Wed
May 30 2007
02:56 pm

Washington insider Fred Thompson is declaring his intention to run for President as an "outsider."

Consider how he responded two weeks ago when liberal filmmaker Michael Moore challenged him to a debate on health care and called him a hypocrite for favoring embargoed Havana cigars. Thompson had chided Moore's new documentary, Sicko, which unfavorably compares the U.S. health care system with the one in Cuba.

" 'Jeri said, 'You know, we could have some fun,' " Thompson recalls. " 'Why don't you do something on the Internet?' So I got to thinking about it."

"And Mark Corallo and Ed McFadden had that camera there in 40 minutes," Jeri, who is sitting in on the interview, breaks in. Corallo and McFadden, aides to John Ashcroft when he was U.S. attorney general, have been helping Thompson behind the scenes.

In the video, sitting in at the desk in his study, Thompson seems to be studying his calendar, an unlit Montecristo in his mouth.

So, Mr. Former Senator (resident of McLean, VA and employee of NYC-based Dick Wolf Productions) has Mr. "former RNC communications director for Victory 2000" and Mr. "former speechwriter for John Ashcroft" already on speed dial. Hm. Continuing DC experience... DC hacks on board... Where do the outsider bonafides begin?

According to the article, longtime Washington insiders Representative Zach Wamp and Senator Howard Baker are pimping his candidacy. Nope, no outsider bonafides here.

Well, gee. Fred's insider status even extends to the home. His wife, Jeri Kehn, was a political operative working out of the D.C. firm of Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand around the time that they married. Her resume also includes stints at the Senate Republican Conference and the Republican National Committee.

Looks pretty apparent, doesn't it? This is an insider candidacy being pushed from the inside. This "outsider" crap is "Hey! Rube!" schtick for the next GOP presidential campaign.

Senator Fred is an insider. He worked in DC. He lives in DC. His friends are in DC. His media campaign is being run out of DC. Presumably, his oncologist is in DC.

This straw-man looks pretty easy to knock down, but it's going to take repetition. Here's the message: From the moment he gets up to the moment he goes to bed, Fred Thompson is a Washington insider.

Only in his dreams and memories is he anything but.

165
like
captainkona's picture

LOL

The only thing Thompson is "outside" of is the will of the majority of Americans. Which makes him the perfect candidate for the GOP nomination.

I know he seems weak to us, but the average idiot will vote for him in a heartbeat. If we can't do better than Obama or Hillary, he could easily win. And that's not good.


"The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it's open."

Elrod's picture

No

Fred won't be able to hoodwink America. We're too smart and too well organized for that crap anymore. Fred is George W. Bush redux and Bush is MUCH more unpopular now than in 2004. Fred will get destroyed in a general election. The only hope for the Republicans is Rudy Giuliani because he appears like a "different" kind of Republican than the ones who wrecked the country the last six years.

metulj's picture

"The only hope for the

"The only hope for the Republicans is Rudy Giuliani because he appears like a "different" kind of Republican than the ones who wrecked the country the last six years."

Ask any New Yorker what they think of that scumbag. The press called him Il Duce. And the uniformed services hated him with a rich, thick gusto.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Andy Axel's picture

Fred won't be able to

Fred won't be able to hoodwink America. We're too smart and too well organized for that crap anymore.

This is the same thing I heard in 2000 with Gore's campaign and 2004 with Kerry's; to wit, "There's no way an idiot like George W. Bush could possibly win."

I don't think you can afford to take the level of organization of the opposition for granted. As Will Rogers was wont to say, "I don't belong to any organized party; I'm a Democrat." Not much has changed since his time.

The GOP cornpone countrypolitan hustle is in full effect. Beware of the Slick Hick act. Contrast the "muscular, macho, cigar-chomping" image with the "indecisive, feminized, granola munching" image. How do you think the sides are being cast? And now, add "heroic." A lot of people are gushing a lot of self-congratulatory ink about the prospect of Fred rescuing the GOP candidacy.

These ideas are getting to market early. The narratives are already being written.

____________________________

Am I the only solipsist here?

