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Fred Thompson Takes an Official First Step

Some reports said Fred would file papers on Monday, but he surprised us and filed papers to create a preliminary presidential campaign committee today. And he's got great timing:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Fred Thompson took the first formal step toward a widely expected bid for the presidency, establishing a preliminary campaign committee on Friday.

The "testing the waters" committee allows Thompson--a former Tennessee senator and actor best known for his film and television roles, including as a prosecutor on NBC's "Law & Order"--to raise money, hire staff and gauge support without officially committing to a White House bid and without having to publicly disclose donations or expenditures.

The "Friends of Fred Thompson" committee was incorporated in papers filed with the Secretary of State in Nashville, Tenn., to "promote the potential candidacy of Fred Thompson for the office of president of the United States."

Thompson, 64, a Southern conservative with a right-leaning Senate record, would shake up an already unsettled race for the GOP nomination led by Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Many conservatives have expressed dissatisfaction with the current field of 10 candidates.

By creating the committee now, Thompson, an advocate in the Senate of a campaign finance reform bill requiring greater disclosure of contributions, avoids having to report to the Federal Election Commission his fundraising totals, donor identities or expenditures on July 15. That's the filing deadline for the second quarter of the year, and the top-tier GOP candidates, as well as seven underdog contenders, must abide by it.

Thompson's timing could significantly dampen the fundraising ability of his potential GOP rivals during the homestretch of the second quarter financial reporting period. Donors who otherwise would have contributed to other Republicans, instead, may choose to give to Thompson.

If you think you don't know Fred well enough, be sure to check out IMAO's list of Fred Thompson Facts. Here are a few:

* Fred Thompson has blasted more people in the face with a shotgun than even Dick Cheney.

* The masked executioner of Saddam Hussein: Fred Thompson.

* The reason Fred Thompson didn't want to stay in the Senate for long is because all the extra scrutiny kept him from doing his favorite hobby: Prowling the streets at night killing drug dealers.

* Every night before going to sleep, Osama bin Laden checks under his bed for Fred Thompson.

* The Fremen consider "Fred Thompson" a killing word.

* Fred Thompson reconsidered running for reelection after 9/11 but later decided to handle things on his own. He was soon seen entering the Middle East with a bottle of tequila in one hand an a handgun in the other. They're still counting the dead.

* Though Fred Thompson left the Senate in 2003, Harry Reid still hasn't stopped wetting his pants.

* Fred Thompson once ended a filibuster by ripping out a Senator's heart and showing it to him before he died.

* Only two things can kill Superman: Kryptonite and Fred Thompson.

* Fred Thompson once stood on our south border and glared at Mexico. There was no illegal immigration for a month.

* An abortion doctor tried to kill Fred Thompson when he was still in the womb, but he cut off the man's hand with scalpel while shouting, "Do you know who I am? I'm Fred Thompson!"

* Why does Iran want nuclear weapons? Out of fear of Fred Thompson.

Hat tip: Jonah Goldberg at NRO.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Fred Thompson Takes an Official First Step:

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Thompson To Take First Step Toward '08 Run

» Bill's Bites linked with 2007.06.02 Fred! Roundup

Comments (52)

Where do I donate? <... (Below threshold)

Where do I donate?


I tend to think of myself a... (Below threshold)

I tend to think of myself as a reasonably analytic person.

Found this today... Fred Thompson IS Chuck Norris.
For now it's the top post.

And it was so *fun* that I nearly jumped on the Fred Thompson band wagon unconditionally.

Which gut level instinctive response I am now being analytical about. ;-)

If the GOP rams through Ted... (Below threshold)

If the GOP rams through Ted Kennedy illegal alien amnesty, the GOP could put up Tom Tancredo and I still would vote for their corrupt party let alone Thompson or Romney.

Bush sucks.

Justrand- where can I donat... (Below threshold)

Justrand- where can I donate some gringo bucks?

