Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton coined the "I'm in it to win it" phrase first, but friends of Law & Order actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson say he's thinking the same thing.
"Very simply put, he is seriously considering a run," says one.
Now you may be saying, "Duh, he already said he was thinking about running."
But in true Washington fashion, his foes have started a whispering campaign that suggests he really doesn't want to devote the needed energy, time, and passion to running. Or that he's really just a stalking horse for another candidate whom he'll endorse at the right time later in the fall. But his allies say that's all junk. "It sounds like a lot of wishful thinking," says one.
Here's the thingwe might not know his plans until late summer. The reason: Some GOP strategists say that the second wave of candidates, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, plans to size up the race during the summer, then get in as late as September. But, add the strategists, they will most likely telegraph their intentions weeks in advance.