Thompson Declares His Candidacy for President – New York Times

Choosing “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” to declare “I’m running for president of the United States,” Mr. Thompson said, “I don’t think people are going to say, ‘That guy would make a very good president but he just didn’t get in soon enough.’ ”

Mr. Thompson’s announcement, which has been expected for months, was released to reporters about an hour before the other Republican candidates took part in a Fox News-sponsored debate in the early primary state of New Hampshire. But as if to poke fun at his opponents, he ran an ad, titled “Debate,” that appeared directly before the Republican candidates took their places to face live cameras in a much more traditional political ritual.

In a dark suit with the backdrop of an American flag, Mr. Thompson said in the advertisement: “On the next president’s watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can’t allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation.”

He then directed viewers to his Web site,, where he will give details of a platform and his reasons for entering the race.

In choosing to announce his candidacy on the couch next to the jovial Jay Leno during the taping of “The Tonight Show” this evening, Mr. Thompson was following the example of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who chose that venue to declare his candidacy for governor of California.

We’ll it sure took long enough. The biggest question is whether or not Fred Thompson can make a dent with the moderates in both parties. Especially within the Democratic party that may have some swing voters who are not in love with Hillary Clinton as a “moderate” and certainly may not care for the even more far left candidates like Obama and Edwards. The other aspect of this long awaited annoucement is whether or not Fred Thompson will hurt John McCain even further in the polls thereby virtually ensuring a Mit, Rudy and Fred race to the finish…