Look Out Mitt, Here Comes Fred

Politico is reporting that Fred Thompson will form an exploratory committee on June 4th, and announce his candidacy for President over the July 4th holiday.

(June 4 is not random -- it ensures that he'll get lots and lots of face time around the Republicans' June 5 debate. July 4, in addition to being all patriotic and stuff, is conveniently just after the close of the second-quarter campaign-finance period.)

Being a candidate is a lot tougher than being a potential candidate, so Thompson has a lot to prove yet before he can be taken too seriously. But it surely ain't good news for the Mittster.

On the other hand, since it was becoming obvious that Thompson was going to jump in, it might be better for Romney to have him in now, so he can start taking his lumps as a real candidate, rather than having his potential candidacy hovering around the campaign.

Of course, the real question is, what will NBC do? California TV stations ceased showing Arnold movies during his first gubernatorial campaign for fear that rival candidates would demand free equal time under the vaguaries of the FEC rules. Will NBC shelve episodes of Law & Order with FT in them for the duration?

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