The media hype begging Fred Thompson to run is the GOP's way of saying Ron Paul is a threat to the status quo. Fred will play ball. Ron won't. I really don't see why the GOP doesn't want to rally around Ron, being that he is a genuine constitutional conservative and reflects it in his proposals for government reform.
Fred strikes me as more image than statesman. He's tall. He's got that good-ol-boy persona. He's an actor. He's a former senator from Tennessee. I'm sure the NASCAR crowd will vote for him simply because he commanded a presence as the stern owner of Talladega Superspeedway in Days of Thunder
If just being a celebrity is sufficient enough to be voted into political office, then imagine how far Oprah Winfey would go if she ran. Not only is she an Academy Award-winning actress (sorry Fred), she's also one of the wealthiest women on the planet. She's also internationally recognized for her humanitarian organizations, owns several businesses, and hosts one of the most popular daytime talk shows in television history. She carries LOTS of influence. The GOP would have no match for her.