"The lawyer-turned-actor-turned-senator-turned-actor — best known from TV as the down-home, tough-as-nails District Attorney Arthur Branch on "Law & Order" — hasn't announced, hasn't campaigned, and hasn't been on the political radar since leaving the Senate in 2003. Yet suddenly he's being hailed as the next Ronald Reagan. With this kind of rhetorical heat at his back, Mr. Thompson's a threat to every candidate for the Republican nomination.
But there's one candidate whose campaign he could end almost instantaneously, should he choose to run: that of Mr. Romney. Mr. Thompson is pro-life, pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, and anti-tax — like Mr. Romney. But he has one advantage over the former governor: He didn't just come to these positions over the last year or so, in a "Road to Des Moines" conversion.
On virtually every issue, Mr. Thompson is as far right, or further, than Mr. Romney, and he has been for some time. Mr. Romney's claim to fame so far in the campaign has been that he's the "true conservative" in the race — in contrast to Mayor Giuliani and Senator McCain. If Mr. Thompson jumps in, however, the rationale behind Mr. Romney's candidacy drops out..." (Read the entire article)