Fred Thompson is the savior of the Republican Party! Favored by 934% of the Republican base! He's the guy who can bring... whatever it is that he's got to whatever it is that your favorite GOP activist desires!
Thompson has surged ahead in the GOP polls recently, greatly aided by John McCain's slow motion autodefenestration, Rudy Guiliani's overall weirdness, and Mitt Romney's Mormonism and hair. Why is this? Which of Thompson's many attributes has led to this sudden burst of popularity for a guy who's not even an actual Presidential candidate at this point?
It's probably his positions on... something. Or something. Right? What are his positions?
He's actually not particularly religious and was a bit of a whore in his wilder days. His policy positions may indeed jibe with yours, but I can only say that because no one knows what his policy positions are, leaving open the possibility that they do indeed jibe with yours. So will he meet the strict standards of the Club for Growth? Does he love war enough to sit well with the solons at AEI? Who knows?
The fact is that the GOP is desperately scrambling for someone salable to both the base and the general electorate. McCain and Guiliani are both non-starters with the base and at this point might have a pretty hard time with everyone else too. Romney is just not setting anyone on fire. Thompson sounds great and everyone knows he's a competent and fair manager, capable of being tough yet sensitive when necessary, conservative but not dogmatic, able to kick ass when required but sympathetic to the personal impact of abstract legalisms and political positions.
Wait, that's Arthur Branch, his character on Law and Order. So I don't know. But maybe it's too much to expect a decent second-tier character to explode magically into reality fully formed.