No, the question at this point is whether such a corrupt cadre of image-spinning idiot-wranglers even deserves to be saved, if this is their last best hope.
Also, it's gotta be damn near impossible to sustain any momentum with a closet case like Zach Wamp furiously humping your legs for weeks on end. Seriously, have you seen some of this guy's gushing over Big Fred's manly manliness? There's less campy flamboyance in Rip Taylor's love letters to Charles Nelson Reilly. In the stages of official Republican closet gayness, Wamp's slavering mash notes are somewhere between texting teenage pages from the House floor and offering to blow a cop in a public park.
But as far as we know, Wamp is not wearing a diaper, so at least he's got one up on David Vitter. Oh no I di'unt!!1!1!
Of course, as with any good Hollywood narrative arc, right now Our Hero finds himself in a spot of trouble. Oh no! Can he extricate himself in time to save the day and get the girl?
Uh-oh. I think we know how the Party o' Gawd feels about uppity wimmins. Quick, to the Cleavagemobile!
Per my consistent theses that this whole Run Fred Run is just a big scam, I believe that the key to it lies in the above description about the money train. I don't see how a person can spend their entire adult life being a lawyer, a lobbyist, an actor, and a politician, and not look at everything first and foremost as a money-making opportunity. Why else the reluctance to move past 527 status? Either he's overly committed to cultivating this ridiculous Bob Roberts/Lonesome Rhodes/Joe Don Baker mystique that has the dimbulbs clucking in unison, or he's figuring out how to scoot the money into his pockets after he gets the rubes into one corral and decides to mosey back to Hollywood.
Nothing else makes sense, especially in an early primary season where every week counts. The only possible candidate who would benefit from waiting to enter the race would be Al Gore. He can walk in come October, when the Democratic field will have pared down a bit, poach Bill Richardson for a running mate with serious foreign policy cred, and hit the ground running. But Thompson waiting late belies either a lack of confidence in actual (as opposed to rhetorical) gravitas and the ability to extemporize beyond mere sloganeering, or it's a testament to how truly weak the Republican field is, which means no one man -- not even Fred Thompson, goldang it -- can "save" the party.
The party is sinking on its own. Thompson offers nothing new, but rather attempts to absolve the old and the current, by lamely pointing the finger across the aisle, where even goofball Mike Gravel is a better candidate than any of the serial adulterers and jingoist troglodytes the Republicans have to offer. Fred may not be a terribly innovative political thinker, but he's certainly smart enough not to spend a year of his life auditioning to be an anchor. So my guess, once again, is that he rounds up some funds, gets a decent chunk of voters to pass off to the eventual nominee, bows out with the usual avuncular charm, and delivers the keynote speech at the '08 convention, with the promise of a Cabinet post, on the better-than-average chance that the American public loses its fucking mind once again and decides to vote out of spite instead of sense.
[Update: Reliably "objective contrarian" potato Marc Ambinder steps up to defend the missus -- who after all is a professional political consultant -- la-la-la-ing the whole time right past the transparent shell game Thompson is running. Even more amusing is one athletic supporter for Thompson's sweaty junk, who apparently was trying for some sort of haiku when he wrote, "This is news only because it is news. If it were not news, then the quitters would not get any ink and the whiners would not get any ink. It is their only way of hitting back."
Indeed. It could also be a baby's arm holding an apple. Who's to say?]