While Fred Thompson was rolling out his well-choreographed entry into the Republican presidential race, national front-runner Rudy Giuliani was signaling the tack he will use to fend off his new rival: too risky.
For months, Rudy Giuliani has made sport on the campaign trail of mocking the Democratic field for its lack of executive experience. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama has ever managed anything close to an enterprise the size of New York City's government he says, and in a dangerous world America can't afford an untested executive in the Oval Office.
That line doesn't work especially well with Mitt Romney, until now Giuliani's top challenger by virtue of his leads in Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney, in fact, boasts an impressive variety of executive jobs--as governor of Massachusetts, founder of Bain Capital, and CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympics.
But the attack might have resonance against Thompson--a former prosecutor, Senate staffer, senator, lawyer and actor. Giuliani previewed it in the New Hampshire debate last night, warning against a new president who needs "on the job" executive training.
Republicans will be watching this argument--and Thompson's response--when Republicans next assemble to debate.