Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Everyone knows Fred Thompson is going to run and that he will undoubtedly leverage every aspect of his background, including his notoriety as an actor, to gain popularity as a presidential candidate.

What is also encouraging is that Fred and his people are well on their way to leveraging the Internet as well - a strategy the Republicans have not been known for.

Net-savvy Fred Thompson ready to stir race

With a campaign built on new technology and a flair for the dramatic, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson appears ready to stir up the race for the Republican presidential nomination, generating 500 responses from potential contributors and volunteers immediately after news leaked of his determination to run.

"Can't keep up with the incoming. … Drinking from the fire hose," said Thompson's inundated potential campaign manager, Mark Corallo, in an e-mail to The Politico.

Thompson, 64, ...told USA Today he plans to use the people's press, the Internet, as a significant means of garnering support.

A search on the popular college-oriented social networking site Facebook turns up 85 groups in support of Thompson and just three against him, sporting names such as "Draft Fred Thompson 2008" and "Run, Fred, Run!"

Thompson's focus on the Internet as a campaign tool is mirrored by the top Democratic contenders, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who already have mined the Web's ability to collect demographic and voting information. College-aged Americans are plugging in to the race through the Internet, and Thompson is the first Republican to have "one of the most profound personality cults we've seen in politics for a long time," according to National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg.

Fred Thompson jokes are even circulating online, presenting wild claims that "every night before he goes to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson," and "Superman is only vulnerable to two things: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson."

Others say "Fred Thompson glared at the Mexican border and stopped illegal immigration for a month."

Recently, Rasmussen polls indicated Thompson, still not yet officially a candidate, has pushed ahead of Romney to take second place...Thompson is ahead of Romney by two points

Some bloggers say it's difficult not to think of Ronald Reagan when describing Thompson, as both are former actors, well-spoken, well-liked and on the older side.

...his use of Internet media shows a sense of undeniably 21st-century street smarts that could catapult him to the White House

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