The United States might be seeing another former actor in the Oval Office in January of 2009. Fred Thompson, who formerly starred in the TV show “Law and Order”, has all but officially announced that he will run for the Presidency on the Republican ticket, according to several news agencies.
A former Senator representing Tennessee as well, Thompson has begun raising funds for a prospective bid, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page writes.
Thompson had a unique reputation when he was a Senator, a position from which he retired in 2003 after serving 8 years. He did not care for lengthy deliberations in the Senate, and he seemed to prefer spending his evenings dining high on the hog with celebrity friends to attending late-night congressional sessions.
“I don’t like spending 14- and 16-hour days voting on ‘sense of the Senate’ resolutions on irrelevant matters,” Thompson was quoted as having aid back in those days, reports Reuters.
However, the 64-year-old Thompson was also known as a powerful speaker and a man of great charisma. He sought to cut down on the government’s wasteful spending and was an advocate for campaign finance reform.
“The consensus seemed to be that he didn’t like to work real hard, but was good to have on your team. People said the same thing about [former President] Ronald Reagan,” a Senate Republican Aid told Reuters.
Thompson, who has always been a staunch Pro-Lifer, enters the presidential race (assuming he is entering) late in the midst of dissatisfaction among Republicans with the pool of candidates thus far running. Rudolf Giuliani and John McCain have never been bosom buddies of pro-life advocates, and many voters fear that former Massachusetts governor and Mormon Mitt Romney’s sudden conversion to that stance is mere political posturing, not true conviction.
Fox News reports that Thompson quit “Law and Order” so that he could focus on his probable Presidential run.
“We’ll go into the testing the waters phase and that will allow us to raise some money and start building a staff to get out there and make sure that what we feel like is going on is going on. There’s a desire for someone to come in and run a different kind of campaign and come with a different message and address some of the issues our country is facing,” Thompson told Fox.
In an article that ran in the New York Times recently, Thompson defended the rights of gun ownership, opposed abortion, made fun of environmentalists’ notion that climate change is a threat, opined that Iraq might now become a terrorist-hive, and described President John Kennedy, a Democratic icon, as “an astute proponent of tax cuts,” reports Reuters.