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BREAKING NEWS: Thompson expected to (finally) make it official

August 30, 2007 | 12:29 pm

Fred Thompson got the message -- his delays in officially proceeding with his White House campaign were hurting him.  So this afternoon (1 p.m. Pacific time) he's scheduled a conference call with supporters, where it's expected he'll tell them what they have been wanting to hear: He is definitely seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

He's apparently stealing a play from the game plan that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger used in launching his political career.  Thompson's campaign is seeking to set up an appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" next Wednesday as part of the roll-out of an announcement tour, according to Times reporter Joe Mathews.

That's the venue Schwarzenegger famously used in 2003 to announce his plan to run for governor.  And the Thompson appearance would occur on the same night that GOP candidates who have been running for months conduct a debate in New Hampshire.  Not much doubt here about which event will win the ratings game.

Mathews will have a story on what Thompson tells his supporters later today on our website and in Friday's print editions.

-- Don Frederick