Tell ya what, if there's a ... (Below threshold)

Tell ya what, if there's a debate next year between Shrillary and Fred...I'm watching and recording.

Oh, go ahead and hat tip NR... (Below threshold)

Oh, go ahead and hat tip NRO why don't you. ;-)

The link I stuck up there goes to the same list eventually. My favorites are...

5. Fred Thompson is the only person to have ever bested Miyamato Mushashi in a duel. The reason Musashi is so vague about the book of the void is because the fifth ring of combat is really Fred Thompson.

15. Fred Thompson once stood on our south border and glared at Mexico. There was no illegal immigration for a month.

Some of the single ones posted to IMAO are really good too.

"The grass is always greener on Fred Thompson's lawn. Always."

"Fred Thompson has a cameo appearance in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He plays the force of nature."

So... I realize that the usual suspects will think this is so... I donno... juvenile or inappropriate or something but *dang*, who cares? But I still want to know why this sort of thing is so very appealing.

"Fred Thompson honors the fallen on Memorial Day by setting fire to hippies. Burn long and hard in their remembrance, you filthy hippies."

Did I get that smiley-winky... (Below threshold)

Did I get that smiley-winky in there prominently enough? (Having trouble with people thinking I'm cross today when I'm not at all.)

<a href="http://truthlaidbe... (Below threshold)
Sorry, Synova, but I really... (Below threshold)

Sorry, Synova, but I really did see the IMAO link at Jonah's article first.

Thompson, an advocate in... (Below threshold)

Thompson, an advocate in the Senate of a campaign finance reform bill requiring greater disclosure of contributions, avoids having to report to the Federal Election Commission his fundraising totals, donor identities or expenditures

Ha! Hypocrisy, thy name is Thompson.

I wonder if he'll charge non-disclosed fees for giving speeches on campaign finance reform.

Poor TOMMY Thompson! (He's ... (Below threshold)

Poor TOMMY Thompson! (He's toast. His surname has been appropriated!)

Fred's a big phoney but I'm glad to see him in the race, if for no other reason than to show Brownback and the excess pro-war candidates the door.
Not that Brownback was anything anyway, but he reminds me too much (with that vapid squinting smile) of George Allen. Plus he applauded when Giuliani played the "offended" card on Ron Paul. The kiss-ass wanker!
Anyway, Tommy Thompson, Brownback, and Gilmore won't be long for the race now.

And though Thompson will play the border security card, his neocon roots will show and will betray the Machiavellian war pig role he has been hired to play. And neocons wanted an open border before they didn't want one. Check the archives.

Bonus: FT will siphon neocon-centric votes from McCain; another plus! (buh'bye!)

The Dims appear terrified t... (Below threshold)

The Dims appear terrified that the apolitical moderates they need to win will go to Thompson instead of Hillary.

bryanD, Wrong again. Fred w... (Below threshold)

bryanD, Wrong again. Fred won't siphon votes from 'I was a POW' (the only thing he's ever had going for him=pity) McCain. McCain has so few votes he's being used by someone in the democrat party because he is a democrat. Can't you smell the skunk scent on him?

<a href="http://www.salon.c... (Below threshold)
Just the kind of sleazy law... (Below threshold)
Is our children learning?:

Just the kind of sleazy lawyerthat Republicans love to admire; the one who did his damndest to obfuscate and derail unmasking of Nixon's violations of the Constitution. Now all the Repubs who have so much admiration for the Constitution can rejoice that they have the lawyer who worked desperately in an attempt to save Nixon from justice, which in your hearts, you know you always wanted, not unlike the OJ jury wanted to free the murderer.

Sort of reminds one of sleazy lawyer tactics used by lawyers like Johnny Cockroach who enabled OJ's escape from justice.

Do I detect a sound of fear... (Below threshold)

Do I detect a sound of fear in our comrades from the left? Naw they can't make any sound with their tail between their legs.

