Waiting for Fred

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I have a piece in the coming print issue of Time on the hard-to-meet expectations being heaped by fretful Republicans on Fred Thompson’s I’ll-get-in-someday campaign for the GOP nomination. The piece is already posted here. It says volumes about the state of the party, and about the level of discontent among GOP voters with the current field of candidates, that in some national polls Thompson is already challenging Giuliani for front-runner status. Now that he’s shaken up his non-campaign campaign and postponed his official entry into the race until September, the expectations will only continue to build. Which means he’ll have to deliver an announcement speech-for-the-ages when he does finally get in, or a lot of R’s will be deflated.

Who knows. Maybe Thompson will be a great candidate. Or maybe, as John McCain likes to say (quoting Chairman Mao), “It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”