Fred! drops out. A move not entirely surprising to some of us in the conservative hemisphere of the blogosphere.
I never got the impression that Fred! was ever serious enough about the campaign to make a viable candidate, and the early returns from the primaries and caucuses bore that out.
One telling development is his unwillingness to endorse anyone else at this point. If true, it makes McCain's political life that much more tenuous.
I still think Fred! wouldn't mind riding shotgun on someone else's ticket come September. The question right now is: would Fred! be comfortable in a VP role with any of the current front-runners? (Seems funny at this stage to still be talking of multiple front-runners.) Would Fred! be willing to serve with, say, a Huckabee? I can't quite see that, even with common Southern roots. Romney? Don't quite see that, either. I think Fred! regards Romney as a kid who's a little too wet behind the ears to make a serious enough president. I can see Fred! in Rudy's camp, though. They've both been prosecutors and politicians long enough that they would know how to play the game together. His non-endorsement of McCain, with whom he served in the Senate, is interesting. Does he not feel McCain has the ability to pull it off this year? Or is he just biding his time and waiting until Super-Tuesday before making any announcements?
Of course, all of this presumes that any current candidate would even consider asking Fred! to join him on the eventual ticket. Everyone who's anyone is already developing their long lists of potential running-mates, and Rudy may even be working on his short list by this time. If he doesn't win Florida then all bets are off.
This whole thing reminds me of second-guessing changes in the mission field. You could predict all you wanted, but unless you had a direct link to the same spirit of prophecy your mission president was channeling, you'd still end up surprised.
I plan to be surprised.
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