I love it.All the ... (Below threshold)

I love it.

All the moronic Lefties are crawling out of the woodwork to try and slam Fred Thompson. Awesome.

Pretty much puts the stamp of APPROVAL on Fred for me!!

jhow66, our comrades are ab... (Below threshold)

jhow66, our comrades are about to go into personal attack overdrive! And not just here...EVERYWHERE!

Pass the popcorn!

That's a smackdown? Accusi... (Below threshold)

That's a smackdown? Accusing Fred of picking on the nerd in the corner, the "nerd" being... Michael Moore?

All Greenwald really does is show that he doesn't understand why people find Fred appealing. (Or Giuliani, or...)

I mean, look, I know that the list of "Fred Facts" are a silly fantasy. I don't need someone to get all analytical about that. I thought that Fred's "smackdown" of Moore was inspired, not to mention professionally... uber... obviously using Moore's own claim to fame, overtly even, showing that at Moore's own profession Moore is a mere wanna-be pretender.

That someone sees it as childish seems to me to display a serious lack of... nuance applied to comprehension.

I understand, in a self-analytical way, that Fred is appealing to something... wishful, almost make believe. I want to start skipping around singing the depression era campaign songs from "Oh, Brother Where Art Thou." Look on the Sunny side... la la la... always on the sunny side. *skip* *skip* *skip*.

And I ask myself how important is joy? How important is optimism? We've had eight years of a president who is fundamentally incapable of inspiration. Yes, the opposite of that is appealing.

I realize that some people just aren't happy unless everyone is suitably miserable and depressed about the future. Frankly, they can just go be depressed without me.

Incidentally, that's what I... (Below threshold)

Incidentally, that's what I liked about Giuliani, too.

He seems optimistic.

What's this I hear about a ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

What's this I hear about a FRED THOMPSON SCANDAL brewing? It's just a rumor but has anybody else heard anything about a FRED THOMPSON SCANDAL? I'm sure all this talk of a FRED THOMPSON SCANDAL will turn out to be nothing.

The last time I saw this mu... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

The last time I saw this much excitement about a candidate who is a totally unknown quantity was Ross Perot in '92.

And I suspect it will end just as badly.

And no, I certainly don't fear his candidacy. His campaign strategy of releasing snippets on the internet shows me that he's really not very anxious to find himself in unscripted situations.

Well, certainly unscripted ... (Below threshold)

Well, certainly unscripted situations are a big issue.

I don't know why you'd think he'd do poorly in them though.

"McCain has so few votes he... (Below threshold)

"McCain has so few votes he's being used by someone in the democrat party because he is a democrat. Can't you smell the skunk scent on him?

Posted by: Scrapiron"

Close enough for government work! I still think Giuliani is a more effective Dem (open borders = quasi-Dem = lose to REAL Dem in the General election) stalking horse. And McCain's likely collaboration in N Vietnam will be used on Giuliani's behalf (I'll bet) this time. The neocons need a STRONG war candidate which will require consolidation. A pro-war candidate as each parties nominee is the Game. McCain will probably be last to know that he's Out. He'll probably punch somebody.

Wow, I've never seen so man... (Below threshold)

Wow, I've never seen so many conservatives posting "since liberals are posting in response to this, they must be scared" in a thread before. That must mean that conservatives are scared!

Brian...your dosage needs t... (Below threshold)

Brian...your dosage needs to be increased or decreased. Don't know which...I just know it isn't working!

President Fred Thompson. Get used to it

I thought that Fred's "s... (Below threshold)

I thought that Fred's "smackdown" of Moore was inspired

"Inspired"??? Thompson told Moore he belongs in a mental institution. I used to tell people that too... then I turned 8.

Regardless of whether you want to high-five Thompson over that zinger, it's by no means either presidential or professional.

President Fred Thompson.... (Below threshold)

President Fred Thompson. Get used to it

LOL! And I'm supposedly the delusional one!

