Fred Thompson's Sly Script

How the actor-politician went from guerrilla campaigner to viable contender

Fred Thompson is done being coy. Only a few minutes after his 10 rivals for the Republican presidential nomination finished debating in New Hampshire on June 5, Thompson appeared on Fox News and unveiled his campaign website. Within 18 hours, more than 25,000 people had paid the virtual candidate a visit, contributing some $220,000. Not bad, but not exactly explosive either.

Since he began running his guerrilla campaign three months ago, Thompson has come a long way by playing hard to get. He has appealed to GOP voters not by campaigning but by intravenous means: filling in for Paul Harvey, writing for...

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