Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Thompson officially announces his White House bid

Well, it is now official. Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson has officially tossed his hat into the GOP presidential ring on the Jay Leno show. Here is a two-part YouTube video of Thompson on Leno's show.

From YouTube, Part One:

From YouTube, Part Two:

It is interesting that Thompson is following the same campaign page playbook of announcing his candidacy on the Jay Leno show, just as movie actor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for California governorship on Leno's show. According to The New York Times:

In choosing to announce his candidacy on the couch next to the jovial Jay Leno during the taping of “The Tonight Show” this evening, Mr. Thompson was following the example of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who chose that venue to declare his candidacy for governor of California.

It is perhaps no coincidence that several of Mr. Thompson’s main communications strategists also worked on Mr. Schwarzenegger’s campaign, similarly re-introducing an actor as a serious political contender. The talk show setting in Los Angeles allowed Mr. Thompson to capitalize on his pop cultural appeal as a movie star and simultaneously reinforce his contention that he is a Washington outsider — although he lives in a suburb of the capital and worked extensively there as a lobbyist when not in the Senate.

Are we seeing a trend here? Is appearing on the Jay Leno show the only way for Republican politicians to appear hip in announcing their candidacies for political office? Of course, Democratic candidates like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have appeared on The David Letterman Show--we might just have the two political parties sending their candidates to their party-approved, late night TV talk show host. Then again, Arizona senator John McCain announced his GOP bid for the presidency on David Letterman, but McCain may have been trying to be a maverick here. In reality, this is just another part of the PR-campaign strategy to get the politician's name out to the larger national audience--regardless of whether they appear on Leno or Letterman.

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