If every liberal sat out election day 2008, Thompson would still not be elected. Get used to it.

Thompson's biggest shortcom... (Below threshold)

Thompson's biggest shortcominmg is a poor work ethic. Anyone who invests time or money into his campaign will soon discover that he won't put in the effort required to win.

I'm certainly not endorsing him, but only Mitt Romney is moving up in the polls according to Rasmussen right now. He's willing to work hard enough to try to win at least.

Paul H: "Thompson's bigg... (Below threshold)

Paul H: "Thompson's biggest shortcominmg is a poor work ethic"

Damn...wish I'd known BEFORE I wrote that big check!

Seriously Paul...where DO you come with this "stuff"??

"Thompson told Moore he bel... (Below threshold)

"Thompson told Moore he belongs in a mental institution."

If that's the only thing you think he told him, then you don't get it, do you.

He told Moore that Moore would *be* in a mental institution if he dared to do what he does in America, in Cuba.

Salient point, no?

As well as the fact that the person he admires so much is antithetical to freedom of thought and expression.

Not to mention that a "good" medical system isn't used to punish dissidents.

And Moore's huge upset about the cigars... he didn't even *say* anything about that but sent a message by conspicuously chewing on one. The message basically a "whoops, you missed."

And Moore's forte. Manipulating video. The mode of reply was a message, too. To anyone who doesn't think Moore is god's gift, it showed a master at work responding to a hack.

And for those with low humor... he said that Moore should be in a mental institution.

Yes, "inspired" works.

I don't know where Paul get... (Below threshold)

I don't know where Paul gets the idea that Fred wants to avoid unscripted situations or has a poor work ethic.

Could be. But I don't know where he gets that idea. Where do you get that idea, Paul?

Is our children learning?</... (Below threshold)

Is our children learning?

Just the kind of sleazy lawyer that Republicans love to admire;

Somebody remind me who runs within the top three in the dem party at the moment. You know the rich sleezebag whose wife hates the Rep neighbor just because he is and loves "bumper stickers."

Is our children learning, if you think that was a smackdown I suspect you would be cowering under the covers at the slightest hint a fly was in the room.

Oops... sorry that's jp2 th... (Below threshold)

Oops... sorry that's jp2 that cowers at the sight of a fly in the room.

jp2:Beware: di... (Below threshold)


Beware: dissonance and smackdown ahead

For once you're correct.

Too bad you made a complete fool of yourself in the process.

You really need to watch what company you keep and what link you link.

Justrand and Synova, there ... (Below threshold)

Justrand and Synova, there is always a certain amount of "buzz" from those who personally work with politicians that defines them. And Thompson's "buzz" is his weak work ethic, which some say has been the same since his high school days. He only stayed with the senate for one term, never really authored any real significant piece of legislation and is only a bit actor on LAW & ORDER. Nothing in his career yet proves a tireless sense of drive.

I'm not a fan of either, but so far only Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton have proven a tireless work ethic to do what it takes to at least win. Even Barack Obama began to decline after his weak and largely unprepared Democratic debate performance. Put Thompson on a stage with others who at least are in touch with current legislation and Thompson probably crumbles fast.

Thompson's a character on TV, not really a serious candidate for the highest office in the land. Even his petty attacks on an easy target like Michael Moore prove little real effort to spend his time in explaining or understanding complex issues. He needs to prove better than that to match the other 10 GOP hopefuls or will likely fade fast.

It is all about packaging a... (Below threshold)

It is all about packaging and presentation. Both of which Thompson has much experience. I have heard also that he absolutely hates campaigning but I also think if he is committed to this race, he will follow through with the effort.

The lefties are in a dither about this one. An already popular guy who I predict will take the senior voters in Florida. The lefty papers are already writing articles about how he is just an actor and doesn't have much in the thought department. Just what the media tried to do to Reagan. All and all, this one will be interesting to watch. Since I am a very firm immigration issue voter, the person that gets my vote is the one that secures the borders FIRST. ww

He can't do any worse than ... (Below threshold)

He can't do any worse than the corrupt Bush administration....

