Debra J. Saunders

State Sen. Tom McClintock -- the Californian conservative's conservative -- announced at a Tuesday press conference in Sacramento that he will chair Thompson's California campaign. It says something -- although I'm not sure what -- that McClintock had not met Thompson until the day of the announcement.

"I've followed his career for many years," McClintock told me afterward. "He was the only one of the top tier of Republican candidates who didn't have to go through a political epiphany the day before he announced his candidacy." McClintock also compared Thompson with President Ronald Reagan -- and not just because both Republicans were actors.

Team Thompson likes the Reagan comparison. They want voters to remember that critics used to carp at Reagan's naps and work hours, too. But I doubt that Republicans are anxious for a nominee who isn't willing to give every waking minute to win the election.

As one erstwhile Thompson fan, who attended the Values Voters summit in Washington, D.C., told me, "I was so angry at his performance that I voted for John McCain."

Debra J. Saunders

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