For some strange reason, the supposed conservative savior is Fred Thompson. Thompson is an oddball – I knew he’d been a Senator (in fact, I indirectly know a guy who worked for him), but recognized him a lot more from his work as an actor. (Mainly playing politicians and lawyers and whatnot.) Apparently, from everything you read, he’s what the Republican candidates have largely been lacking – someone with impeccable conservative credentials, and the charm factor to lull independents and Democrats over to the dark side. (I joke. OK, no I don’t.)
Or..maybe not. Thompson more and more looks like he’s not much worse than Mitt Romney, who most seem to think will say just about anything to get elected. Thompson is politically minded enough that during the Watergate hearings, he leaked information to the White House that the Oval Office tapes were becoming public information.
The day before Senate Watergate Committee minority counsel Fred Thompson made the inquiry that launched him into the national spotlight -- asking an aide to President Nixon whether there was a White House taping system -- he telephoned Nixon's lawyer.
"Thompson was a mole for the White House," Armstrong said in an interview. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was."
By the way, this is all documented in Thompson’s autobiography. This is something he’s pretty proud of.
Now, apparently he either is more pro-choice than he says most of the time, or he was willing to lobby for something he didn’t believe in.
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred D. Thompson, who is campaigning for president as a "pro-life" Republican, accepted a lobbying assignment from a family-planning group to persuade the first Bush White House to ease a controversial abortion restriction, according to a 1991 document and five people familiar with the matter.
This story is from the LA Times, and a document and five people confirming this seems substantive enough. Thompson is apparently saying this is flat-out untrue. It’s an interesting tactic…and if Judy Miller wrote the article, maybe I’d believe him.
This quote from the article tells me all I need to know, however:
On Fox News last month, he was asked why he checked a box on a questionnaire in his 1994 Senate campaign beside a statement saying that abortion "should be legal in all circumstances for the first three months."
"I don't remember that box," he said. "You know, it was a long time ago, and I don't know if I filled it out or my staff, based on what they thought my position was, filled it out."
So, he’s either disinterested enough in his own opinions not to see what he’s being held to in a debate, or he’s throwing his old staffers under the bus. Add this to the story about his renting a beatup truck to drive up to events for his 1994 campaign, then ditching it around the block to jump into his luxury sedan…and you have one career politician.
Wouldn’t it at least be nice to have someone in there with conviction? Most off the major candidates – Thompson, McCain, Giuliani, Clinton and Romney – would be hard pressed to truly prove they believe everything they say. Obama and Edwards…maybe. This doesn’t mean that they actually do, but so far they seem more convincing in that regard, especially Obama, at least to me.
Anyhow, this has been a long way of saying, “Fred Thompson is a phony.” And if he is the conservative savior, then so be it.