McCain, whom he endorsed in the 2000 presidential race. The two have been friends.

According to Chris Cillizza's The Fix
Former senator Fred Thompson (Tenn.) dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination today, following months of lackluster campaigning and chaos within his campaign organization.

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States," Thompson said in a terse statement. "I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."
According to Cillizza's column, some in the Thompson camp claim that several of the other candidates had reached out to Thompson, but officials for McCain and Romney say they have not had contact with Thompson's campaign. And his endorsement, at this point, would probably not have much benefit for any of them. As Cillizza said
It's not clear what if any value would come from a Thompson endorsement -- should he choose to proffer one. The arc of Thompson's campaign has been almost straight downward since he floated the idea of running for president last spring. Polling in the late spring/early summer showed Thompson surging into the lead nationally and in key early states. But a series of staff departures, slipups and a delayed formal announcement took the shine off of the movie star-turned senator's candidacy. Thompson placed third in Iowa, took just 1 percent of the vote in New Hampshire and, despite an intense push over the past ten days, could only muster a third place finish in South Carolina.
It's sad for him. Thompson came on the scene with much promise but the expected charisma never really materialized. I guess without a Hollywood writer, he really wasn't Arthur Branch.

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