The fat lady has been canceled. The obit in the New York Times has been pulled. Funereal flower arrangements have been replanted. Behests have been returned.
And a moribund candidacy, coming to life at last, can boast that famous Mark Twain retort “Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.”
Fred Thompson is alive and well and surging in South Carolina.
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Fred Thompson in a statistical tie for second place:
Over the past several days, the only real movement in South Carolinaâ€™s Republican Presidential Primary has been a four-point gain for Fred Thompson and a five-point decline for Mike Huckabee.
The big winner from that trade-off is John McCain.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows McCain at 28%, Huckabee at 19%, Mitt Romney at 17%, and Fred Thompson at 16%. Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul are tied with 5% support. Giuliani is betting his entire campaign on a strong showing in Florida, where he is now tied for the lead with three others. ...
There has been much talk about Thompson going easy on McCain in the debate and in TV appearances since then. Yesterday on CNN’s Late Edition, Fred barely laid a glove on McCain. This has led to some spurious rumors that Thompson is a stalking horse for McCain and will drop out after South Carolina and endorse the Arizonian, being rewarded with the Vice Presidential nomination later.
That’s not quite how I see it.
It makes sense for Fred to lay off McCain until after Michigan. If his friend can knock off Romney in the state of his birth, even Daddy Warbucks would have to concede his candidacy is virtually finished. After Michigan, Fred would be free to go after McCain’s immigration record – a very easy task and one that would resonate powerfully with South Carolina voters.
Even if he doesn’t go after McCain, Romney might do it for him, seeing a Thompson win as the only way he stays viable into Florida.
A Thompson victory in South Carolina would essentially mean there would have been 4 major primaries with 3 different winners. This would mean on to Florida for everyone. Even a strong second by Thompson may tempt him to go on to Florida where Fred has also seen an uptick in his support, finding himself just 8 points out of the lead.
Okay, so it’s only 4 point surge. But it is a surge nonetheless and if it denotes momentum on Thompson’s part, watch out. The biggest hurdle Thompson has now is convincing people it is not too late to vote for him. The fact that a sizable number of South Carolinians have made that decision is heartening.
Someone pass the word to the eulogist to stand down. Fred ain’t dead yet.
Allah continues his torture of Fredheads. What is truly remarkable is that the Fredheads keep coming back for more. It’s like Allah has them trained to give a Pavlovian response to his sly insults and clever bon mots.
Allah evidently still doesn’t think Fred has much of a chance and I’d agree. But his prospects have improved since last week – even Allah would have to admit that. And given the utter weirdness of this primary season, I say that anything can and probably will happen before all is said and done. Whether that lightening strikes Fred or not is another matter.
UPDATE: “10 at 10” Drive for a Million
C’Mon Fredheads. We’re almost there. Less than $30,000 to reach that million dollar goal (that was originally a $540,000 goal and then a $750,000 goal). Last Thursday, we had about $400,000 in the tank of the little red pickup. Now we’re kissing a mil thanks to your generosity and Fred’s building momentum.
If we all give just $10 at 10:00 PM tonight, we’ll smash that million dollar barrier so that Fred can blanket the airwaves in South Carolina with his positive message of true conservatism.
UPDATE: “WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER TRUCK…”
At around 8:15 PM central time, the campaign surpassed their $1,000,000 goal.
The website is crashing. The videos on the site won’t load because of the heavy traffic. The campaign is turning people away from events an hour before Fred makes his appearance.
TOO LATE MY ASS!