There's something else to like about Fred Thompson. He doesn't appear to be lusting after the job as if he needs it for his self-image. This, too, is much like Reagan, who knew who he was before becoming president and was the same after he left office.
It is said of Thompson that he has always "answered the call" of his country, whether it was serving as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, or in other capacities, including United States senator.
Some political "experts" think it is almost too late for any new candidate to announce for president. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he intends to wait until September before saying if he will run. Actually, waiting might be the best strategy for these Republicans. Conservative Republicans are restless about what they regard as a weak field. They want someone who can take on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and win.
Thompson thinks he can afford to wait until he again hears "the call." In being coy and demonstrating patience, he is following the advice of poet John Keats, who wrote:
"Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees,
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you."
Fame and the presidency may be about to follow Fred Thompson. That would be good for the Republican Party and, should he win, good for the country.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.