BLITZER: It wasn't exactly a shocker today, Jack, that Fred Thompson announced he's dropping out of this race. But let's take a look at the political fallout.As dday points out that is pretty much what the progressive blogosphere was saying from the beginning. And they noticed something important - the real loser when Fed pulled out was the Republican establishment in Washington. Yes, those same folks who brought us Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Jack Cafferty said it well:
Among the Republicans, who gains, who loses?
CAFFERTY: Well, if he hadn't announced it, I'm not sure anybody would have noticed.
CAFFERTY: I mean I -- you know, it's like he hasn't -- he's only been here what -- you know, he wasn't that interested in campaigning. I think he would have liked it if somebody would have said you can be president. But he didn't want to work to get the job. And I'm not sure it means a heck of a lot for anybody. Somebody said that he might be trying to position himself to be vice president. He'll deny that.
BORGER: ...So watch for Mitt Romney, who is also running as a social conservative, to go after those six or seven Thompson voters that are out there.
BORGER: And he'll try -- he'll try and get them.
TOOBIN: You know, Wolf, you have to go all the way back to Rudolph Giuliani to find a campaign that has been singularly as unsuccessful as Fred Thompson's has been.
BORGER: That far back?
TOOBIN: You know, I just don't think it will have any impact at all, his departure...
BLITZER: Well, it could have a...
TOOBIN: ...just as his arrival didn't.
BORGER: You know...
BLITZER: It could have an impact in new episodes of "Law and Order," though.
BORGER: It could. It could. But, you know, this was such an interesting candidacy. It was created by the Republican establishment in Washington, who felt that they needed a new horse. They needed someone else. So they created this. They took a guy who was television. They said let's turn him into a presidential candidate. He will clearly appeal to the American public. And it totally flopped [...]
TOOBIN: That was the ultimate problem.
CAFFERTY: Take a look at all the other ideas the Republican establishment in Washington has had for the last seven years.
CAFFERTY: It's no surprise to me the Fred Thompson thing didn't go anywhere.
BLITZER: I can't tell you how many people in that Republican establishment -- especially here in Washington, the beltway, you know, the Republican lobbyists...
BLITZER: ...the so-called elite, when they were even thinking of getting him in, they said this is the new Ronald Reagan. He's an actor.
BLITZER: He's media-genic. He's powerful. And he's really going to turn things around.
(CROSSTALK) CAFFERTY: If you want to look at the definition of irrelevant, look up the Republican establishment in Washington, D.C.
CAFFERTY: That's irrelevant.
TOOBIN: Fred Thompson definitely was the tallest candidate.
BORGER: But, you know, it's so...
CAFFERTY: And the baldest.
BORGER: ...it's so arrogant, though, you know, to think that you can be anointed in Washington and you're pretty good on television and you look pretty good and you -- and you have great name recognition because you're in "Law and Order," and, gee, I can then become president.
And I think they talked him into it. And I think they said to him, you know, you don't have to work that hard.
BORGER: You can actually just get this job, get in late, let the public take a look at you. You're different. You're going to win. It didn't work out that way.
CAFFERTY: He bought that part about not having to work very hard. He liked that part.
CAFFERTY: You can sit in the trailer until it's time for your close-up, Fred.
If you want to look at the definition of irrelevant, look up the Republican establishment in Washington, D.C.