WASHINGTON--Screen star and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) is going to run for president, a source who will be associated with his campaign told me Wednesday.
Thompson will soon file papers and will be "offiical" within six weeks--that's roughly the 4th of July.
Thompson needed to jump in if he was going to be viable. Thompson, as popular as he is within Republican circles, could not become the GOP nominee just on the strength of his wide name recognition. While Thompson will start as a front-runner--that name and acting fame helps a lot--he needs to sign up blue chip delegates to run in the primary and caucus elections and quickly jump-start a massive fund-raising effort to catch up to the competition.
He'll shake up the contest, that's for sure.
Republicans debate for the third time in Manchester, N.H. on June 6.