Reprinted from NewsMax.com [FONT=arial,helvetica]Fred Thompson Will Drop Out[/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica]John LeBoutillier[/FONT]Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007 Let's take the beginning of August to step back and examine some political developments: 1) Fred Thompson — before he has even announced his candidacy — is beset with difficulties. He did not raise the amount of money his backers expected for his Exploratory Committee, and this should be easy because the first money a candidate raises is from his closest supporters, past donors and associates. The fact that he couldn't even meet his own internal goal of $5 million (he raised about $3.5 million) shows big trouble for Thompson. He has already had a major staff shake-up, further evidence of a troubled campaign, and he hasn't even announced his candidacy yet! Many already speculate that Thompson will announce in September and drop out of the race by November. He may already have peaked this summer and already be on the decline. Plus, the more voters see him, the less impressed they will be. 2) The GOP race: with Thompson's desultory performance and a reduced sense of enthusiasm for his candidacy, where does that leave things today? McCain is a goner. Period. Gone. Finished. Kaput. Yeah, the MSM still gives him more credence than he deserves, but inside the GOP we know it is over for him. That leaves Romney and Rudy Giuliani as of today. Romney's second quarter fundraising was way, way down, a worrisome indicator that people are cooling on him. The Mormon question and the flip-flopping are hurting him. He is doing very well in Iowa and his neighboring New Hampshire (he actually lives in New Hampshire) because he has spent heavily already on TV advertising there. But there is not much enthusiasm for him, either. Rudy has basically abandoned Iowa; he blew off the upcoming Iowa Straw Ballot. He is trailing in New Hampshire. He seems to be gambling on the Florida primary to give him the momentum into mega-super Tuesday. Rudy is strange . . . he has some strengths, but is fraught with trouble, too. He doesn't fit the GOP at all, but there is such a vacuum on the right that anything can happen. Romney and Rudy. Can the GOP really be this desperate? Or can another candidate emerge who can excite a moribund, dispirited GOP? No doubt Ron Paul excites libertarians and will surprise at the Iowa Straw Ballot. But he isn't The One. He is a good guy, a bit old, no TV pizzazz, which is a must these days, and isn't going to win the GOP nomination. Newt, undisciplined and unelectable, keeps trolling to see if there is interest in him yet. He is provocative and entertaining and makes news. But he isn't the answer either. No wonder the party, and the conservative movement, are down in the dumps. Bush wooed everyone and then sold our principles down the river. We need someone exciting - who through his or her presence - turns the GOP on and makes us proud again. Yeah, if Hillary is the Democratic nominee we'll all band together to vote against her. But wouldn't it also be wonderful to have someone to vote for? We need a new start — and soon. 3) The Democrats: don't buy into this "Hillary is inevitable" nonsense. Yes, she does well today in these name-ID national polls. But in individual states she is in trouble. She trails in Iowa and South Carolina and is tied with Obama in New Hampshire. As the presumptive front-runner, to lose in these early states will doom her candidacy. When a front-runner stumbles, it is magnified. And she may be in for a stumble. Obama has finally started to take the gloves off. Meanwhile, while John Edwards has his wife attack Hillary for him. And then Hillary has Bill Clinton answer Obama for her. What kind of candidates are these? Can't they do their own campaigning? Why do their spouses have to do it for them? It's pretty weak, and the Republicans can use it against them later on. For example, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says something awful is our next President's husband or wife going to do the responding? Pathetic.