We needed the South Carolina win. The Conservatives there opted to listen to talking heads rather than research the facts and for that I may never forgive them. On top of the third place disappointment in S.C., Senator Thompson's mother is quite ill and the campaign is not saying what the future holds...
I don't normally reprint entire articles verbatim, but this piece in The National Ledger, by JB Williams, may just be the most succinct recap and explanation of the events to date thus far... I agree with every word.
"Fred Thompson was drafted by the conservative base of the Republican Party for two very simple reasons. One, the Republican National Committee offered no other viable conservative choice and two, only a true traditional conservative can challenge today's Democratic Socialists. Thompson was not planning on running for an office he never aspired to hold. He was asked to put his personal life on hold, and answer the call to serve his fellow conservatives in desperate need of real conservative leadership.
Thompson didn’t enter the race late. The other eight eager beavers entered the race a year early, throwing the nomination process into a confusing tailspin and the nation into unwanted perpetual campaign mode. Those who claim Thompson’s late entry cost him the nomination need to answer why the early “front-runner” Rudy Giuliani, is in worse shape than Thompson in the polls?
No conservative including Thompson, had any chance of winning in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or Nevada, all heavily liberal, which delivered three different winners in four primaries. So Thompson bet his farm on South Carolina, where conservative candidates normally do best.
But Thompson finished a distant 3rd instead of 1st or even 2nd, after pundits had been painting Thompson as “lazy” – “no fire” – “slow” and “disinterested” since the day he announced his campaign. And now, Thompson’s campaign is in real trouble coming out of South Carolina a distant 3rd.
But, every Republican emerges from South Carolina in trouble. John McCain thinks he emerged from South Carolina a victor. But what did he win? McCain won South Carolina the same way he won New Hampshire, with Independent votes, not Republican votes. So what did he win and how can he turn that into a national victory in November?
The answer is - he can’t turn it into a national victory in November, no matter how much he tells himself he can. He’s simply running on ego, ignoring an overtly obvious reality.
NO Republican can win in November without the support of the Republican base of the party. And none of the new front-runners, McCain, Romney, or Huckabee will enter November with the base of their party intact. Thompson is the only Republican candidate who can bring all Republicans into the voting booth in November, yet too many Republicans choose to ignore this reality." (source)
(Photo Courtesy of: Fred Thompson on flickr)