Friday, March 16, 2007

With Fred Thompson in the running for GOP nominee, this 1996 article from the Washington Monthly may be old enough to be current again. Thanks you Google and for bringing it to me.

This lack of a central passion could pose a problem if the GOP plans to cast Thompson in the role of president. "Reagan was passionate about defense," notes Kopp. "Even if you disagreed with his military spending, you knew it stemmed from his core passion of wanting to protect our country. Thompson doesn't seem passionate about anything except being Ol' Erred. If he wants to hold national office and be another Ronald Reagan Republican, he's got to find a core"

Such criticism is ironic, considering that Thompson makes this exact observation about Richard Nixon in At That Point In Time: "[In Nixon,] I could find no underlying philosophy by which all things could be measured. In the end, I think that this, more than any other factor, caused his undoing. There was no anchor there; there were no roots"

Assuming Thompson can define his philosophy, he still lacks one other vital asset for a presidential candidate: a wife. In this age of family values, the GOP would have a hard time painting a single divorce as the epitome of Norman Rockwell Americana. And word has it Thompson's charm works as well on the ladies as it does with the voters. A friend of his notes that "there's been a long line of women" in the decade since Thompson's divorce, including a semi-serious relationship with country music singer Lorrie Morgan. Says Sen. Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Judiciary Committee on which Thompson sits, "Really lovely women just seem to like Fred"

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