Some reports said Fred would file papers on Monday, but he surprised us and filed papers to create a preliminary presidential campaign committee today. And he’s got great timing:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican Fred Thompson took the first formal step toward a widely expected bid for the presidency, establishing a preliminary campaign committee on Friday.
The “testing the waters” committee allows Thompson–a former Tennessee senator and actor best known for his film and television roles, including as a prosecutor on NBC’s “Law & Order”–to raise money, hire staff and gauge support without officially committing to a White House bid and without having to publicly disclose donations or expenditures.
The “Friends of Fred Thompson” committee was incorporated in papers filed with the Secretary of State in Nashville, Tenn., to “promote the potential candidacy of Fred Thompson for the office of president of the United States.”
Thompson, 64, a Southern conservative with a right-leaning Senate record, would shake up an already unsettled race for the GOP nomination led by Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Many conservatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the current field of 10 candidates.
By creating the committee now, Thompson, an advocate in the Senate of a campaign finance reform bill requiring greater disclosure of contributions, avoids having to report to the Federal Election Commission his fundraising totals, donor identities or expenditures on July 15. That’s the filing deadline for the second quarter of the year, and the top-tier GOP candidates, as well as seven underdog contenders, must abide by it.
Thompson’s timing could significantly dampen the fundraising ability of his potential GOP rivals during the homestretch of the second quarter financial reporting period. Donors who otherwise would have contributed to other Republicans, instead, may choose to give to Thompson.
If you think you don’t know Fred well enough, be sure to check out IMAO‘s list of Fred Thompson Facts. Here are a few:
* Fred Thompson has blasted more people in the face with a shotgun than even Dick Cheney.
* The masked executioner of Saddam Hussein: Fred Thompson.
* The reason Fred Thompson didn’t want to stay in the Senate for long is because all the extra scrutiny kept him from doing his favorite hobby: Prowling the streets at night killing drug dealers.
* Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.
* The Fremen consider “Fred Thompson” a killing word.
* Fred Thompson reconsidered running for reelection after 9/11 but later decided to handle things on his own. He was soon seen entering the Middle East with a bottle of tequila in one hand an a handgun in the other. They’re still counting the dead.
* Though Fred Thompson left the Senate in 2003, Harry Reid still hasn’t stopped wetting his pants.
* Fred Thompson once ended a filibuster by ripping out a Senator’s heart and showing it to him before he died.
* Only two things can kill Superman: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson.
* Fred Thompson once stood on our south border and glared at Mexico. There was no illegal immigration for a month.
* An abortion doctor tried to kill Fred Thompson when he was still in the womb, but he cut off the man’s hand with scalpel while shouting, “Do you know who I am? I’m Fred Thompson!”
* Why does Iran want nuclear weapons? Out of fear of Fred Thompson.
Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg at NRO.