From the NY Times
DES MOINES, Sept. 5 — After months of false starts, staff shake-ups, and questions about the seriousness of his intention to run for president, Fred Thompson rolled out his presidential candidacy this evening with a two-pronged, guerrilla-style entry into the race that sought to take the spotlight from his Republican opponents as they squared off in a debate.
Choosing “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” to declare “I’m running for president of the United States,” Mr. Thompson said, “I don’t think people are going to say, ‘That guy would make a very good president but he just didn’t get in soon enough.’ ”
Mr. Thompson’s announcement, which has been expected for months, was released to reporters about an hour before the other Republican candidates took part in a Fox News-sponsored debate in the early primary state of New Hampshire. But as if to poke fun at his opponents, he ran an ad, titled “Debate,” that appeared directly before the Republican candidates took their places to face live cameras in a much more traditional political ritual.
In a dark suit with the backdrop of an American flag, Mr. Thompson said in the advertisement: “On the next president’s watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can’t allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation.”
He then directed viewers to his Web site, Fred08.com, where he will give details of a platform and his reasons for entering the race.
In choosing to announce his candidacy on the couch next to the jovial Jay Leno during the taping of “The Tonight Show” this evening, Mr. Thompson was following the example of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who chose that venue to declare his candidacy for governor of California.
And so Thompson's hat is finally in the ring. Now all he has to do is come up with a platform and prove that he has what it really takes to lead the country despite having less legislative experience than Barack Obama.