Some interesting gossip:
Looks like Fred Thompson really isn't teasing about possibly running for president.
The actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee was spotted having lunch today at the see-and-be-seen Mayflower hotel restaurant with GOP Party guru Ed Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee who has advised and groomed many a successful GOP candidate over the years.
Sources say Thompson, currently of "Law and Order" fame," and Gillespie were locked in a serious conversation, even though they were repeatedly interrupted by conventioneer types - aka, real people - wanting to chat with the actor/politician. No one we spoke with heard the "P" word come out of Thompson's mouth but it appeared the lunch was "intense," according to one source.
Thompson wouldn't be able to hire Gillespie, of Quinn Gillespie and Associates, since Gillespie is chairing the Republican Party of Virginia and, therefore, must remain neutral in the presidential primary. But Gillespie is a friend. The two bonded during the Senate confirmation hearing of now Chief Justice John Roberts - Thompson was Roberts' White House-appointed sherpa; Gillespie was the White House's front man on the confirmation process.
Here's a NY Time article rehashing everything that's been on the web the last couple of weeks :-)
Here's a blog entry at the Washington Post that tries to make the case why Thompson shouldn't run and misstates his pro-life position:
And when he ran for the Senate in 1994, Thompson was routinely described as a supporter of abortion rights. A 1994 story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal described Thompson and his Democratic opponent as "basically pro-choice on abortion," and an Associated Press piece from that same year called Thompson a "pro-choice defender in a party with an anti-abortion tilt."Sorry, you can try but you can't fool us, there is a record of his vote. He has a pro-life voting record when he was in the Senate. Why not state that in the article? It's pretty obvious.
And he even tries to hit Thompson on his marriage:
Thompson's personal life could also raise questions about his social conservative bona fides. He has been married twice, a fact that could well be neutralized by the fact that Giuliani is on his third marriage while McCain has also been married twice. Among the GOP frontrunners, only Romney has been married just once.Years passed before Thompson married again. He didn't leave his wife for his current wife (unlike certain other candidates I could name but won't because this really is a non-issue).
Mona Charen makes the case why Thompson should run.
And Wamp was on Hewitt's show yesterday, he didn't say anything new but it was good to see that Hewitt is finally getting it that there is still time for another candidate to enter the race. Maybe now he will stop saying that it's too late and our only choices are the top three:
HH: Joined now from the great state of Tennessee, Congressman Zach Wamp. Congressman, good to have you on.
ZW: Hey, same to you. Thank you, sir.
HH: Now I asked you to come on, because we’ve got to get to the bottom of this Fred Thompson boom here, and you’re his number one backer up there on the Hill. Tell us what’s going on in the former Senator’s thinking right now.
HH: Now Congressman Wamp, you’ve got obviously a lot of enthusiasm among conservative grass roots out there. But does that become money, because this is a very expensive proposition.
ZW: Well, it is, and you know, in the history of our state, Tennessee’s had a couple of national finance chairmen for the party. Lamar Alexander ran for president and raised $25 million dollars. I believe the apparatus will be in place if Fred Thompson decides for sure to run. I think there’s a very strong chance that that happens. He will be able to raise the money. And frankly, right now, most importantly, he’s in 11 million homes every week with Law And Order right now. He’s doing the Paul Harvey show, which is really a better gig than these other candidates have trying to get their message across right now in terms of talking to the American people at their level. I was in Granger County, Tennessee, yesterday. The Democrat county mayor said to me did you hear Fred Thompson on the Paul Harvey show this morning? And I said no, and he told me almost verbatim everything he said. Well, that’s a pretty good reach when you’re out there in grass roots America, just talking, doing the Paul Harvey show on common sense solutions to our country’s problems. I think he’s getting a whole lot of mileage out of the work that he’s doing right now without raising or spending any political money. And frankly, the people are kind of tired of all the campaign spending, so I think he’ll be able to be strong. He’s got some time, but the interest is there, the need is there, there’s a whole lot of enthusiasm, so Hugh, I think this thing’s really got legs.
HH: Okay, well, we’ve got to get his number from you, because we’ve got to get him on the phone and start talking policies and positions with him. So appreciate your giving us the update, Congressman Wamp, and we’ll continue to check in with you, and hopefully with Fred Thompson as that boomlet continues to build.