Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fred Thompson Update

Sean Hannity scores an exclusive post-debate interview with Thompson, wherein Thompson announces the creation of his official campaign Web site,

The site, per Patrick Ruffini's insider information, hauled in over an impressive $222K in its first 18 hours.

The Hotline's Shira Toeplitz does her best Chris Cillizza and reports the lowdown on Thompson's Web team. The big hire, as I suspected, is Jon Henke, who will work under the aegis of New Media Strategies.

David All notes that both Henke and his boss, Mike Turk, come from the libertarian wing of the GOP.

Other big gets, courtesy of Stephen Hayes, who's been on the Thompson beat for the Weekly Standard, and Bob Novak: Larry Lindsey, Ken Khachigan, Tim Griffin, Victoria Toensing, Adam Putnam, Mary Matalin and Burson Taylor.

Back to the Web site: Soren Dayton observes that includes in its request for your contact information forms for your cell phone, cell phone provider (so the campaign can send you free text messages), and IM screen name. "This is the first glimpse of how they will use technology differently."

However, Justin Hart of runs the numbers for the traffic to the top five conservative blogs—Malkin, Instapundit, LFG, Powerline and Captain's Quarters—and concludes that while the reach of the blogosphere is impressive, nothing beats pressing the flesh.

Jennifer Rubin is underwhelmed. Thompson's "'elder statesman' screen persona obscures the fact he is the most inexperienced of the major G.O.P. contenders, with seven dimly remembered years as U.S. Senator, no area of expertise, no executive experience and no major legislative achievements bearing his name. . . . [R]ather than just present himself as the least offensive candidate and mimic the views of the party base, he might do well to embrace the role of the candidate of change and offer a blueprint for Republican innovation and reform."

Update (6/8): Phil Klein thinks that Thompson "is the only Republican candidate capable of unifying the party."