Thursday, August 02, 2007

Novak defends Thompson's wife

He writes a pretty good defense against the charges of her being a "trophy wife."

Speaking at his $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington on Monday night, Fred Thompson began by introducing "my campaign manager -- oh, I mean my wife." That little joke about Jeri Thompson reveals how the prospective Republican presidential candidate regards the attack on his intelligent, beautiful wife.

As the actor-lawyer-politician nears his long-awaited official announcement, Mrs. Thompson is slurred as a "trophy wife" -- privately by her husband's opponents for the Republican nomination and publicly by the media.


After working for the Senate Republican Conference and the Republican National Committee, she became a big-time political media consultant in Washington. She has been intimately involved in the planning of her husband's campaign, including last week's staff shakeup. When Tom Collamore left as Thompson's campaign manager, he told CNN that he was "very respectful of the desire of Fred and Jeri to make some changes as they move to the next level." Those comments generated whispers in the political community that whoever ran this campaign would have to answer to the candidate's wife.

Actually, Collamore is a former bureaucrat and tobacco lobbyist with vastly less political experience than Mrs. Thompson has. Not even Collamore's friends could conceive of him running a national campaign. Indeed, Fred Thompson's close associates maintain that there was no chance he would be a candidate for president were he not married to Jeri. He tells friends that he abandoned what seemed to be a promising campaign for the 1996 nomination because he did not feel he could manage that endeavor as a single man.