R. Neal's picture

If we're going to elect

If we're going to elect another actor for President, I'd rather have Ben Affleck. Or Susan Sarandon.

Hmmm, Affleck/Sarandon, or Sarandon/Affleck. Has a better ring to it than Clinton/Obama.

Paging Al Gore to the save-our-country-courtesy-phone... paging Al Gore....

D Mac's picture

Save the country!

This one has a nice ring to it:

(link...)

redmondkr's picture

It's too late for this

It's too late for this perennial favorite.


Come See Us at

The Hill Online

Sven's picture

Bada bing. Big T's campaign

Bada bing. Big T's campaign staff to include a Bushie cage lister and a Nixon plumber.

UnderDuress's picture

Wait ... what? You base

Wait ... what?

You base this whole piece on "Fred is running as an outsider" and proceed to try to prove that he is indeed very much an insider.

Nice job.

Except that NO WHERE does FRED say he is running as an outsider.

Despite what seems to have been a charmed life as politician and actor, Thompson can project an outsider's demeanor

In that whole article, that phrase, and the headline, are the only places the word "outsider" is used, and it is in the context of the article author's own perception of the demeanor that Thompson projects. (Emphasis added to 3 dollar words that you might want to look up in a dictionary, to help your understanding, and maybe to avoid future embarassments like this).

I'll type really slowly while I translate using simpler words and concepts, just for you!

Despite the fact that Thompson IS an insider, he does not come across that way. He seems more like an every day, common man. He is in touch with all us little people.

Get it now? Or are you too busy dancing with that straw man?

*smoochies* Muah!

Bbeanster's picture

Fred is in touch with all us

Fred is in touch with all us little people? When? Where?

By the way, where does Fred live these days? Manhattan or DC? among the little people, of course.

Andy Axel's picture

Hey Duress:Despite the fact

Hey Duress:

Despite the fact that Thompson IS an insider, he does not come across that way. He seems more like an every day, common man. He is in touch with all us little people.

Get it now?

Gee, insofar as people actually believe that line of bullshit that you've so clearly sublimated your own bad self, I'm afraid I just cannot be bothered to care about the difference!

And you've pretty much said, "Yeah, well, I know it's fake. But so what? He just seems genuine." So thanks for reinforcing my point for me!

Smooches!

(Emphasis added to 3 dollar words that you might want to look up in a dictionary, to help your understanding, and maybe to avoid future embarassments like this).

Note to Duress:

I believe the expression you're searching for is "$5 words."

The expression that $3 comes from is "queer as a 3 dollar bill," meaning "fake," "phony," "bogus," "not worth the paper it's printed on." I can understand your confusion, since we are talking about the fake, phony, bogus candidate Fred Thompson. See? At some level, you even know I'm right.

Except that NO WHERE does FRED say he is running as an outsider.

Again, chalk me up as "don't care." If the press narrative around him is being written as such, it might as well come from straight from his office, rather from fawning surrogates like Liz Garrigan, Michael Silence, or Susan Page. Because who benefits? Fred Thompson.

Now, let me acquaint you with a little bit of arcana. There's this practice called "public relations" which is a bit of witchcraft used by high-dollar consultants to push certain images into the public discourse... with me so far?

Now, use the Google:

(link...)

Viral marketing. This shit's incredibly effective.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Andy Axel's picture

Fred Thompson

Quotes on Fred Thompson:

(link...)

“I have always looked at this process as a citizen and as an outsider, not as a politician. It never made sense to me to have a system where huge amounts of money were allowed to be given to politicians and then to have those very same donors come up and lobby politicians on issues.”

(link...)

[T]here's more to Fred Dalton Thompson than first meets the eye--which is saying a lot considering this sleepy-eyed Southerner stands 6'5" and weighs 225 if he weighs an ounce. With his pickup truck, his blue jeans, and his deep, friendly drawl, Thompson has cultivated the perfect political image for today's anti-Washington climate: a straight-shooting, no-nonsense man of the people with a big helping of horse sense and a hankering to clean up our nation's capital. Both his 1994 and 1996 Senate campaigns played up this outsider image, portraying Thompson as an average Joe...

