Report: Fred plans to announce plans to announce -- on September 6th; Update: Confirmed

After three months of hype and nonsense, we have a date. Or so says Politico; we won’t know for sure until the campaign conference call at 4 p.m.

Verrry curious that he’d wait until the day after the Fox debate to which Chris Wallace claimed he’d RSVP’d. I guess he wants a few weeks to get his name out lest he show up onstage and have most of the public scratching their heads wondering who he is. It would have made for one hell of an entrance, though. Odd that an actor wouldn’t seize the opportunity for drama. Exit question: Prudence? Or is he worried that he’d be rusty?

Update: “Fred’s not doing a real good job of demonstrating what Bush-weary GOP voters want changed more than anything else: a guy who can stay on offense as far as setting the narrative, who won’t just let things happen to him and get walked all over by the press (it doesn’t matter much what your message is if you can’t get it out).”

Update: Fred keeps pointing out that in previous years September was a perfectly normal launch date while neglecting to mention that this isn’t a perfectly normal campaign season. Wyoming moving its primary to January 5 means, in theory at least, that Iowa and New Hampshire will have to move up to December, leaving him roughly three and a half months to campaign before his first primary. He could maybe skip those two and Wyoming if he’s polling well, but Michigan just moved to January 15 and that’s too big to ignore. Then comes South Carolina on the 19th, which he’ll be expected to win as the “southern candidate” and then the big one in Florida on the 29th, which Rudy is counting on to propel him to Super Ultra Mega Tuesday. He’s got five months and his poll numbers are already down from the start of the summer. Good luck.

Update: “Mr Thompson’s biggest problem stemmed from what, at first, appeared to be a cunning strategy: running for president without declaring that he was running. He consigned himself to a political no-man’s-land where he has been denied the perks of a traditional campaign (such as appearing in Republican debates), but has nevertheless attracted all the scrutiny of a regular candidate. He has almost no infrastructure in place in Iowa and New Hampshire at a time when some of his rivals have well-oiled machines. Mr Thompson’s tactic might have paid off if he had declared a couple of months ago, perhaps when the Michael Moore video appeared. But now his formal announcement of his candidacy, which is expected any day, is bound to be an anticlimax. So much for an actor’s sense of timing.”

Update (bp): I guess we’ll know the official official date in a few minutes.

Update: Real Clear Politics was in on the conference call. September 6th it is.

Update: Here’s one of the myriad reasons people are annoyed at him. According to WaPo, he may turn up on Leno on the 5th, which would be the second time he’s tried to upstage the field by scheduling a major media appearance to coincide with a Republican debate. If you think one of you is worth 10 of them, that’s fine, but you’d better be ready to prove that when the time comes or else you end up looking not only arrogant but ridiculous.

Update: More details:

House parties will be held nationwide on Sept. 6. A tour of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina will quickly follow the Internet announcement on , with later stops in Florida, and a homecoming event in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., on Sept. 15.

Next Wednesday, Thompson will appear on NBC’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” but he won’t participate with his Republican rivals in a debate that same night in New Hampshire.