There have many inaccurate reports of an official announcement of a Fred Thompson candidacy. In April, Robert Novack speculated that Thompson could announce any day. Then came a report that Thompson would announce on the Fourth of July. Then it was late July, or maybe August. Now the consensus is that Thompson will announce around Labor Day.
Fred Thompson has been criticized by many for his reluctance to firmly step into the presidential race. His slowness has been attacked as evidence of an unwillingness to commit himself to a presidential run. Others present it as evidence that he lazy. It seems that few actually agree with his decision to delay the start of his campaign.
Fred Thompson, however, knows exactly what he is doing. A look at Rasmussen Reports' week by week polls show that Thompson has maximized the momentum for his campaign.
He started his campaign with 14% of the vote, about ten points behind front runner Rudy Giuliani. (It makes one wonder what would have happened if another social conservative candidate, such as Mike Huckabee, had waited to announce instead of jumping straight into the race). Nearly all of his support came from Giuliani voters, which is a bad sign for the Giuliani campaign. He stayed in about ten or fifteen pointed behind Giuliani for about two months, during which time many writers and bloggers frantically urged him to run before his support evaporated. Thompson hinted very strongly about running, and that cut Giuliani's lead to six points. When Thompson officially launched his campaign website, he was propelled to a virtual tie with Giuliani, all without spending a dime. Thompson's campaign has lost little momentum in the ensuing months, and he remains tied with Giuliani, all without spending anything. Early entries tend to wear out their welcomes. Fred Thompson is doing the right thing.