This won't take long, but go get a beer. I'll wait. Okay, here's why Thompson will probably be the next POTUS. Personality.
We like to think we vote for intellectual reason, but we don't. Ask any sales professional how people buy, and the answer will be, "people buy on emotion and justify on reason." Voting is the same.
Heard of buyer's remorse? It happens when the (emotional) rush of buying fades and you're left with only your intellect to defend the purchase.
As with any emotion, we allow external events to shatter our euphoria. Remember your first new new car? Remember the first scratch or dent or spill on the seat? The car no longer felt new, and your mind started defending the purchase despite knowing you'd be upside-down on the loan for another 14 years.
People elected Ronald Reagan twice because he made them feel good about their country, their future, and themselves. They elected W because he made them feel like he'd protect them against bad things. They elected Clinton (during a time of peace and relative prosperity) because they remembered Rodney Dangerfield's last line in Caddy Shack: "We're all gonna get laid."
We'll elect Thompson because he's the only candidate who can make us laugh at ourselves--a therapy long deserved and much needed. As Time magazine said:
The single most compelling feature of a Thompson candidacy would be his magnetism. A natural storyteller, he speaks with a relaxed cadence and unhurried confidence, peppering his remarks with language such as "fella" and "bad guys," pausing expertly to make a point, relish an applause line, set up a joke. He is most effective when he makes fun of the superficial glamour of Los Angeles and the tangled hypocrisy of D.C.
Never underestimate the powers of charm and magnetism. And don't think that the Democraps misunderstand. Hillary and Barack are shoveling money to the LA Times faster than the engineer on Roosevelt's train to hell shoveled coal.
The press doesn't go after potential, undeclared Republican candidates who can't win. Look how they treat McCain. But they have daggers in both hands when it comes to Fred. He's a threat. He's the anti-Bush in a way that childish liberal minds rarely understand.
For the nuts and bolts of timing, I agree with Captain Ed . . .
Fred has to like these numbers as well, but he shouldn't spend too much time admiring them. At some point, voters will want to see him engage, and that point is coming fast. He's done a masterful job of running a non-campaign campaign, but he won't get solid support until he commits completely to the race.
I expected a July 4th announcement, but this weekend now looks likely. Sunday talking heads show, perhaps? Deface the Nation or Meet the dePressed? (Apologies to Rush.)
UPDATE: The good news keeps rolling in . . . (h/t Drudge)