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Fred Thompson disappointed many in 2008 with a late entry in to the Republican presidential race and only a half-hearted attempt to win the nomination. Some have suggested that he only ran as a favor to John McCain in an effort to split the conservative and Southern vote enough to allow McCain squeak by both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Thompson denies such charges, but regardless of the real reasons for his brief bid for President in 2008, it is important to remember that the only reason conservatives were disappointed is because they liked Fred Thompson, what he stood for, and the way he presented and fought for the conservative cause. Today, if given the chance, they still would like it.
That’s why although Thompson is not likely to be on the ticket in 2012, he must still be considered a possibility. For a candidate like Romney, Fred Thompson could help shore up many of Mitt’s weaknesses, especially in the South where enthusiasm for him leaves a lot to be desired. If given the chance, Thompson would be a strong running mate for just about any nominee at the top of the ticket and he is one of those unique figures who could be a very unifying force within the G.O.P. if they are still fractured prior to, and during the Republican National Convention.
I had strong reservations about including Fred Thompson on this list. I know that his is not a name that would automatically come to mind for the job in 2012 and he has taken his candidacy on the ticket off the table. However; if his name is interjected into the debate about a good vice presidential nominee in 2012, I am confident that it would go over well. So between that and my personal appreciation for Fred Thompson, I think his is a name to consider and to watch out for.