The Fred Factor, part 5

Each of the top three Republican presidential candidates is a man of stature and accomplishment. Yet each seems to me to have weaknesses that at least roughly offset his strengths as the potential nominee. What about Fred Thompson? Below John expresses his view that he finds “the whole Fred Thompson boom rather annoying.” I think the “Fred Thompson boom” is easily explainable by my assessment of the top three Republican presidential candidates, and I accordingly sympathize with the “Thompson boom.”
Like the strengths of the top three candidates, Thompson’s strengths are self-evident. As Paul notes below, Thompson seems to be a genuine conservative and to have great skills communicating conservative positons on key issues. What about his weaknesses? In my view, his foremost weakness is his likely lack of appeal to independents in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. Anticipating Thompson’s announcement in the next week or two, I wonder which of the top four candidates would run strongest against a Clinton/Obama ticket. It is not evident to me which Republican candidate is the one, but it is not evident to me either that it is not Thompson.