Fred Thompson officially declares candidacy (MORE: GOP DEBATE LIVEBLOGGING LINKS POSTED)

Fred!He made it official tonight during the taping of the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

I’ve been lukewarm to a Fred candidacy, because it almost seems like he’s had to be dragged into running, and his star has somewhat lost its luster, in part, because of the back and forth drama over “will he or won’t he” in the run up to his official candidacy.

His record has been closely examined, and in the eyes of some conservatives, the question is: Is Fred the real deal, or is he just someone who can momentarily take our minds off of the depressing campaigns of Mitt and Rudy?

What do you think?

Update: In related Election ’08 news, Michelle Malkin liveblogged tonight’s GOP debate, which was held in Durham, NH.

The NYT’s liveblogging of the debate can be read here, in case you want to see their spin on it.

Captain Ed has a debate wrap-up, as does Chris Cillizza at WaPo’s “The Fix” blog.

And last but not least, here’s the transcript.

I’m sure there will be videos galore posted at YouTube tonight and tomorrow on Fred’s announcement once it airs – I’ll link to one in the morning.

Thur AM Update: Ian Schwartz has the video of Fred announcing on Leno last night. Stop The ACLU has video of the announcement on Fred’s website.

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