1.) They are honest. By supporting a candidate who is not even a candidate, Kinder and Bearden are making a statement congruent with what we already know: Our current field of front-runners leaves much to be desired.
2.) They give us cover. Until now, conservatives have been forced to smile and nod politely when those on the Mitt Romney payroll try to convince us that the former Massachusetts governor is our party’s best bet in 2008. But if two of our state’s most conservative — and loyal — Republicans don’t buy it, how can the Romney camp get mad at the rest of us for not buying it either?
3.) They promise a genuine grassroots campaign. What’s more grassroots than asking people to sign a petition to recruit a candidate into the race? Both Peter and Carl have invested a great deal of time working with grassroots groups all over the state — from Young Republicans to Pachyderms to local Missouri Federation of Republican Women chapters — and have built relationships with the activists most likely to recruit their friends into campaigns.
I have dear friends who are supporting second-tier candidates just to make a statement about Romney and Co. I tend to agree with those friends ideologically, and love their eff-the-party-establishment attitude. But realistically, is there a better candidate for mainstream conservatives than Fred Thompson?