This weeks media blitz makes it clear that Arthur Branch, the Manhattan District Attorney who hails from Tennessee, is about to amble into the 2008 Presidential race. Big Fred Thompson, who has demonstrated on the big screen and the little screen, that he knows how to convey emotions like wisdom, decency, deliberation, moral strengths and fortitude and do it with a slightly aw-shucks manner will roil the race. Who will lead Fred's team is the question every Washington insider wants to know. Everyone understands that affable Tom Collamore is a run-the-trains-on-time type bureaucrat charged with organizing the campaign structure. No one thinks the former tobacco executive is a master strategist. Where is the John P. Sears? Who is the Hamilton Jordan? Who plays the role of F. Clifton White? Indeed, who is Karl Rove? Who around Fred has led a team through the rigors of a Presidential campaign and understands the intricate ballet involved in the financial decisions of the campaign as well as providing a winning strategy by which a first-rate lawyer/actor, who conveys some of Ronald Reagan's gumption and optimism, can be nominated and elected President? Some conservatives are concerned that Ken Rietz, former Nixon-Reagan advanceman and former political favorite of the Nixon White House's H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, is currently steering Thompson's bus. Rietz, a former PR executive, got his political roots as the campaign manager for Tennessee Senator William E. Brock III who ran an ugly negative campaign in 1970 that unseated three-term incumbent Albert Gore Sr. Those Tennessee roots make him a friend and Advisor to former Senator Fred Thompson who served as major-domo for Tennessee's other Republican Senator, Howard E. Baker, Jr., at the time. Rietz startled a high-level Reaganite recently in a private conversation in which Rietz, who is blind from a degenerative disease but fully functional and creative, said that "Mitt Romney will drop out early and those voters will come to Fred." While Thompson, who allegedly had his libertine years as a bachelor, has a solid record on social issues such as abortion and gay marriage, he will, in a Reaganesque style, not lead with those issues. Thompson will not over-expose on these issues to preserve his General Election elect-ability. It is the imminent collapse of McCain, not Romney that can free a number of voters who are non Evangelical conservatives for the Tennessean to scoop up. As Nixon would say, "move to the right for the Primary, move to the left for the General Election and do so without antagonizing your base." Fred Thompson must get nominated in a way that gives him latitude on the war and how to conclude it as well as recapturing many of the suburban moderates who have fled the Reagan coalition after the congressional meltdown of the Republican Party. No one believes Rietz, while a jazzy PR man and actually the first guy to sport sleek Gucci loafers, Ralph Lauren/Polo ties and RayBan's in Washington in the early 70's, has the ideological moorings or the strategic ability to manage a winning Presidential race. To give Rietz his due, the team of Collamore, former Thompson press aide, Mark Corallo and former FEC Chairman Michael Toner are talented operatives who can structure a campaign and Thompson understands the need for structure to build the stage on which he must act. Former Thompson Administrative Assistant, Tom Daffron, one of the Republican Party's most able and hard-nose operatives, is in the wings. Daffron has won five U.S. Senate races for Republicans in New England - no mean feat. Daffron knows New Hampshire and it's dynamics well. The Thompson campaign needs a seasoned and wily strategist who has credibility with the National media. Thompson can't afford on the job training in a late starting drive for the Republican nomination. Thompson also upped the ante by forming a financial receptacle by which his presidential appeal will be tested in raw dollars. His campaign must be sure-footed to succeed and that calls for a seasoned pro at the helm. The decision Fred Thompson makes and who emerges as the Mark Hannah of his campaign, will have implications for the Republican Party, the next Presidential campaign and the course of U.S. history. At a time when the Republican brand is going down the toilet, Fred Thompson is last, best hope to forge a new "Reagan-like" coalition to cheat the historical cycle and grab the White House for the GOP in an upset.