Sunday, April 1, 2007

Fred Thompson

Okay, I'm a bit confused by the GOP's sudden love for Fred Thompson. Wasn't this the senator who started off so promisingly, delivering the response to Clinton's 1995 State of the Union Address, and then disappointed Republican leaders by embracing campaign finance reform and suggesting that the Senate should investigate wrongdoing in both parties? And now he's being seen as the great conservative hope for 2008?

I've got nothing against Thompson, mind you. I think he's a better D.A. on "Law & Order" than Dianne Weist was, although no one could beat Steven Hill. And Thompson's not a bad actor. Not a great one, mind you, but he is an actor who can competently play the same entertaining character over and over again. You know, like Reagan, or Eastwood, or Schwarzenegger, or any successful actor-turned-Republican-politician. (Are there others? One can only hope.) And he's also got reasonable credentials as a candidate, since he's pretty conservative in both the cultural and economic sense without sounding like a wacko. (This was supposed to be Mike Huckabee's strength, but apparently the Club for Growth thinks he raised taxes too many times as governor. i.e.: at least once.)

But it seems to me that Thompson's rising stature suggests more about the weakness of the current GOP presidential field than about anything that he brings to the table. Slate offers the kind of advertising we may shortly see.

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