(link...)

Mr. Reed said that Mr. Thompson could easily siphon political and financial support from the three leading candidates: He could hurt Mr. Giuliani with socially conservative voters and Republicans who are concerned about terrorism; Mr. McCain with establishment Republicans, independents, and voters looking for an outsider, as well as donors; and Mr. Romney with, again, social conservatives.

Seeing any pattern here?

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Sven's picture

"Real live country lawyer"

Andy Axel's picture

Key phrase from that

Key phrase from that article, and stuff I wish I'd included before:

But even without the Hollywood credits, the 54-year-old Thompson is far from your average good ol' boy. In the mid-1970s he served as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, and later as a special counsel for both the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. Even more significantly, for nearly two decades preceding his election to Congress, Thompson was a high-paid Washington lobbyist for both foreign and domestic interests.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

UnderDuress's picture

Too funny! And right on cue!

Too funny! And right on cue! Fred is gonna have your collective panties all up in wads before he ever declares. Man, you just cannot buy entertainment like this. Fred twitches and ya'll dance ... too cute! Pavlov would be so proud!

This election may actually turn out to be rather amusing, just watching the left go all rabid ;-)

---.sig
"I will take what is yours and give it to the common good" - 10 points to the first that can cite the source!

Nelle's picture

Pavlov's dogs danced?

Wow, did I ever hear that story wrong ...

Elrod's picture

Rudy

Rudy won't win in New York because they know what a scumbag he is. But he can win in PA and OH and that's the whole ballgame. Fred Thompson is a lazy phony fraud with no ideas for how to help the country. He's a true neocon who'd screw up our foreign policy just as bad as George W. Bush did. All he does is spew outdated Reaganisms for the 30 percenters who think Bush isn't conservative enough - or think Bush is a prophet. The only reason conservative Republicans are flocking to him is because he sounds like a winning candidate.

I think Fred Thompson's candidacy is great for the Democrats because he might crimp on Giuliani's "law and order" cred and open the door for past-his-prime McCain or Romney to win the nomination. The only problem is that living in Tennessee we have to hear all the mindless morons in the Tennessee GOP lie every day about "Fred being Fred."

Andy Axel's picture

There's only so many trolls

---.sig
"I will take what is yours and give it to the common good" - 10 points to the first that can cite the source!

There's only so many trolls that will bother to go through the registration process here, Lissa. Sorry to sour your game.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

UnderDuress's picture

Wow ... it only took you,

Wow ... it only took you, what? 27 weeks and 1 day to figure that out? Brilliant!

---.sig
"I will take what is yours and give it to the common good" - 10 points to the first that can cite the source!

Bbeanster's picture

--Wow ... it only took you,

--Wow ... it only took you, what? 27 weeks and 1 day to figure that out? Brilliant!--

Isn't that overplaying the sarcasm/superiority just a bit? Judging by the dearth of comments there, it's not like your sadsack blog is atop anybody's 'must read' list. And, come to think of it, didn't you sort of 'resign' from here in a huff vowing never to return? Guess that was just for effect.

UnderDuress's picture

Resign? From where? Heh ...

Resign? From where? Heh ... check again, Toots.

I comment now and again here, that's it. When Randy changed the rules to require registration in order to comment, I did so, under duress. He's known it was me all along, we even spoke of it, in person. It was the same time that I told him that I didn't spend more time here because of how ugly some participants can be. Especially those who think its just ducky for bad things to happen to people just because they disagree with them. Ugly indeed! And that's an ugly that goes clear to the bone ... isn't that right, Miz Bean?

I don't spend a lot of time here. I have a life away from the blogs, you know. I don't have time to follow along, I just catch the random link in, usually from some other blogger that is mocking something here. Mostly I just watch the comedy that plays out here. It's amusing in a sad sort of way, and can hold one's attention for short periods of time.

Oh look! Something shiny ...

---.sig
"I will take what is yours and give it to the common good" - Hillary!

Sven's picture

Listen here, Ernest T. Bass!

