The Politco’s Mike Allen had the scoop on Fred Thompson yesterday. Race42008’s HeavyM pulled out a couple of important points but did not really elucidate. So let’s work on some details.

First, the fundraising. As I said in April:

Fourth, look at the timing that is being discussed. Novak says June. This freezes the money and endorsement game for almost the entirety of Q2. As the Q1 fundraising numbers were being reported, the mantra was: Q2 CoH is the only number that matters. And now that whole environment is messed up.

Therefore, the Q2 numbers will be very, very hard to interpret. If Thompson raises any money in Q2, he can claim success. If Thompson doesn’t, you can’t claim he failed. How will we interpret the numbers?

Second, Thompson will probably skip Ames, for a bunch of reasons. He probably won’t have the opportunity to succeed. And it would take most of his money, stopping him from building staff in early states. Therefore, any meaning that people try to extract out of an Ames victory will be more obscure. Furthermore, this will create quite a problem for Newt Gingrich or other candidates. A whole bunch of third tier candidates will drop out at that point. Their staffs will have to decide who to go with. Newt had hoped to pick up those staff. Now Thompson will try to suck them up. This will make it very hard, mechanically, for Newt to enter.

In other words, Thompson has figured out how to screw with the standard narrative of what happens after Ames. Thompson will be able to claim some degree of victory, regardless of what happens. And it will put a clear asterix on anyone who does win. It will be especially damaging to Romney.

Now the question is going to be how they roll out the endorsements, like this one in Florida, and how they control and maintain the momentum. This will be fun to watch.