Fred has formed a "testing the waters" committee and is expected to dip his toe in those waters June 4, with the intention of announcing as soon as July 4.
"The June 4 filing will be coordinated with a first-day fundraising blitz with 100-plus "First Day Founders" raising a significant one-day sum in order to send a we're-in-the-first-tier message."
Thompson would be the highest profile southern candidate in the Republican field, the geographical center of the party. Many Republicans are reported to not be terribly excited about the current crop of candidates, yeilding speculation that either Thompson or former House Speaker Newt Gringrich would enter the race. Thompson's entry might prevent Newt from entering the field himself, and could also cloud the prospects for Senator John McCain, the candidate Thompson most resembles on the issues.
I've been cautiously optimistic about a Thompson run, and hope that he does so in order to broaden the field of front runners and get some substative insights into the issues. At least to this point, he appears to me to be the most impressive for a host of reasons, a big one being his formidable yet plain spoken communication skills with the public.
That being said, I still have a lot of respect for Mayor Guiliani and Governor Romney (I can't stand McCain for another host of reasons, although I certainly respect his miltary service), but I don't believe them to be quite as strong a candidate as Fred, at least not right now. My thinking is that it might come down to Rudy or Fred, with Romney a not so distant third.