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With little notice, Fred Thompson endorses McCain

February 9, 2008 |  7:08 pm

As a presidential candidate, Fred Thompson will be remembered for the listless, almost apathetic way in which he ran his campaign. At times, it seemed he went out of his way not to make a splash. And so it was with his endorsement of John McCain.

Thompson delivered his imprimatur to McCain via a statement, rather than some sort of telegenic public event. And he did so fairly late in the day Friday, which he surely knows usually means minimal attention or bounce.

As the McCain camp attempts to get more and more Republicans to wrap their minds around the idea that he will be their nominee, it no doubt will welcome having Thompson on board. But it's also safe to assume that many McCain aides, and perhaps the candidate himself, are thinking it would have been more helpful for Thompson to have tipped his hand ...

before last Tuesday.

Tennessee -- Thompson's home state -- was among those with a primary on Super Tuesday. And in the GOP contest, Mike Huckabee edged out McCain by two percentage points.

Of course, given how Huckabee absolutely decimated McCain in today's Kansas caucuses -- despite strong support for McCain from one of the state's U.S. senators, Sam Brownback (another former presidential contender) -- perhaps Thompson's backing would have meant as little earlier as it does now.

-- Don Frederick