Listen here, Ernest T. Bass! This is Sheriff Taylor! Go on home and leave these people alone! You're keepin' 'em awake!

Sarge's picture

Fred who

Put Tennessee on the political map Al Gore vs Fred, a good ole Tennessee slap down. I pick Army and Nam vet Al Gore anytime over Fred the dodger thompson.

Elrod's picture

Fred trolls

Is it just me or do posts about Fred Thompson draw more trolls than any other topic? Somebody's a bit sensitive out there about cultivatin' a certain image I 'spose and they don't want nobody to ruin it.

Andy Axel's picture

For those Thompson fans

For those Thompson fans still reading along who believe, in a fact-free flight of fancy, that "[Fred] is who we need in Washington ... instead of political whores that will sell out to the highest bidding lobby:"

Republicans pining for a Fred Thompson presidential bid contend the "Law & Order" star would make a strong candidate because of his experience as a senator, federal prosecutor and Watergate investigation counsel, as well as his conservative credentials and fame as a television and movie actor.

But supporters rarely focus on another hat he wore before and after his eight years in the Senate: lobbyist.

The role could be an issue if he seeks to move from his current flirtation with running, which has generated escalating poll numbers and buzz, to actually running, which would subject him to a heightened level of scrutiny.

Over about two decades of lobbying (during which he also acted and practiced law), Thompson made nearly $1.3 million and represented clients including a British reinsurance company facing billions of dollars in asbestos claims, Canadian-owned cable companies, and deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to government documents and media accounts from his first run for the Senate in 1994.

[snip]

Thompson cruised to a full Senate term in 1996 but decided not to run again in 2002. A year after stepping down, he registered to lobby for British reinsurance company Equitas Ltd.

The company paid him $760,000 to guard its interests against several bills seeking to protect businesses from asbestos lawsuits, according to records Thompson filed with the Senate.

The legislation died, and Thompson this year filed papers ending his relationship with Equitas, the only client on whose behalf Thompson registered to lobby after leaving the Senate.

Well, whaddya know about that.... Saint Outsider was just another high-dollar pimp in the lobbyist orgy. Tsk.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

ultron's picture

I liked Thompson's bit part

I liked Thompson's bit part in "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World." I think he is a fine bit actor.

Andy Axel's picture

Even better bit

He's slated to play President Ulysses S. Grant in the upcoming HBO miniseries, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

The Grant presidency was most memorable for his personal incompetence in office, economic hardship, and the scandals which plagued him throughout his tenure -- Black Friday, Credit Mobilier, the Whiskey Ring, the Sanborn Incident.

Hm.

____________________________

I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

Eleanor A's picture

Let's see. On the front of

Let's see. On the front of your own website (which uses your actual name, thus the pseud, I suppose), you write that your life is a miserable mess. We're supposed to be insulted that you don't spend more time hanging around over here, and yet the pressing news items on your blog consist of a gripping report on your coworker's cologne and the white-knuckle drama of the letter you wrote to the manager of Best Buy? Color me absolutely wrecked that you don't consider us worthy of your attention, hon.

Lissa Kay's Words of Wisdom:

Bah! Petty people are a waste of time.

You know, at this point, the jokes write themselves.

This ploy of Thompson's is going to fall flatter than Wanda Jackson's hair at the Memphis 4th of July Parade. Verner Liipfert is the ultimate insider lobbying firm in D.C...of course, Axel's right, and Thompson will be cast as the heir apparent to George Bush's cigar-chomping cowboy.

Too bad he is, as I once heard said of Bush, way more Stetson than bovine...here's hoping this country returns to the reality-based community sooner rather than later.

Paging Al Gore to the save-our-country-courtesy-phone... paging Al Gore....

The sheer dramatics of a Gore-Thompson contest nonwithstanding, I'm not convinced Gore's even got the gumption to do what it takes to pull the country out of this morass. Guess I'd like to know what exactly about the 2000 campaign didn't alert him to the shambling disaster the Bush Administration was going to be, and exactly why he didn't exhaust every conceivable angle before throwing in the towel.

