Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thompson & Hunter After Iowa

The rumor mills are flying on two candidates oon the GOP side, Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter.

First us is Fred. He just has not caught on. His heart doesn't seem to be in it. Fred barely got a hold of enough cash to run ads in Iowa this week. If he doesn't finish well he will run out of cash. The rumors are that Fred may drop out if he doesn't not finish well in Iowa and the rumor is that when he does drop out he will endorse John McCain.

From Politico:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Several Republican officials close to Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign said they expect the candidate will drop out of the race within days if he finishes poorly in Thursday’s Iowa caucus.

Thompson’s campaign, which last spring and summer was generating fevered anticipation in the media and with some Republican activists, has never ignited nationally, and there are no signs of a late spark happening here in Iowa, where even a third-place finish is far from assured.

This reality—combined with a fundraising drought—left well-connected friends and advisers of Thompson Wednesday evening predicting that he will pull the plug on hype and hope before the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary.

Thompson’s departure could shake up the race more than his continued presence. Friends and advisers said they have long considered it likely that if the lobbyist-actor is forced from the race he would endorse John McCain his former Senate colleague who lately has been staging a political revival in New Hampshire.

“Without a solid third-place finish, there’s no point in going on,” a Thompson adviser said Wednesday. “It was an honorable race, and he turned out to be a good candidate. The moment had just passed.”

A Thompson campaign source said there is “a strong likelihood” that if Thompson comes in a distant third in Iowa, with less than 15 percent of the vote, he would drop out soon—most likely before this weekend’s New Hampshire presidential debates.

The Thompson sources said they were describing a consensus expectation that is now widespread among his political circle, not announcing a decision that the candidate himself has definitively reached.

But Thompson lately has been dropping clear signals that he has reached an up-or-out moment of his own. On Wednesday he took the unusual step of raising expectations for himself at a time when most other candidates are trying to lower them.

When asked what Iowa results he’d be happy with, Thompson held up two fingers, indicating a second-place finish, according to reporters who were with him.

He did something similar on Sunday, when Thompson—apparently in a semi-jocular mood—dismayed his staff by telling reporters that he needed to finish second in the caucuses, a bar that nobody here expects him to cross.
As far as Duncan Hunter is concerned he has been making several interesting statements. First of all he gave up in Iowa and is now in New Hampshire. So it appears that whatever happens tonight he will still wait it out through the 8th. However his statements to the media have been telling.

First of all he said during an interview on CNN recently that through the campaign the he has come to know and really like Mike and noted that Mike's character was real. Hunter later told the media that he was impressed with Mike's organization in an interview yesterday. It does appear that when Hunter drops out that he will likely endorse Mike Huckabee. When that happens I have no idea.

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