I had never heard the process that leads one to announce if they will seek the Presidency as a “mating dance”, but that is how former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson described it in a news report on WISC-TV, Channel 3 in Madison. What I hope he meant, is that he is undertaking the early steps to test the waters to see if there is a groundswell around the nation for a former Governor whose signature issue of welfare reform is now history.
I have long suspected that Thompson is one of those politicians who have a serious problem of knowing when to get off the stage. My belief has nothing to do with his political stripes, as I know many on the other side who also suffer the same problem. Thompson loves the political arena and has garnered more than his share of high moments and memorable victories. He has spent four decades in the limelight, but is blind as a result. Seeking the White House is more vanity than reality for Thompson. It is rather sad to see, since Tommy is a nice guy.
He is going to find that key campaign money and operators already are lining up with the real heavy hitters in the GOP. Senator John McCain, and former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani (naming only two) have been laying their game plans for many months, and are not going to be sidelined by Thompson’s version of the “mating dance.”
Years back, many speculated that Thompson would never be able to settle for life in Elroy, Wisconsin after his famous political career. I suspect citizens of both parties hope that he can find peace with himself, his gracious wife Sue Ann, and gracefully step off the political stage.