Thompson Announces Candidacy on Leno…

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As reported on Shadow Democracy Radio September 2nd, Fred Thompson – veteran actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee – launched his campaign for the presidency in typical Hollywood style. “I’m running for president of the United States,” Thompson told Jay Leno in a taped appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show” that airs tonight.Thompson called top opponents Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney formidable but added: “I think I will be, too” as he rejected the notion that he was getting into the race too late.

“I don’t think people are going to say, ‘You know, that guy would make a very good president but he just didn’t get in soon enough,'” Thompson said as the studio audience laughed. Poking at his rivals who have been running since the year began, he added: “If you can’t get your message out in a few months, you’re probably not every going to get it out.”

In a multi-phased campaign rollout, Thompson also is calling attention to his candidacy with a 30-second ad broadcast during a Republican debate in New Hampshire that he is not participating in. He also is explaining the rationale for his candidacy during a 15-minute Webcast on his campaign Internet site just after midnight.

“On the next president’s watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can’t allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation,” Thompson says in the ad that will air on Fox News Channel (go figure).

Thompson may have a bit of momentum, but it won’t be easy for the former Tennessee senator, who has a street reputation for laziness. His campaign has been unable to drive fundraising and suffered through multiple staff changes, the most recent coming this past Tuesday with the departure of his spokesman of just two weeks, Jim Mills.

“There is a genuine interest in Senator Thompson here, a real curiosity about him,” New Hampshire Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen said Tuesday. “But that curiosity is giving way to skepticism and maybe even cynicism about him in part because of how he’s handling his grand entrance. For him to then go on Jay Leno the same night and be trading jokes while other candidates are having a substantive discussion on issues is not going to be missed by New Hampshire voters.”

In Durham, N.H., as people waited in line to see the Republican candidates debate at the University of New Hampshire, one person ran around in a fuzzy yellow duck suit carrying a sign that said, “Fred, why are you ducking the debate?”

“He should be here,” said Bob Crossley, 50, a real estate agent from Wolfeboro, N.H., waiting to get in. “It’s kind of like defaulting in sports. If you don’t show up, you lose.”

In spite of all this, Thompson consistently ranks among the top Republicans in national polls and state surveys. He is a Bush-like conservative – pro-Iraq War, anti-middle class, anti-union, etc., and seeing that no one on the GOP side has remotely excited the base, Republicans are searching for someone with like-minded credentials who can win in a general election. During his 1994-2002 Senate tenure, he was considered a reliably conservative vote, however, he strayed from the party line on a few issues, including advocating for campaign finance reform. Overall, he may be the best shot for a Republican base that may finally be sick of all the lies and corruption, while the economy and international policy situation erodes. Whether he can beat Hillary Clinton or anyone else, remains to be seen.

Thompson at a Glance…

NAME – Fred Dalton Thompson

AGE-BIRTH DATE-LOCATION – 65; August 19, 1942; Sheffield, Ala.

EXPERIENCE – Actor, 1987-2007; Tennessee Senator, 1994-2003; attorney, Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, 1991-94; Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Commission, 1985-87; special counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, 1982; special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 1980-81; special counsel to Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, 1980; attorney in private practice, 1975-94; minority counsel to the Senate Watergate committee, 1973-74; Assistant U.S. attorney, 1969-72; lawyer, private practice, 1967-69.

EDUCATION – B.S., Memphis State University, 1964; JD, Vanderbilt University, 1967.

FAMILY – Divorced and remarried; five children, one deceased.

QUOTE – “Republicans have to realize that not only do we have to do things differently and better as a country, we need to do things differently and better as a party.” – August 2007, interview, The Associated Press.

More on Thompson soon.

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Posted on September 6, 2007, in 2008 Presidential Election, George Bush, Politics, Shadow Democracy Radio and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I guess “Law and Order” has gone to head. Its really scary, seeing that the last actor President was so terrible. I not saying Fred could EVER be as bad as Regan, but be afraid,really afraid. I’m really curious to see where he stands on all Gender and other issues, for example, another anti- gay,abortion, stem-cell research… etc. all that right wing ranting against anything thats real and allready here. Oh and He is wellcome to come over to My place and get a Complete Make-over! (But I’M NOT GOING TO FIX HIS PICK-UP!

  2. Oh make no mistake, he could be as bad as Reagan and worse. His politics are as warped as Bush’s and some of his policies would poison the well for another four years. This guy cannot be elected.

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