I just spoke to one of the Thompson Associates – who is in good spirits, considering the circumstances.
He offered a very intriguing nugget, although I wouldn’t want to make too much of it too soon. This Associate said that when an elected official runs for president, and experiences the day-in, day-out relentlessness of making their case and articulating their ideas, they tend to recall why they got into politics in the first place. This Associate said that in the last six weeks or so, Thompson really enjoyed campaigning, and began to express how much he enjoyed campaigning in Tennessee.
This Associate then suggested that Thompson is interested in getting into another race someday, and ”the calendar and where things are” made the most likely possibility the next governor’s race in Tennessee, which is in 2010.
(Both of Tennessee’s senators are Republicans, and have not indicated an interest in retiring.)
As for discussions with other campaigns, the Associate said Thompson was “not interested in engaging any of these guys one way or another right now.”