Is it fear or cunning that keeps Thompson in his hoop skirts playing the political coquette? Probably neither. Most likely it's simple crass calculation as Fred seeks to exploit his mysterious status as the Maybe Candidate to raise funds, while avoiding all the troublesome accountability of campaign finance reporting. Besides, if he declares his intentions he'll have to start debating his opponents and taking positions on the issues. Why go through all that tiresome work to compete for a ticket when he can get a free ride from the media and his Hollywood pals, who would also like to make some cash off the Thompson mystique?
As The Crone reminds us, NBC is planning a big Fred marathon of Law'n'Order episodes featuring his tough talkin' DA persona. It appears the station is a little nervous about the propriety though.
Hoping to avoid violating a Federal Communications Commission provision that would force the network to provide equal time to other candidates running for president, NBC chief lobbyist Robert Okun has reached out to the GOP presidential campaigns of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, among others, to inquire whether they would make a major issue out of Thompson being featured in reruns this summer.
Meanwhile, the Thompson declaration date has now moved from July 4th, to sometime this fall, probably in October, coincidentally coming after the traditional television sweeps weeks. According to his uncampaign spokesmouth, it kind of depends on how long Fred can continue to flirt with his supporters before they insist on a commited relationship.
One is tempted to think Fred's reticence might stem from embarrassingly low fund-raising figures or even scandulous revelations lurking in his personal finances but even if that's not the case, a simple question lingers. What happens to all the money raised in his name if he never declares?
And a question for Thompson's supporters. If the man is so indecisive it takes him months to make a judgement about whether to run, what makes you think he could run a public office that often requires a rapid response to unexpected events?