Fred Thompson's easygoing, no-nonsense style is clearly his strength and undoubtedly has helped him soar in presidential polls. It may only get him so far. Sooner or later, the all-but-declared candidate will have to answer the question: What else do you offer?
"Smooth is good, but sometimes nitty gritty is essential," says Tucker Eskew, a Republican strategist unaligned in the race. "He'll be tested (but) he has a little time."
Rudy Giuliani emerged as the winner in the Republican presidential money contest this quarter, raising more and spending less than both of his leading rivals. Mitt Romney tapped his personal wealth for a $6.5 million loan and John McCain's campaign was seriously considering public financing to revive his all-but-broke presidential bid.
As the campaigns head into a new round of fundraising and spending, Giuliani has about $15 million in the bank for the primary contests, Romney has $12 million and McCain has just $2 million.
To give you an idea of just how fractured the Republican Party is in the 2008 race for President, an undeclared candidate is the frontrunner.
That's right. Fred Thompson, sometimes Senator and sometimes actor, leads the GOP Presidential field, topping former New York City Major Rudy Giuliani.
Mitt Romney edges out John McCain for third and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the also-rans with all the rest not even registering enough to be called has beens.
In past election years, Republican candidate could always depend on the deep pockets of loyalists to give them a financial edge.
Leading Democratic Presidential contenders are outraising Republican hopefuls and the shortfall in campaign cash is affecting other GOP campaigns as well.
Public dissatisfaction over the failed war in Iraq and other dismal policies of the faltering GOP is blamed for most of the dropoff in contributions but others point to the Internet as a Democratic cash cow.
Call it the great Blackberry hack caper or just another case of political dirty tricks.
Whatever you call it, the campaign season must be in full swing because the tricksters are hard at work and so are those who file lawsuits.
A former employee of the political consulting firm that works the Presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton claims Hillary's chief campaign strategists approved hacking into his Blackberry and monitoring his email.
The other side, of course, claims it did nothing wrong.
Republican John McCain struggled to keep his deeply troubled campaign afloat Monday, laying off dozens of staffers after lackluster fundraising and excessive spending left him with just $2 million for his second presidential bid.
Love him or hate him, anybody who's followed Bill Clinton's career knows it's always been about him - as in No. 1 or "me," "my" and "I."
Now it's about her.
Considered by friends to be as self-absorbed as he is brilliant, the former president checks his ego at the curb this week to fly to Iowa and take a surrogate's role in the presidential campaign of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
Sen. Barack Obama outraised Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton by $10 million in second-quarter contributions that can be spent on the Democratic presidential primary contest, aided by the contributions of 154,000 individual donors.
Obama's campaign on Sunday reported raising at least $31 million for the primary contest and an extra $1.5 million for the general election from April through June, a record for a Democratic candidate.
Sam Brownback says he harbored a "hatred" of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton until he experienced a religious awakening in the mid-1990s.
Brownback, a Republican presidential hopeful, details in a new book how the change in outlook led him to make a stunning apology to Hillary Clinton a few years later during a Senate prayer breakfast.
"I was considering what I should say when I confronted all the anger that I held for the Clintons," the Kansas senator writes in the book, "From Power to Purpose: A Remarkable Journey of Faith and Compassion."
Ann Coulter is the Paris Hilton of politics, the blonde bimbo liberals love to hate but also one that TV loves to promote because putting her on the air drives up ratings and public debate.
Outrageous? Damn right she is. That's her stock in trade, her modus operandi, her act. Like Hilton, she's a self-promoting media machine that feeds on a public appetite for excess.
There have been many debates over whether or not Coulter actually believes the hate she spews. The same questions circle around other right-wing demagogues: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Mike Savage, et. al.
Her fans claim Coulter is the right-wing's sex symbol, a leggy blonde who favors short skirts and low-cut blouses but others wonder if her bile is fueled by anorexia. Her hard features remind us more of the skank we too often woke up next to after a hard night of drinking. A closer examination reveals she has been rode hard and put up wet a few times too many.