How Thompson's Opponents Will Attack

Kenneth Vogel of the Politico, darn it, wrote this before I could, but here's a slightly different take on how Thompson's opponents are preparing to cut off his oxygen.

One -- "We'll say that he's the candidate of unfilfilled expectations," one aide to a Thompson rival says. "He was in the Senate and did nothing. He was the chairman of a committee that investigated the Clinton's campaign finance and did nothing. He was a leader on nothing, except for McCain-Feingold."

In fact, as McCain advisers will say, Thompson helped to write the legislation.

"He's very similar to McCain-lite," a Thompson critic who is obviously not affiliated with McCain's campaign says.

Two -- "he is the ultimate insider posing as the outsider." His lobbying ties are one thing -- but look who he surrounds himself with. "Mary Matalin. Liz Cheney. Hollywood liberals. He lived in the Beltway."

Three -- pressure him to debate and constantly bombard the media with negative appraisals of his performances. One opposing campaign is having trouble assessing how Thompson would perform in presidential debates because they don't believe he's ever really debated anyone outside of a prosecutorial context.

Four -- They'll claim that he's really a centrist. In the Senate, he was a member of the Senate centrist coalition with John McCain, Susan Collins, and, for heaven sakes, Linc Chafee. He switched his positions on abortion right before he ran for Senate, switched his position on immigration, and single-handedly blocked Republican efforts to pass torm reform legislation in the 90s.

Five -- the laziness quotient. Even though Thompson was a prolific campaigner, his opponents will go out of their way to compare his campaign work ethic with their own.

Six -- Behind the scenes, expect enforcers for McCain, Romney and Giuliani to put heavy pressure on Republican fundraisers not to hedge their bets on Thompson.

Seven -- historical comparisons. They'll call him the "Wes Clark" of the 2008 cycle, implying that he is a celebrity candidate pushed into the race by sycophants.