Freddy: The Great White Do... (Below threshold)
Is our children learning?:

Freddy: The Great White Dope!

Paul, the "buzz" is that he... (Below threshold)

Paul, the "buzz" is that he doesn't like to campaign. That, to me, is a plus. People like McCain and Mrs. Bill Clinton like to campaign because it strokes their egos. Thompson has been in Hollywood long enough to be over the ego-boo stuff.

Thompson pros:

He is not a consummate politician, he is a working man with a breadth of experience both in and out of government. Few of the other candidates from either party can make that claim.

He is bright and has an excellent grasp of the issues. His commentary, his Senate votes (except for M/F which he now regrets) attest to this as well.

He is courageous. His stand on the border demonstrates this.

His is an articulate communicator. 8 years of Bush have demonstrated why this is a key attribute for a president.

He is from the South which makes him electable.

He has a sense of humor (the primary reason he did the Moore smackdown was to demonstrate this).

His votes demonstrate that he is fairly consistent in his ideology (except for M/F). NONE of the other leading candidates from either party have this attribute going for them.

He is charismatic in a down-to-earth sort of way (as opposed to Obama's plastic manner or Bill Clinton's phoney one).

He exudes "leader" not compromiser.

"the one who did his dam... (Below threshold)

"the one who did his damndest to obfuscate and derail unmasking of Nixon's violations of the Constitution. Now all the Repubs who have so much admiration for the Constitution can rejoice that they have the lawyer who worked desperately in an attempt to save Nixon from justice, ..."

Is our children learning? Obviously you are as ignorant as your name. You might actually try to get your facts straight before you make such a remark. Fred Thompson was not involved in obfucating Nixon's corruption.

Thompson is credited with the famous question, "What did the President know and when did he know it?" and "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?"

Those are hardly examples of somebody trying to obfuscate and derail the unmasking of Nixon's violations. There is a reason that those lines are so famous because they were the tipping point in the investigation. The discovery of listening devices in the Oval office ultimately lead to Nixon's resignation.

I also suggest you rent the movie Marie, which is an early Erin Brokovich type movie. About a woman and her attorney who go on to take down a corrupt Governor. In the movie Fred Dalton Thompson plays Marie's attorney, who in real life by the way was a guy named Fred Dalton Thompson.

Paul Hooson:He ..... (Below threshold)

Paul Hooson:
He ... never really authored any real significant piece of legislation

Is that the where the bar for qualification is set ?

What significant legislation did the '04 Democrat Presidential author ? What significant legislation have the top would-be Democrat candidates for '08 pass through Congress ?

Beeblebrox and _Mike, I jus... (Below threshold)

Beeblebrox and _Mike, I just don't expect in the long run for Thompson to really put in the effort required for a serious run for the presidency. True, he has many fans. But they'll have to do most of the heavy lifting for his campaign.

In the long run, I expect those who want the nomination the most, which is Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton to probably prevail unless a majority of voters can block either from their party nomination.

Many Republican voters are looking for a new Reagan or at least someone to get excited about because the current 10 candidates seem to all have some weakness among their base. The Democrats are faced with Hillary, who many voters do not like, but enough weakness and questions about both Obama and Edwards to keep them from becoming the top choice. But since Romney and Clinton want it the most, my best guess is that each one eventually wins their party nomination.

Inspirational speaker, Rev. Robert Schuller has long stated that passion will beat talent everytime. And only Hillary and Romney look to me like they're willing to put in enough effort to win it all. My best guess is that Thompson may attract some conservatives, but only becomes an also ran in this 2008 race.

Thompson is a great speaker, and his tough bulldoglike persona appeals to some voters. But without a real passion to devote 110% to win this two year marathon for the presidency, Thompson very likely comes up short in the end.

