In conversations with my fellow Ashlanders over the hot summer it has become clear to me that they are not yet engaged in politics. But they’re fixin’ to be engaged, as my kinfolk in Arkansas would say! And they are especially looking forward to former Senator Fred Thomspon entering the race. Why? They are bored, and they think Thompson is more genuine, more understandable, more conservative, and in general more exciting than the other Republican candidates. This David Broder column is worth reading because it is in essential agreement with the opinions I run into in the local watering holes. Thomspon’s striaght and hard rhetoric will be the ticket that gets Republicans (and maybe more) out of their summer doldrums. I predict that he will become the immediate front-runner once he announces next month. He will lead Giuliani by fifteen points and that lead will last and grow if he is just half as good as his supporters claim he is. This recent market slide due to the credit crunch is only going to help him.