It’s interesting that the absurdity of the Fred Thompson Phenomenon should call to mind the (non-existent) presidential potential of Larry Craig in particular for both Matt Yglesias and myself.  Yglesias also asks sarcastically, “Where’s Tommy Thompson?”  Tommy is, of course, running as fast as he can all over Iowa attempting to pull off the upset of all upsets in a campaign no less (but no more) deserving of mockery than the other Thompson’s.  That idea struck me as laughable when I first heard about it, but then I seem to find virtually every presidential candidate’s chances laughable.  Somebody has to win, I suppose.  Why not a Thompson-Thompson ticket?

Tommy Thompson is actually a very good example of the kind of candidate–accomplished reform governor of a Midwestern state re-elected with broad support–that the GOP desperately needs right now.  The only problem is that he hasn’t been the governor of anything for years.  Oh, the other problem is that virtually nobody knows who he is outside Wisconsin.  Then there’s the lack of money.  Other than that, he’s in great shape.  But if his optimistic claims are to be believed, he is practicing intense retail politics and just might surprise all of the people engaged in the celebrity-watching political “journalism” that first anointed Hagel as a minor deity (before overturning his statues and burning his temples in recent weeks) and that now makes Thompson into the messiah.  I really hope so.  Larry Craig isn’t in the race (yet), so we need someone like Tommy Thompson to step up to the plate and save us from the insane celebrity politicians.