Quote by Glenn Greenwald fr... (Below threshold)

Quote by Glenn Greenwald from a link previously posted: "...filmed a forty-second You Tube video where he smoked a cigar and told Moore to check into a mental hospital." This is misinformation because Fred Thompson never said this to Michael Noore. He completely missed the point Thompson was making to Moore.

Paul, I agree on the passio... (Below threshold)

Paul, I agree on the passion issue but in reverse. I believe Romney and Clinton have the talent to maneuver the political field. They do it effortlessly. Thompson has the passion of doing and saying what is right, at least at this point in the race/non race. ww

Quite right, LAB.H... (Below threshold)

Quite right, LAB.

He (Fred) pointed out that Castro sent pesky documentary film makers to mental hospitals. This is the Castro that Moore was praising and defending in such a gushy way. And he says, mental hospital, mike, you should think about that. (If I've got that right from memory.)

But of course the fact that everyone's favorite hero, Castro, deals with documentary film makers by sticking them in a mental facility and burning out their brain isn't *important*. It's only important that Fred implied that Moore needed mental care.

Castro is still a hero.

"Thompson is credited wi... (Below threshold)
Is our children learning?:

"Thompson is credited with the famous question, 'What did the President know and when did he know it?' and 'Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?'"Eric

Sorry Eric, but you are an example of the sort of fool who gobbles up the superficial w/o knowing anything about the background to the story.

The Watergate attorney for the majority, Scott Armstrong, was the attorney who asked the question of Butterfield in pre-testimony interviews.

And it was the fraud slime lawyer for the Senate minority, Freddy Thompson, who posed the question during the Watergate televised hearings: "Far from a surprise attack by Thompson, this question had already been answered by Butterfield the previous Friday, during questioning by investigators of the minority and majority staffs. By Monday, even the White House had been prepped for the revelation; Thompson had phoned White House counsel Fred Buzhardt over the weekend to inform him the committee knew about the tapes. After some debate, it had been decided that Thompson would ask the key question during the televised hearings as a show of the Republicans' commitment to uncovering the truth. This was typical Thompson, says former Watergate investigator Scott Armstrong. "All of the investigating was done in private, then Thompson would try to set it up so that if there was a kill [during the"

So what you have, Eric, is a slimey, posturing, deceitful hack lawyer attempting to create a false impression that the minority counsel had ferreted out the killer testimony.

As for the other question re Nixon's knowledge and when did he know it, that is a classical example of obfuscation to the extent that even though Nixon had some of the Watergate knowledge, ( thanks to his counsel John Dean) Nixon wasn't guilty of anything due to the "when that he knew it." That question was never intended to uncover anything apart from an exculpication for Nixon.

You are the fool who knows little of the history of the Watergate era and you are simple-minded enough to have swallowed the Thompson posturing.
hook, line and sinker.

continuation of the 2nd quo... (Below threshold)
Is our children learning?:

continuation of the 2nd quote above from Scott Armstrong: " he'd look like he[Thompson] was in on it"

He told Moore that Moore... (Below threshold)

He told Moore that Moore would *be* in a mental institution if he dared to do what he does in America, in Cuba.

"A mental institution, Michael. Might be something you ought to think about."

You must have been watching a different video.

"You must have been watchin... (Below threshold)

"You must have been watching a different video."

Apparently, since the one you watched didn't have the part before what you quoted.

you people can't seriously ... (Below threshold)

you people can't seriously believe fred thompson will be the next president. not. going. to. happen.

Republicans: Even more deluded now than ever.

Your party is self-destructing. Welcome to armageddon. you can thank your exalted leader Bush for this. you guys might want to think about this next time you support complete idiots into whatever folly they want to lead you.

Heh... this from someone wh... (Below threshold)

Heh... this from someone who's party nominated John Kerry and couldn't even win when people *wanted* an alternative to Bush.







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