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(Photo via MSNBC by Freddie Lee of AP.)

If Bob Novak were any further up Fred Thompson's ass, Thompson would be tasting the Brylcreem.  That's right — Fred came a courtin', and Republicans all over the country are salivating at the prospect of a candidate with name recognition that people don't immediately loathe on sight because he once had a speaking part in a Tom Clancy movie and now he plays a lawyer on teevee.  (Ooooooooh!   Sort of makes you giddy, doesn't it.  Especially if, say, Romney's poll numbers are giving you the vapors.)  

Rumor has it that Thompson has been gadding about the Beltway, pressing the flesh and eating lots of expensive cocktail weenies at the Mayflower Hotel.  (Which does, I must say, have a lovely restaurant for a power breakfast.)  And he's already hired Mark Corallo to start dropping quotes for him in the papers (Payback for putting Thompson's name on the "raise funds for Scooter" potluck bonanza?  One does wonder…) — nothing like creating the buzz before you officially decide you need one.  Yes, Thompson and Novak want you to think that Republicans are kicking their heels with glee at the prospect.

Well, some Republicans.  I did a little tour through the wingnut blogosphere so you didn't have to, and the Ace of Spades implies that Thompson is a Hooters fanboy, if you know what I mean.  (Sure, Ace is a bit on the rude side in talking about Thompson's current wife –#2 if you are keeping score — so be forewarned if you click thru.  Any remaining questions?  I'm sure Margaret Carlson could fill you in, if she were so inclined.)

Whatever you do, do NOT miss this photo of Fred Thompson.  Classic.  (Albeit, too much gel bronzer used for contouring those craggy cheeks.)  But my favorite vignette about Fred Thompson has to come from this old Achenbach column, wherein the former Senator is called "a lead actor in search of a plot."  I'd say that just about sums it up.

MSNBC has a bit of a rundown of some of Thompson's professed issue positions.  The NYTimes reported earlier on a study of Thompson's voting record, put together in detail by Congressional Quarterly.  A whole lot of information to take in there, let me tell you.  But since he has yet to perform the requisite Republican candidate genuflect before James Dobson and Jerry Falwell, no word if these are set in stone — or if there are stone tablets to follow.

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All this "Thompson may run for President" speculation has to be a bit depressing for the Thompson already in the race.  Geesh, those Republicans, sure know how to pick 'em, don't they?