December 27, 2007

Fundless Fred?

The Fred Thompson campaign has stopped television ad buys in Iowa, a state where they absolutely have to generate momentum in order to continue the campaign. Jonathan Martin at The Politico reports that campaign funds have run short, and Fred now has to rely on personal campaigning alone:

Fred has gone dark in Iowa.

With not enough cash to buy ads, he's doing all the free media he can on his bus tour. But it's a remarkable indicator of just how topsy-turvy the GOP race has been that the man once viewed as the party's savior cannot even afford to buy TV time in the final days before Iowa.

To some, he remains the party's savior. Bloggers especially have a fondness for Fred, and have planned a blogburst for today in order to assist in fundraising. Rick Moran has worked hard to organize the blogathon, and he explains why:

[I]f you support Fred Thompson for President, this is the time to get the hell off the sidelines and start rowing the damn boat.

To be brutally frank in appraising the situation realistically, Fred Thompson’s chances of winning the nomination are not good. I will not attempt to snow you, gentle readers, with the idea that the Thompson campaign is anything but a hope and a prayer at this point. But where there is a will to fight, so there is a will to win. It doesn’t matter how many pundits, pollsters, and assorted “experts” have written off Fred Thompson. What matters is that there is still a chance, still life in the campaign, and still a belief that the race can be won. Your support is absolutely crucial to propel the campaign forward, to build on the momentum generated by Thompson’s bus tour through Iowa by giving as much as you possibly can.

Here's the ad they want to air just before the caucuses:

It's a good ad. It shows a vigorous Thompson campaigning hard, with a reminder of the traditional conservatism he represents. Had the campaign come out of the gates like this, they may not have needed a blogburst to keep Thompson in contention. Unfortunately, at this point the race looks like a missed opportunity for Thompson and his supporters.

Still, in Iowa anything can happen, and that's doubly true in a race as volatile as the Republican primaries in this cycle. If Thompson can outfox and outbox his friend John McCain for third place in Iowa, some of that money may find its way back to Team Fred.

UPDATE: The blogburst was for today -- so check out Rick's posts and get involved now, if you're so inclined.


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