Tom Tancredo didn't only end his own candidacy today. He killed Fred Thompson's as well.
Thompson had picked up a very, very slight comeback narrative in the past week, thanks to a strong showing at the Des Moines Register debate and a two-week bus tour through Iowa. But, predictably, just as Fred got going, he started stumbling. First came a schadenfreude-rich column from Roger Simon, and then came news that he doesn't have any money .
So, today's Tancredo withdrawal was a last chance that turned into a last gasp for Fred. It was expected that Tancredo would endorse another candidate—most likely Romney or Thompson. And after a close friend of Tancredo's, Iowa Rep. Steve King, endorsed Thompson , Thompson seemed to be in line to get the nod from Tommy the Tank. But that was not to be.
Tancredo endorsed Mr. Illegal-Immigrant-Groundskeepers instead. The endorsement will help Romney show undecideds that he's Tancredo-tough on immigrants, compared with the recently Tancredo-ized Huckabee .
But an endorsement for Thompson would have helped Fred more than the support helps Romney. Fred would have picked up a signature policy platform—something he currently lacks. Plus, Thompson has more to gain than Giuliani or McCain by finishing in third in Iowa. Tancredo would have helped him get there.
Now Thompson is once again left without any purpose. Tancredo had become the poster boy for immigration hawks everywhere. Thompson is still stuck on Law & Order pin-ups.
As we have a habit of paying tribute to fallen candidates , we thank Tancredo for his service. I know I wrote a post back in October that called on Tancredo to withdraw, but I had sort of warmed to his wily grin. Here's hoping that Tancredo's political death wishes are followed and his candidacy is buried under the border fence. On the U.S. side, of course.