(The short answer is: No, you won't run and you won't ever be president, though you're certainly enjoying all the attention, and the public is enjoying the distraction.)
Now back to the long answer.
I am an early riser and have a good, old friend with whom I breakfast at 6 am about once a week.
We go the the Cracker Barrel on I-40, where I have scrambled eggs with green beans, and she, one sausage & biscuit with green beans. We both sip coffee and talk about almost everything.
We've been doing this for over 25 years.
She's one of the only friends I have who loves to socialize at the crack of dawn, like me, and we both love the down home, early morning atmosphere of the Cracker Barrel.
So strong is our early morning ritual that it has endured a radical change in my politics. She's an ultra liberal, as I was until about ten years ago. She is confounded by my transformation into a conservative, as I am by her lack thereof.
Anyway, we simply cannot and do not talk politics anymore. She refuses to go to my blog---even once---for fear that it will upset her so much that she won't want to have her weekly green bean breakfast with me anymore.
I agree. A woman has to keep her priorities straight. And frankly, no presidential campaign, no war should get in the way of a ritual now rooted in geological time.
OK, OK, I'm getting to Fred.
So anyway, this morning we were at the Cracker Barrel and a former Republican governor of our state walked in and sat down at a table beside us. I have known him casually and liked him for a long time.
Of course, I immediately wanted to gossip about politics with him, but waited until my good friend was ready to leave and then simply beckoned her to proceed on to the cash register, saying I would be on in a few minutes.
She knew what was up and gladly cleared out.
So for the next few minutes, I chatted with our former governor about Fred Thompson's candidacy and the real prospects of his running for president.
What about Fred? I asked the governor.
I was told that Fred is really having to make a tough decision right now because he has such a good, good life. He likes his life, his wife and his role as an actor, senior statesman and former politician.
If Thompson does run, he went on, it's for love of country and not the fulfillment of some long-standing ambition., with a capital A. Fred, it seems, is not overcome with ambition. And that's a good thing, in my book.
Would Thompson run as VP on a ticket with Giuliani? Absolutely not, according to the governor. Fred would be in it to take the presidential nomination and then win the national election. End of story.
I had heard before that Thompson and Giuliani would never consent to being together on the same ticket. And now I was hearing it again.
But the governor was enthusiastic about Thompson running, as many people are here.
Still, I have my reservations about Fred. And they are similar to the sentiments expressed in Slate today.
I can't believe that Thompson---like Barack Obama---has the experience of, say, a Giuliani in these trying times of war.
Of course, only time will tell. Even the governor wonders what Fred will do next.
But we all agree, early morning socializing at our favorite breakfast haunt is too good to let politics get in the way. And green beans can often overshadow the deepest of political differences, if even for a little while in the wee hours of the morning.
But in truth, I don't really think that Fred Thompson will ever be president of the United States, nor vice-president. He might head a presidential commission, or be an ambassador to some exotic country. But, Fred's candidacy, while fun to contemplate, is merely a distraction to a race that has essentially come down to two people, in my opinion: Rudy and Hillary.