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May-31-2007 04:30printcomments

Actor/Politician Fred Thompson May Run for President in 2008

Ties to "Scooter" Libby, a failed S&L Crisis and a public misinformation campaign trail the man who might throw his hat in the ring for President.

Fred Thompson
Fred Thompson
Photo courtesy: University of Tennessee

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The national spotlights are on Fred Thompson, and rumors are flying that the Law and Order actor could be the new shining star of the GOP. He announced on Fox News Sunday that he may throw his hat in the ring as a Republican candidate for the 2008 Presidential race.

The party's presidential candidates so far, are anything but a dazzling bunch in comparison, engaged as many seem to be in a slow motion race to demonstrate just who most closely meets the criteria of the nation's most right-leaning religious organizations. Others, like pro choice Rudy Giulani and Maverick switch hitter John McCain, seem to be marching to the beat of a different drummer, while Mitt Romney continues to keep his cool during personal assaults primarily directed at his Mormon faith.

It's kind of a mess, politically, and nobody seems particularly enthralled with any of the candidates, even if many bring good qualifications to the table. The whole group just seems too stuffy, largely reminiscent of many who stood in their place before bailing out of the race altogether.

Thompson brings a rich screen history that began after his role as an attorney in bringing down then Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton In 1977, Thompson took on a Tennessee Parole Board case that ultimately toppled Tennessee Governor from power on charges over selling pardons.

An interview over his actual participation in the event spurred a producer to ask him if he would play himself. He agreed, and his list of movies since then includes releases such as Barbarians at the Gate, In the Line of Fire, and The Hunt for Red October. He is known today for his role on the widely popular TV show, Law and Order.

Some staunch conservatives are going to find this candidate ideal, as he seems to carry many of the attributes and values of standing President George W. Bush and his administration's policies are something he had fought for.

In fact, Thompson went so far as to be featured in a March 2003 commercial by the conservative group Citizens United that advocated the invasion of Iraq, stating: "When people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask, what had the 9/11 hijackers done to us -- before 9/11"

History is not always a friend, and it now shows that the Iraqi people and even their notorious leader Saddam Hussein, had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11, carried out almost completely by people from Saudi Arabia.

In 1982, Thompson was one of the lobbyists who was after U.S. Congress to pass the Savings and Loan deregulation legislation that allowed for additional government support of ailing S&Ls, and was a major contributing factor in the subsequent Savings and Loan crisis in the late 1980s.

Thompson's political experience grew when he was appointed to an "informal position" by President George W. Bush to help guide the nomination of John Roberts through the United States Senate confirmation process after the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005.

In 2006 he served on the advisory board of the legal defense fund for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Jr, who was indicted and later convicted of lying to federal investigators during their investigation of the Valerie Plame affair.

But maybe another Hollywood actor is what the Republican party needs for a U.S. President this time, again. The visibility factor is huge and star appeal seems to work particularly well in California, but nationally as well.

The last Hollywood President, Ronald Reagan, left a highly criticized legacy with his policies that became known as "Reganonomics". While his decisions helped many, they also dissolved the infrastructure of a large aspect of the American healthcare system.

"Reganonomics" moved money away from mental health programs to boost American business that was sagging in the wake of the Vietnam War. To this day, a growing homeless situation all across the nation is attributed to Reagan's policies as a national leader.

Another side of Thompson, perhaps his most famous, came when he was an attorney during the Watergate Hearings, when he served as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal in 1973 and 1974.

He is remembered for his role in urging Howard Baker, the influential ranking minority member of the Senate committee investigating Watergate, to deliver a question that is said to have contributed directly to the downfall of President Richard Nixon— "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" Thompson's voice has become immortalized in the recordings of the Watergate proceedings, in which he asks the key question, "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?

So, Thompson is an actor, a lawyer, a man who implied that Iraq attacked our country September 11th, and he helped fall President Richard Nixon, the Republican who ended the Vietnam War.

It seems he is that and a lot more. Thompson recently criticized controversial filmmaker Michael Moore's visit to Cuba, where he shot a scene for his latest movie. The interesting part is that Michael Moore offered in response to publicly debate Thompson.

