Thompson Vs. Thompson

The Skinny is Joel Roberts' take on the top news of the day and the best of the Internet.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson still hasn't formally entered the presidential race, but he's already posing a serious threat to some of his potential GOP rivals.

The Washington Post reports the likelihood of a Thompson candidacy is pulling major donors away from Sen. John McCain's already struggling campaign.

While Thompson is trying to woo conservatives who may be unsatisfied with GOP triumvirate of Giuliani, Romney and McCain, he "appears to present the most challenges for McCain," says the Post.

As Thompson "builds his team of major fundraisers … the challenge for McCain will be to collect the millions of dollars necessary to maintain a nationwide campaign and convince Republicans that he is their best bet to retain the White House."

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports on the uphill battle of another Republican named Thompson, who has officially entered the race, to garner some attention on the campaign trail.

The Times says former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is "scratching for headlines" as he tries to "distinguish himself in a field of 10 Republican hopefuls whose debates are a diorama of white male politicians in dark suits."

That challenge could become even tougher should that other Thompson toss his hat in the ring.

"I'm Thompson the presidential candidate, not Thompson the actor," the ex-governor has taken to saying, to differentiate himself from the "Law & Order" star.

The Immigration Compromise Crumbles

The collapse of the Senate immigration overhaul was the lead in nearly all the morning papers Friday, as President Bush and bipartisan supporters of the bill suffered what the Los Angeles Times called "a major setback."

The Washington Post also called the Senate's failure to move the compromise measure forward "a setback" for the president and the bill's backers, while The New York Times called it "a significant setback" for Mr. Bush, especially since it "came mainly at the hands of members of his own party."

While the White House and Senate supporters held out hope that the bill could still be resurrected, the Times said the "future of one of the administration's chief domestic priorities" is "in serious doubt."

"In any case," said the Wall Street Journal, in the top item in its page-one news box, "House odds were much longer." The Journal added: "The loss will hurt Bush, who angered his base by backing a deal that conservatives say rewards illegality."

USA Today also featured the immigration bill on its front page, but opted to lead with a story on U.S. plans to ease passport rules for summer travel to Mexico and Canada because of a backlog in passport applications.

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  • David Hancock

    David Hancock is a home page editor for