Fred Thompson is dipping his toes into the water.
We’ve now confirmed that former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is taking formal steps toward a presidential bid, through the formation next week of a “testing-the-waters” committee that will allow him to do some fundraising.
According to a Thompson adviser who has been helping him in this early stages, the senator and lead actor on “Law & Order” will be helped in fundraising through supporters of his who have dubbed themselves “First Day Founders.” The “testing the waters” committee is not as stringently regulated as a formal exploratory committee, he said, so that Mr. Thompson can complete some of his private speaking engagements and (clarification here, updated) deal with contractual obligations, at least in the short term while he is still not an announced candidate. (Update: Mr. Thompson often subs in for Paul Harvey on the ABC radio network, which would pose an equal time issue if he were an official candidate.)
Let's see if I can name them all off the top of my head -- McCain, Romney, Thompson (the one the wingers are excited about), Thompson (the Wisconsin one who told us he had diarrhea at the last debate), Giuliani, Gilmore, Tancredo, Ron Paul, Huckabee ... that's nine. I need two more...
Brownback! One more...
Okay. I give up. I'll look the last one up -- Duncan Hunter.
And that's not even including potential candidates Coburn, Hagel and Gingrich, because what their field needs is more aging white men.
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