The Tower is pleased to have found the best, and most detailed, analysis of the impact of Fred Thompson on the entire Republican field.  LJ from nailed all of the issues right on the head.  It’s a long post, and due to space, The Tower is only reprinting his commentary on Fred, vis-a-vis McCain.  But go read the entire post when you’re done.

“The Thompson Effect

Much has been written about the meteoric rise of Fred Thompson over the past several months. In particular, a lot of (proverbial) ink has been spilled with odes that designate him a “White Knight” savior-politician who will rescue the Republican party from political catastrophe in 2008. I initially scoffed at the ridiculousness of this notion. It struck me as the wistful yearnings of conservatives who were unsatisfied with the Mayor, the Maverick and the Mormon and a boomlet that was sure to burst sooner rather than later. Well, 3 months after his name began to be seriously floated by his partisans and sympathizers, it appears that contrary to bursting, Thompson’s candidacy has dealt a big blow to each of the Big Three…

McCain: Thompson’s effect on McCain’s candidacy is a mixed bag, more negative than positive though. This doesn’t get nearly as much discussion as it should, but it’s important to understand what a personal slap in the face his candidacy is to McCain. He and McCain were the closest of friends in politics for years: they sat next to each other in the Senate, Thompson was a key co-sponsor to McCain-Feingold, Thompson endorsed McCain over George Bush in 2000 and as recently as 4 months ago, Thompson was making calls to donors on behalf of McCain’s campaign. Thompson then turns around and jumps in the race.

Aside from the personal aspect, it remains to be seen whether Thompson will hurt McCain’s nomination chances. His support has stayed remarkably stable even with the Thompson’s name on the ballot, but that is most likely due to the fact that McCain supporters, as a whole, are very committed and there is very little soft support like Rudy has. And yet, the two’s politics are very similar, despite having extremely different personalities. Thompson could lure away some of McCain’s strong organization. This was on display the other day with the defection of a McCain fundraiser and longtime supporter, John Dowd, to Fred Thompson’s camp. (Note: Ed Morissey talked to the McCain camp and reported that “Fred Thompson campaign has already started chatting with McCain’s fundraisers, but so far have only Dowd to show for the effort. They expect Fred’s team to continue to sound out their donor list, but feel pretty confident that he won’t get many takers.”) Also, if Thompson and Romney start to really battle it out, it could provide an opening for McCain…


Read the entire post – “The Thompson Effect” – here.

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