Will Fred Thompson be the next Ronald Reagan switching gears from actor to president? One was enough in my opinion, but Thompson, it is reported is testing the waters and considering entering the ’08 presidential race. Thompson, I will note is also a former U.S. Senator.
His interest, confirmed in a brief interview this week, is generating buzz in Washington. He was third among Republican-leaning voters in a recent Gallup-USA Today survey, behind Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and ahead of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The onetime senator from Tennessee is known to many Americans for playing New York District Attorney Arthur Branch on “Law & Order” and an admiral in the film “The Hunt for Red October.” But his real-life record as a no-nonsense lawmaker who also served as the minority counsel to the Senate Watergate committee is appealing to party activists dissatisfied with the current crop of Republican hopefuls.
“He has a conservative bearing and a conservative presence, but he’s independent in his thinking and his voting record,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who added that Thompson is “seriously considering” a presidential campaign at the urging of many friends. “He has a commanding television presence that makes every other politician in America jealous.”
Thompson’s “face is seen daily in millions of homes,” Michael D. Shear notes in the WaPo, “and his character on “Law & Order” exudes the kind of blunt-spoken, get-it-done leadership that voters tell pollsters they crave.” My response to that is that pollsters need to remember, “It’s only a movie,” or in this case a TV show.