Bbeanster's picture

Randy is a man of his word,

Randy is a man of his word, and keeps confidences of those who wish to remain anonymous -- that means he doesn't give secret identities up, no matter who it is. That means nobody else is privy to the information, and people like you are free to be as nasty as you want to be under cover of anonymity,natch. Just look at your contributions to this thread, for example. You are not in a strong position to be giving out lectures on civil discourse.

And I do recall your making a farewell and screw you sayonara post here awhile back -- considerably before Randy tightened things up, and before you were reborn as a troll.

UnderDuress's picture

Like I said, I came to

Like I said, I came to witness the frothing that is the result of Fred Thompson's announcement. Nothing more. You guys did good!

And to steal a phrase from another worthy blogger, "I do this (blog) to entertain me, not you" ... my site is a personal hobby. I care not in the least if anyone ever reads it or not. If you do not care for the topics I chose to write about, don't go there. It's just that easy.

Oh, and would you email the link to the post or comment wherein I "stomped off in a huff"? I bet ya can't ... cause it didn't happen. I only noted that the method by which Randy chose to close off ranks here was not very graceful, but the decision is his alone. Never said I was "leaving" ... there is nothing to "leave" or resign. Ya'll are just either being delusional or purposely trying to stir shit.

On being "ugly" ... ya'll hold the franchise on that. I've had this discussion with Randy too ... that there are way too many people that get extremely nasty here. Sure, I get sarcastic and snark some. I will mock mercilessly. But I don't attack people on a personal level. That's just childish.

A troll is not someone that presents a viewpoint contrary to yours. Can't deal with it? Get off the intarwebs. Don't call names, don't drag people's personal lives into an argument, attack the opinion, not the person. That is how grown-ups play this game.

Is this a grown-up site or not?

---.sig
"I will take what is yours and give it to the common good" - Hillary!

metulj's picture

Let's see: Two weeks worth

Let's see: Two weeks worth of posts on your blog: 17 posts. Number of posts on Andy's single comment: 30+. Your sour grapes are showing.

I love the whole "I am an insider with R. Neal" shtick. Nice of you to try to put his imprimatur on your posts.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Sven's picture

Shorter Under Dress: If a

Shorter Under Dress:

If a duck stood still you could catch him by the bill.

I don't chew my cabbage twice. And you ain't heard the last of Ernest T. Bass!

redmondkr's picture

Ol' Fred's an outsider

Ol' Fred's an outsider alright.


Come See Us at

The Hill Online

Andy Axel's picture

attack the opinion, not the

attack the opinion, not the person.

You set such a fine, shining example, Lissa.

  • Emphasis added to 3 dollar words that you might want to look up in a dictionary, to help your understanding, and maybe to avoid future embarassments like this. (Attacking my comprehension skills.)
  • I'll type really slowly while I translate using simpler words and concepts, just for you! (Again with the comprehension skills)
  • Fred twitches and ya'll dance ... too cute! Pavlov would be so proud! (Calling me a slobbering dog.)
  • Wow ... it only took you, what? 27 weeks and 1 day to figure that out? Brilliant! (Again with the comprehension skills.)
  • But you're a Republican, so different rules apply to you, right? Boy, that sense of entitlement you have just shines right through like a sunbeam.

    ____________________________

    I'm a guy in a Reagan mask -- and I'm running for President!

    metulj's picture

    IOKIYAR! True happiness is

    IOKIYAR!

    True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

    Elrod's picture

    Who is Under Duress?

    Is he #9? Lady Vols?

    metulj's picture

    She. Number9 has much more

    She. Number9 has much more whimsy.

    True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

    Eleanor A's picture

    Oh gosh. Berated by someone

    Oh gosh. Berated by someone whose world philosophies seem to be stolen from Hallmark's recent line of greeting cards. Guess I'll go off and cry now.

    Hang out here if you want, Lissa, you might learn something. I don't read your blog, but maybe after some exposure to people with some common courtesy (we aren't actually posting on your blog about the general vacuousness of the subject matter) and common sense (we see Fred Thompson for the statesman manque he is), your content will begin to improve. Best of luck with that, hon.

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