Thompson declined the opportunity to set the record straight in a face to face manner with the notorious Michael Moore. It appears the Hollywood approach is Thompson's way of answering the call. He made a video and posted it on the Internet as a response to Moore's challenge.

In declining to debate Moore, the actor used the video to mention Cuban filmmaker Nicolás Guillén, who was jailed by the Cuban government and allegedly subjected to electroconvulsive therapy.

Critics shot back at Thompson for backing a government that is behind incidents such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, where numerous incidents of torture are documented at the hands of U.S. military forces and contractors.

The Weekly Standard reported today that Thompson will set up a "testing-the-waters" committee that will begin accepting contributions on June 4th. Also on May 30th, The Politico reported that Thompson plans to enter the presidential race over the Independence Day weekend. But a Thompson associate quoted in The Hillary Spot said "there will not be a presidential announcement from Fred Thompson on July 4th."

The Advocate News and Politics says it 's hardly a stretch to imagine Fred Thompson as president. After all, he's played the role in movies, his imposing 6-foot-5 stature and Southern-tinged commanding voice creating the illusion.

Fred Thompson describes himself as a Conservative. He has said Federalism is his guiding principle.

"Our government, under our Constitution, was established upon the principles of Federalism -- that the federal government would have limited enumerated powers and the rest would be left to the states. It not only prevented tyranny, it just made good sense. States become laboratories for democracy and experiment with different kinds of laws. One state might try one welfare reform approach, for example. Another state might try another approach. One would work and the other would not. The federal welfare reform law resulted from just this process."

He says Federalism also allows for the diversity that exists among the country's people. "Citizens of our various states have different views as to how traditional state responsibilities should be handled. This way, states compete with each other to attract people and businesses -- and that is a good thing."

Special thanks to Wikipedia for information in this report.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Lymphoma Sufferer April 7, 2010 8:24 pm (Pacific time)

lonesomerobot May 31, 2007 7:41 am is wrong to say Paul Tsongas has the same type of lymphoma as Fred Thompson. There are over 35 kinds of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and they don't have the same kind. Tsongas was diagnosed in 1983 with lymphoma and had undergone a radical bone marrow transplant for a very advanced stage 4 lymphoma and died from a complication related to treatment in 1997. Thompson is in stage 1 of nodal marginal zone lymphoma and probably will die from an unrelated cause.

MGK April 6, 2010 9:13 pm (Pacific time)

Truly pathetic that the author's only listed source for this biased writing is Wikipedia. To "keith May 31, 2007 2:02 pm" Since you raved about the Republican deficits three years ago, how do you feel now that a Democratic Presidency has massively increased spending and embarked on a brand new entitlement program?

Michael Janosko October 8, 2007 10:41 am (Pacific time)

I love you Fred you are the greatest man that has ever lived!!! You make me want to wake up in the morning. I have used Tivo to record everyone of your debates and they are amazing. I love you!!!!

Jared Dalton October 8, 2007 10:34 am (Pacific time)

Go Fred Thompson

Mrvain June 5, 2007 2:20 pm (Pacific time)

Wow. Surprise. Another actor. Isn't it strange how they always rail against the Hollywood "elite" until and unless it's one of those who portrayed a 2 dimensional good guy in his films or whatever. Hey GOP-ers, guess what? He's still acting, complete with his own traveling stage prop, the "little red truck" and if you vote for him, congratulations! You have the same depth as that that character he plays on the TeeVee.

Matt Johnson June 3, 2007 3:04 pm (Pacific time)

No military service? Wow, another man with small ones who would indeed make a suitable replacement for our current downs syndrome prez. No offense, I love all people with downs except Bush.

L.A. June 2, 2007 12:16 am (Pacific time)

I'd rather vote for Paris Hilton. How about poor Francesca Hilton who's father and mother Zsa Zsa, never gave her the inheritance she deserved. That's what you get for being a good them off good Francesca!

Osotan: June 1, 2007 8:39 am (Pacific time)

I bought a used car from a guy that looked just like him in 71',at the far S.E. end of 82nd. Ave., immersed in sincerity, I was conned! This ones nose gets bigger every time I view the photo!,see for yourself, take a look, would you trust your daughter with this man? That's all we need is another actor. God!.,Shiva! Vishnu!, Buddha! and Allah, which way to the Wal-Mart!? None of them has done what they said thay would accomplish only weeks ago, and now an actor. I'm going for therapy right now.

