Fred Thompson has at long last thrown in his lot with the other (long list of) Republicans running for president. Frequently painted as an eleventh hour hero to conservatives, Thompson’s shtick so far strikes us as canned Gingrich opened long after its expiration date. What do you think?

Also, read E.J. Dionne’s latest to find out why Rudy Giuliani is smiling.

Washington Post:

“I still have the same common-sense conservative beliefs I did when I ran in 1994,” the former senator said in a speech at a Des Moines conference center, a not-so-subtle reference to criticism about the changing positions of his main Republican rivals, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

“The preseason is over,” he declared. “Let’s get on with it.”

Thompson begins at a big disadvantage in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, trailing Romney and several others in establishing an organization here, but his advisers believe it is a contest he cannot skip. They plan to target the conservative base here, a group that has consistently expressed frustration with its presidential choices this year.

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