A thoughtful reader pointed out that of all the presidential candidates with a real chance (being generous to include McCain and Richardson) that I forgot Fred Thompson, who is basically in this race already. Without further ado...
Fred Thompson GRADE: C+
Sorry it is so long, but the main page (this is the blog page) doesn't have a jpg you can pull thanks to CSS. Here's my problem with the logo: Fred who? I know he is famous due to Law and Order (and has been the best DA on the show since the first two guys) but he isn't a household first name to the extent that Hillary and Rudy are. Moreover, I don't like the navy and gold color with underline motif. It says, "we have to be enthusiastic! Otherwise, people won't join this late campaign." And was Fred in the Navy? The colors seem to suggest such. Compare that to Wesley Clark's 2004 website and logo which alluded to military service well, but had a bad domain name (because there was some dude named Wesley Clark who wouldn't give it up)
"Four stars? Oh yeah, he was a FOUR STAR GENERAL." It was about as subtle as a sledgehammer (unless you were dumb enough to think the stars were supposed to match the 04 part of the site), but that was one of his main selling points. And it almost worked.
Even assuming this isn't Thompson's final campaign logo, what a terrible domain name. JoinRudy was bad enough, but ImwithFred? That's fine for a state convention button, or a fan site (unofficial or astroturf) but not as your official website. The color change between I'm and With and Fred again smacks of desperation when it is just trying to be for emphasis. I can easily see a mocking site called "ImagainstFred.com" with the word against in gold instead. Or it could be a paid-for attack site by a Romney or Giuliani. The whole thing is a lazy slap job that reinforces the whispering campaign that ex-Sen. Thompson lacks "fire in the belly" and won't really campaign hard (aka will lose and GOPers will blame it on his lack of effort)
And remember this isn't some fly-by-night candidate. He, like Wes Clark in September 2003, was supposed to save the party from certain electoral doom due to the terrible candidates available. After all, he is second in Iowa and first in South Carolina already.