‘Draft Fred Thompson’ Renews on Web

By Jennifer Parker

Apr 6, 2007 10:09am

ABC News’ Jennifer Parker Reports: The winds behind the ‘Draft Fred Thompson’ movement are getting stronger. 

Dalton-ites have re-launched a new website in the latest effort to convince the actor-turned-politician-turned actor (and ABC News Radio host) to step out of semi-private life and back onto the political stage to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The website’s front page makes its pitch in bold letters: "Republicans want a presidential nominee who can bring our Nation together and who stands squarely on the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan.  Fred Thompson’s record is solid.  He does not waffle.  He knows where he stands because he is sure of what he believes."

In a press release announcing the new, revamped website, Dean Rice, treasurer of the Draft Fred Thompson 2008 Committee said, "People across the country recognize Senator Fred Thompson as a great communicator.  This new site highlights those leadership strengths, while also enabling his supporters to better spread the message about the Fred Thompson movement."

The website will fuel the rumor that the former Senator and ‘Law & Order’s’ conservative district attorney is seriously considering a White House bid. 

Thompson has not made a decision about ’08, however, political blogs and mainstream media websites have been buzzing for weeks with will-he-won’t-he speculation.

Money is always a sign of seriousness, and on the website, there is a tab to donate to the "Draft Fred Thompson 2008" fund. 

The press page also features favorable stories about a Thompson bid with titles such as "Thompson Ties Hillary", "GOP Set Stage for Fred" and "Evangelical leader warms to a run".

In a nod to the blogging community, Rice also said the new website  recognizes the increasingly important role blogs play in American politics and will feature a frequently updated section where supporters can find the latest "buzz" on Fred Thompson.

Fred Thompson’s "coming-out as a candidate-in-waiting" will be a May 4 appearance at a Lincoln Club dinner in Orange County — "the heart of Ronald Reagan country in Southern California."

ABC News’ Zach Wolf has reported that Thompson will also be meeting with a group of House Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club on April 18.

However there may be one snag for Thompson, should he decide to run.

Federal campaign law requires broadcasters to give all candidates equal time on the airwaves. That rule applies to entertainment programs like ‘Law & Order’, meaning stations that run the show would be required to give other GOP candidates a like amount of prime-time exposure.

That would be cost-prohibitive, and so television stations may have to pull all of the Fred Thompson shows for the duration of his candidacy.

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