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Fred's in -- finally

From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and Lauren Appelbaum
After three months of "testing the waters" and testing the patience of some Republican supporters, Fred Dalton Thompson will seek his party's nomination.

This afternoon in a conference call with invited supporters and participants, Thompson political director Randy Enwright explained the next steps forĀ  the "Friends of Fred Thompson Committee."

Taking a page from the Hillary Clinton playbook, the formal announcement will debut on a webcast on Thursday, September 6. It will be followed by a swing through key states: Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. And it will conclude with a "Welcome Home" in Lawrenceburg, TN on the 15th.