Democracy Downloaded

Fred Thompson as GOP Alternative

Posted by joevoeller on March 21, 2007

thompson.jpg

One popular theme in the news recently is the sense of angst among a significant number of conservatives over the 2008 presidential campaign. It seems that none of the front-runners has captured the excitement of Republicans. And some have proven especially hard to swallow for social conservatives (read John McCain and Rudy Giuliani).

Enter Fred Thompson. A strange buzz has been palpable over the last few weeks for the former Senator and ‘Law and Order’ actor. With help from the media, who are apparently bored with the candidates of an election still twenty months off, Thompson has suddenly emerged as the Republican alternative. Thompson is depicted as a man with solid government credentials who attracts both conservative and moderate Republicans.

But of course Thompson is merely hinting that he might be interested in a possible candidacy. So any formal presence on the blogs or Internet is out of the question. Still, I wondered how this buzz might be surfacing on the Internet.

It didn’t take long to find draftfredthompson.com.  And it’s pretty impressive. The site, which seems to have been launched about two months ago, is a one-stop-shop for all news related to Thompson. It is not fancy and has an appropriately grass-roots feel. Visitors will find biographical information, voting records, and messages of support from prominent political types.

Importantly, it also encourages messages from regular folks. As of today, over 1,300 messages have been posted to the site, many of which read like this one:

 “I am one American who sincerely hopes you accept this calling.  It won’t be easy.  It won’t be nice.  But your character will be acknowledged and we all know that character really does count.
Best wishes and Good luck…”

Like any political site, this one is a little bit hokey. But all in all, it seems like a good way to take immediate advantage of political buzz, and to extend that excitement to the conservative netroots.

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