Thursday, March 29, 2007

NY NY or Chattanooga Choo-Choo?

Weirdness is in the air for '08. Both parties have front-runners from New York, but the dark horses are home boys from Tennessee who went Hollywood.

Neither is a declared candidate--yet--but Oscar winner Al Gore and veteran actor Fred Thompson have climbed to third place in the polls without uttering a line on the Presidential scene.

Thompson, at least, is warming up his vocal chords but, as for now, letting others do the talking. Congressman Zach Wamp, a phrasemaker if there ever was one, who has launched a Draft Thompson web site, says, "He has charisma coming out of his ears."

No one has made such a claim for Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani but, if Thompson runs, there will be sacrifices involved for the candidate and his admirers.

TV will have to stop reruns of "Law and Order" to comply with equal-time rules, depriving Thompson of residuals and fans of his charisma.

But it worked out well for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. His 1951 masterwork, "Bedtime for Bonzo," disappeared for a while, but after the election, he and the chimp came back stronger than ever.

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