How Thompson Plays At Home

By: Gordon Boyd
By: Gordon Boyd

Knoxville (WVLT) -- First, we heard "Independence Day."

Now, scuttlebutt is, that former senator Fred Thompson won't make his run for President official until after labor day.

That of course is if he does indeed decide to run.

But how is his wait, playing here in his home State?

"I'm thinking about running for President," said Fred Thompson during a television appearance.

3 1/2 months later, the former U.S. Senator is still thinking, and he is still shrinking from setting a date to make his run official.

But Morristown's Mary Lifford's figures he's being coy

"So he won't peak so soon," said the Hamblen County voter, "and of course, the longer you campaign, the more money you're going to spend."

"This has been the oddest Presidential election that I can remember in several years," said state Rep. John Litz.

Odd in that you don't have to be in, to win, at least not yet.

The latest polls put Thompson at tie for first with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Mitt Romney and John McCain can't manage even half that.

Lately, though, Guiliani has polled better among folks who know him least, folks outside of New York

Would the same hold true, of Thompson, back in Rocky Top?

"I think it would be great to have someone from Tennessee, but I don't know enough about him as a candidate to say much else," said Britney Smith, another Hamblen County voter.

"I believe in the sanctity of human life, "Thompson said during a speech.

But for the past couple of weeks, some have come to question his commitments.

Those questions became more visible after it was revealed that billing records showed Thompson lobbied for an abortion rights group 16 years ago.

He first said he didn't recall, but then backtracked from saying that once the records came out.

"It's a classic case of flip-flopping right there," Litz said.

Litz, a democratic State Representative says Thompson will have to answer for a lot more.

There's the actor factor.

"If you want to compare him with Reagan, I'd say go for it, go for it," Lifford's said.

"It all depends on what kind of candidate he is," Smith said.

From Homeland Security to Iraq and health care to welfare, Thompson holds some cards close that he will eventually have to show if he does get in the race.

Mary Lifford says she would just as soon he had done it yesterday:

"I think he's terrific!," Lifford said. "I hope he's a President from Tennessee real soon!"

Speculations say Thompson will most likely wait on an announcement till after labor day.

The reason is because he is on a list of candidates set for a Fox News debate between Republican hopefuls on September 5th.


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