You know how "Law & Order" gets, well, a little formulaic after a while? They get their suspect, there's a plot twist, there's a new suspect, everyone fights, the trial comes to some sort of conclusion, everyone sort of makes up?
Well, presidential politics is a little like that too sometimes. That's probably fitting, since former "Law & Order" star Fred Thompson has just filed the papers to establish a committee to help him decide whether to get in the race for the 2008 Republican nomination.
Thompson, who is also a former senator from Tennessee, has been following the standard presidential run formula over the past few months: First, make it clear that you're all but in, then pretend to play coy for a bit, all the while making it ever more clear that you're in, then form an "exploratory committee," which allows you to consider a run for president without making a formal declaration or having to file financial paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Anonymous "officials close to Thompson" tell the Associated Press Thompson could make his run officially official as early as July; NBC's "First Read" notes that he has been booked on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," a potential if probably unlikely forum for an announcement, on June 12.