by Rod D. Martin
March 13, 2007

John Podhoretz pens this interesting backgrounder on Fred Thompson in today’s New York Post.

A lot has been said about how hard it’s going to be for anyone to join the race at this point. I think that’s badly overstated. It’s going to be hard for anyone to run for President, period; but Giuliani’s appeal is chiefly that everyone knows who he is and remembers about one week in his life positively, Romney is fizzling, McCain is (as Dick Morris put it) “collapsing”, and it isn’t even the Ides of March of the year before.

Does Thompson have a national constitutency? Does Rudy? Both men mostly have celebrity, and this is a celebrity culture. Who knows?

But this is likely to be just the beginning. As I’ve been saying for some time, the more people get to know the front-runners, and the more those front-runners inevitably beat each others’ heads in, the more politicians are likely to look around and say “hey, I could do that!” And off they’ll go. And that doesn’t even count candidates like Jeb Bush, who actually have something obvious to gain by waiting until the fall to announce anything.

Bottom line: this race is just beginning. From Mike Huckabee to Newt Gingrich, there are attractive articulate candidates who could fire up the troops and legitimately carry the banner. Only the left gains from calling this in the first quarter.