No jokes about being the "law and order" candidate.... Robert Novak seems to think that Fred Thompson could actually be a factor in the race for the GOP presidential nomination:
The hype over former Sen. Fred Thompson has some substance to it, as the actor-politician has already begun approaching experienced campaign hands in key states. Thompson already evokes the obvious comparison to Ronald Reagan because of his profession.Conservative, an actor... what's not for a Republican to love?
Thompson effectively embraced the Republican right when he ran for and entered the U.S. Senate. From the perspective of the Republican Party's conservative base, he stacks up well against each of the "Big Three" leading Republican candidates. His voting record (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 86%) in the Senate is more conservative than that of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain (lifetime ACU rating: 82%), none of his position-switches are nearly as bad or as recent as those of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), and nothing in his background is as negative as that of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).
Given enough money, Thompson could make a good run at it by tearing down the conservative credentials of the "Big Three" and then building himself up as a tax-cutting, pro-life former senator. His acting role on "Law & Order" does not hurt, either.