Kidding aside, Thompson’s decision to relocate full-time to Iowa and (one imagines) do nothing other than campaign until the caucuses is an interesting move. It will make anything less than a third place finish appear to be a serious setback, but he could take advantage of Romney’s weakening position. (Needless to say, a third place finish by Romney and he’s pretty much done; the Dean comparisons will not only be easy, but also apt.) If Giuliani’s campaign-by-stealth (via mail) or a surprise showing by Ron Paul somehow surpasses him, I don’t see how he will justify continuing this charade. Nonetheless, he has genuinely impressed many people with his policy acumen, so he could become a very credible selection for VP. How about Huckabee-Thompson? Too Southern? He could play Cheney to Huckabee’s Bush–isn’t that a pleasant thought?
It’s unlikely that two bitter rivals would be on the same ticket, but it has happened before. It would be quite a come-down from the acclamations of Fred Sotir Euergetos that were being shouted out to him a few months ago. It would be rather humiliating to have to be considered for Huckabee’s vice president, since the preacher had been considered as no more than veep-worthy just a month or so ago. With Fred sinking in polls just about everywhere and the huckster rising, the argument that Huckabee is filling the space that Fred was supposed to fill and didn’t makes a good deal of sense. Second billing may be the best he can expect now.
P.S. Via Dave Weigel, here is a
scintillating excruciatingly dull Thompson town hall meeting in Orange City, Iowa. Consider one of Thompson’s “jokes” about the Democratic candidates: “It’s like they’re all in training for the NASCAR, you know, nothing but a left turn.” That has to be the first time I’ve ever heard a Southerner, or anyone, liken liberalism to NASCAR. Let us hope that it will be the last.
You have to enjoy the moment during the third part of the town hall when one of Thompson’s supporters is holding a campaign sign upside-down. I think it must have been a distress call.