UPDATE: Fred "There is no reason to believe that we're headed for a recession" Thompson has announced that he is dropping out of the race.
Fred D. Thompson, the former senator of Tennessee, dropped out of the Republican race for president today.
The decision came after Mr. Thompson's third-place primary showing on Saturday in South Carolina, a state he had once hoped to win, instead underscored the weakness of his campaign.
"I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," he said in a statement. "Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."
Mr. Thompson's advisers said he would not make an endorsement in the race.
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You Can Stick A Fork In These Guys....They're Done
Here's what's most likely:
John Edwards: The political comeback of the former Senator from North Carolina never really got off the ground in 2008, without a single primary or caucus state win. And despite racking up some strong labor union support as well as being perhaps the most electable Democrat in a general election compared to some possible strong voter resistance to either Clinton or Obama, Edwards will likely pull the plug on his presidential campaign soon after an expected weak third place showing in the upcoming South Carolina primary.
Dennis Kucinich: If only there were more antiwar-vegan voters in the Democratic Party, then just maybe Kucinich might have some chance. But just like 2004, expect Kucinich to just hang around in the race despite no good prospects to win anywhere with a really shoestring campaign that is even being ignored by debate organizers like MSNBC. This campaign was really DOA from day one.
Fred Thompson: The darling of right-wing political bloggers, and nonreligious oriented conservative voters, the political comeback of this once respected former senator turned TV character bit actor never really got off the ground with less than inspiring campaign appearances, uninformed opinions on some issues, and a serious lack of campaign money. His lazy and late entry into the campaign as well as a third place showing in South Carolina primary really sealed only his fate. Expect him to drop out after Super Tuesday.
Rudolph Giuliani: At one time, Giuliani looked likely to be the Republican nominee. But then scandals with his former police commissioner and other problems only reminded voters of the serious shortcomings of this big city mayor, and why he was a controversial figure in the first place. New polls have him trailing even in New York state. With a desperate last ditch political firewall attempt to win in Florida only certain to fail, expect him to withdrawal by Super Tuesday, if not even sooner.
Mike Huckabee: Imagine if only the Trinity Broadcasting Network were a political party, and you essentially have the one-note campaign of former televangelist staffer and former governor, Mike Huckabee. As his campaign continues, more and more voters realize that he's not a mainstream conservative, but a merely narrowly focused candidate for the religious right. And Unfortunately for Huckabee, some of his Christian compassion traits on some issues are only mistaken for liberalism in his largely conservative Republican Party, leaving him little room to grow among many GOP voters. Huckabee may just hang around after Super Tuesday, but his campaign is all but dead, and only a crusade by religious conservatives who don't really care whether Huckabee can really win or not.
Ron Paul: Libertarian Ron Paul's appeal was always to an extremely small faction within the Republican Party. Unlike Ron Paul, most GOP candidates favor more government intrusion into the private lives of individuals including abortion, homosexuals and entertainment. Paul's antiwar and freedom of individual choice ideals have little support in the largely nanny-state philosophy of many Republican politicians and conservative voters who strongly favor government intrusion in many areas of private conduct, except for the 2nd Amendment. Like Huckabee, Paul was always largely always a cult candidate, and never really had a serious chance to win. Expect him to only hang around in an undignified way similar to cult candidate Dennis Kucinich.
With the exit of these also-rans, expect a really serious showdown between candidates Clinton and Obama and McCain and Romney to continue, with all four really wanting to be president badly and each having each having large enough cash donations to wage major battles to grasp their nominations. Likely Clinton and McCain come out on top.
And at this point, McCain looks the most likely to win the general election as well due to some heavy voter resistance to Hillary Clinton, that she certainly must turn around in the minds of voters if she is to have any chance at all to win in November and not drag down the entire Democratic Party prospects in November 2008.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!