Fred Thompson has strongly hinted that he will be announcing his candidacy for president in early September.
Thompson can't even make a semi-official announcement before he declares, because that would trigger all sorts of rules about fund raising, and media access etc... but this is in line with his general strategy so far; which has been to wait 'til the last possible moment before announcing, and let all the other candidates waste their money and energy fighting with each other.
Now, in response to this, some folks (mostly democrats, but also some of the fringe republican candidate supporters) are saying "It's too late, he's missed his chance. With all the other candidates having announced months ago Fred is too late"... blah blah blah.
How exactly have the derived this magical calculus of candidacy timing?
Why on earth would someone think announcing your candidacy in the year of the mid-term elections, two whole years before the next election would be a good or desirable thing; or any kind of advantage at all? Hell, some of the democratic field practically announced their candidacy the day Bush was re-elected. I mean haven't these people heard of voter fatigue?
The traditional time to announce for president is late summer or early fall of the year before the presidential election.
Hmmm, what date is it today?
Why do some people seem so convinced this is a disadvantage? He has more money than any candidate except Rudy and Mitt, and he hasn't been spending any of it yet; but every other candidate has been spending gobs of money running against him, before he's even declared.
Some people say "well, he's at a big name recognition disadvantage. Everyone else has had a year to get their names out there". Does anyone seriously think that 15 months isn't enough time to get his name out? Because the likely primary voters already know who he is, and if they don't the HUGE amount of free press he gets the minute he finally does announce is certainly going to solve that problem.
Then of course theres the fact that he's on TV, I would conservatively estimate, 7000 times a day through the "all law and order all the time" channel.
...Somehow, I don't think name recognition will be a problem for him.
In the mean time, while the various Republican candidates have been running against each other; Fred has been "not-running" against the democrats. Note, not a specific democrat, he's been positioning himself as the logical alternative to the democrats as a whole, no matter where you stand in the political spectrum (well, except to those further left than even the democratic base).
Doesn't sound like a bad strategy to me...