CB June 1, 2007 6:04 am (Pacific time)

If Americans vote in Fred Thompson, then that means they like what is going on now.

Vanna May 31, 2007 3:28 pm (Pacific time)

Thompson is a solid-cast phony, a Manchurian candidate, and those who are going to vote for him are the same suckers who stuck this country with BUSH. Gag me. What a sickmaking candidate.

keith May 31, 2007 3:06 pm (Pacific time)

Forgot to say that single-payer healthcare (what every other developed country has) would save us about $250 billion every year administratively-alone while also covering the 47 million uninsured. It saves more if you include caps on prescriptions. Thompson would be strongly opposed to single-payer. Most Democratic candidates would not favor it. Sixty-five percent of Americans do favor it. If Americans voted according to policies they back, they would elect someone like Kucinich instead of action figures like Thompson or Reagan or The Terminator.

Hank Ruark May 31, 2007 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Comment-eers critical of Reagan are "right on". GE-Years book cites these and many other references. Union-smash policies built strength from then-on, with disastrous results for any progressive action even when nation realized realities of his regime.

keith May 31, 2007 2:02 pm (Pacific time)

Why did the story not mention that the deregulation of the savings and loan industry (part of Thompson's philosophy) cost the American taxpayer $400-500 billion? It is hard to get a definite figure from the media that is always in favor of deregulation--especially for itself. Vic is right above, but I believe it only took about 3 years of Reaganomics to go from largest creditor to largest debtor. We stopped manufacturing and went into stock deals. US debt first 200 years totalled $0.9 trillion. After next 12 years of Reagan/Bush, it totalled $4.1 Trillion. Reagan said greatest cause of pollution was trees!!! Reagan said he was at the liberation of the death camps at end of WWII. He lied---he never left Hollywood. Clinton took us from record deficits to record surpluses (every year an improvement). GW Bush took us from record surpluses to new record deficits. We need to start taxing and cut off welfare to the Fortune 500. We desperately need single-payer healthcare and minimum wage of about $9.

Jose Cure May 31, 2007 11:38 am (Pacific time)

does it matter- what? Are you saying it is or isn't biased? You seem unsure, maybe that is the point, maybe that means it isn't biased, though the truth is a liberal plot, right?

Hank Ruark May 31, 2007 9:51 am (Pacific time)

To all: Critical read of above indicates for me solid story from solid sources. If it reflects feeling, the facts-given justify each one. Re "actor", and illness not made known, similarities to Reagan are striking. Re Federalism as foundation for both, see GE-years Op Ed recently reporting on new fact documentation of Reagan sell-out to GE anti-union, anti-consumer when he started as Democratic campaigner and union activist, then surprisingly surrendered his principles to "conservatism'.

Mignonette May 31, 2007 7:47 am (Pacific time)

Thompson would be a great choice...but..what is his belief on unlawful immigrants..

lonesomerobot May 31, 2007 7:41 am (Pacific time)

no mention in this story of the most important angle: thompson's incurable non-hodgkins lymphoma, currently in remission. the truth is that, from a health standpoint, fred thompson is a dangerous choice. if he says it's not an issue, he's lying. paul tsongas, who ran for president in 1992, had the same type of nhl (indolent). he died in 1997 at the age of 55. had he been president, he would have been battling the resurgence of his cancer in the last years of his first term. this is a serious issue, and the public needs to be aware that fred thompson has a terminal disease, the future of which cannot be known. his cancer may be in remission, but the country can't afford to find out if mr. thompson's health is a major problem if he were to be elected.

Vic May 31, 2007 6:39 am (Pacific time)

Remember the last time we had an actor president ? We went from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in 8 years. We became the only country in the world convicted of terrorism by the World Court ( Contras) The "Reagan Revolution" was a spending spree done on credit.

does it matter May 31, 2007 6:20 am (Pacific time)

Wow I hope this is meant to be a biased news reporting. I am not sure I got the idea that the writer is not fond of Thompson

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