When Fred Thompson spent his summer tickling the asses of conservatives begging for a savior for the Republican presidential field, most politicos figured he'd come out of the gate with some impressive campaign dollars that would make up for the lost time everyone else had organizing on the ground. Sure, there were a few out there who saw the money crunch Thompson was facing, but by and large it was a given that the Man from Tennessee (oh, and HOLLYWOOD) would blow the competition out of the water with some fundraising prowess.
Well, the numbers are in and it looks like Fred's dead.
Thompson raised $8 million in the last quarter. Not too shabby, you might say, especially compared to John McCain's $5 million (bogged down by $2 million of debt ) raised this quarter.
But compare that to any of the other non-zombie candidates' first quarter numbers and you get a stark realization of how weak that showing is. Clinton, Obama, and Romney all raised over $20 million in their first quarter of reporting. Giuliani raised $15 and $17 million in each of the first two quarters. John Edwards bagged $14 million.
...and Obama's STILL pulling mad cash.
The biggest criticism dogging Thompson is that he's lazy. If he can't even bother to raise the money he needs to stay in the game, can he really be considered the savior of conservative politics in America?
UPDATE: Stop the presses! Some accounts have Thompson reporting upwards of $11 million for this quarter from some 70,000 donors. That does change things a bit. It's not quite on par with what some of these other folks are raising, but it does point to a strong, if small, undercurrent of support. He may be able to stuff that empty suit with money afterall. Stay tuned.