“Can you really put everything into Iowa,” Ramesh asks, “and then say a third-place finish is a victory?” If you finish a close third, and if–critical point–the candidate shows voters he truly wants the job while convincing the press that he’s finally back on his game, putting himself in a position to win in South Carolina–if all that occurs, why, then, yes, a third place finish for Thompson would indeed amount to a victory.
As I suggested in my post below, Thompson must be the most exasperating candidate in the field. A man who enjoys policy almost too much, Fred sometimes appears less interested in succeeding George W. Bush in the White House than in succeeding Chris DeMuth at AEI. And by waiting so long– according to Steve Hayes’s report, Thompson’s big bus tour of Iowa is still more than a week off–Thompson is taking an awful risk. Since Romney has held the support of about a quarter of Iowa Republicans ever since July Fred isn’t likely to peel them away. And if Huckabee’s supporters prove more or less as loyal as Mitt’s, Fred will be left with very few Iowans still open to persuasion. But Thompson is more genuinely conservative than Huckabee, and much, much more consistent than Mitt. There are those of us who just can’t quit hoping.
One note, by the way, to the Thompson campaign: Getting Fred to do some actual campaigning is, needless to say, a start. Next could you persuade him to start enjoying himself? Tell him to remember FDR and the Gipper. The best take pleasure in the game.