The AT team keeps waiting for the presidential campaign of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson to catch fire. This was the guy, after all, who was supposed to inherit the sacred mantle of fellow actor Ronald Reagan.
It isn't happening, despite the blessings of Oklahoma's leading Republican and former Tulsa mayor, Sen. Jim Inhofe.
After his weak third-place finish in Saturday's South Carolina primary, Thompson apparently returned to Tennessee to visit his ailing mother. Fair enough. All of us should do as much when our parents are ill.
But unless Hollywood Fred has a secret plan to overcome John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney, his presidential run is over.
Inexplicably, Fred hasn't withdrawn. But the clock is ticking.