Senator Fred Thompson is taking formal steps toward a presidential bid.

USA Today says he will be officially running after July 4th. The Times has a blog article on him.

Is this good news or bad news for the Republican Party?
Will he hurt Mitt, McCain or Rudy more?
If he wins the nomination, can this conservative beat the three leading Democrats?

Can he win and what kind of president will he be?


For a party with a history of railing against Hollywood elites, the GOP sure seems to like the idea of having an actor as president. Or governor. It’s tempting to point and laugh, but recall what happened with Reagan…

I think he absolutely can win, and I think he’ll make a president more detestable than George junior.

He denies global warming, he denies the logic of the separation of church and state, he thinks guns make communities safe, and he staunchly opposes a realistic and progressive immigration policy.

The guy’s a total douche.

I don’t see what’s so funny about the idea; Thompson would certainly be preferable to some of the other conservative Republican candidates out there. Despite his anti-science views on some of the subjects that Mosier noted.

I suppose it might be funny to see some of the Republicans who objected to Barack Obama’s candidacy try to explain why they think Thompson’s record reflects significantly more political experience.

Can you cite any of those claims? If true he is as bad as Brownback. sums up his political positions.

IANAR, but why would it be funny? From wikipedia:

8 years in the Senate compared to 2. I’d say he’s on par with HRC.

Scary, thanks for the link. I was going to review his voting record tonight.

It sound like he should hurt Mitt and McCain more than Rudy. Rudy’s appeal is more to the Liberal/Moderate side of the party. Mitt is courting the Religious side as much as possible. McCain is the most conservative fiscally of the 3.

John Mace, so what do you think of him and how he will change the primaries?


I think he’s exactly what many in the GOP have been waiting for-- a Reagan Republican. I supsect he’d jump in the polls the minute he announced.

The wikipedia link on his political views seemed pretty sloppy to me-- I’d take it with a grain of salt. Wikipedia is great for hard facts and science articles, but it can read like an editorial when discussing political opinions. I’d prefer to see some position statements he has issued himself. Does he have a web site yet? I looked around and couldn’t find one.

An actor certainly has an advantage when going for the top spot. Not that Thompson projects any Reaganesque charisma, but he does project some gravitas. He looks like a president. Not bad-looking, either, for a guy his age.

Everybody over at Free Republic is clamoring for him to run. He’s the right wing’s Al Gore, at this point.

He would definitely be the Law and Order candidate!

Someone had to say it…

I beg to differ. He may be a man of principle and a sincere conservative and all the other things his followers want him to be, but looks-wise, the guy is uglier than a baboon’s butt. He looks like a bizarre hybrid of Richard Nixon and Charlie McCarthy. The first time I saw a photo of him in the news, my first reaction was “That guy made a living as an actor?!!?”

I wouldn’t let that bias me against Thompson as a candidate, of course, but based on the issues I don’t think he’d be my preferred candidate no matter how good-looking he was.

I’m not in a position to judge how good looking another man is, but what I get from FT is that he looks like a guys who should be in charge. He’s got that “boss” look about him. Kinda the opposite of Dennis Kucinich, who looks like he should be studying in a library somewhere. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Yes, I’d agree that while Thompson may be butt-ugly, he’s butt-ugly in a visually authoritative, commanding sort of way. And you’re right that Kucinich’s ugliness is different from Thompson’s, although I would have described Kucinich’s look more as the “earnest policy-wonk bureaucrat” than “bookwormish library-haunting academic”.

Not according to Wikipedia: he’s a sceptic. As am I

Care to address his claim? As a non-American, I find it interesting.

So do I. So do many people.

Not according to the article cited by Wiki:

Given you’ve outright misrepresented him twice, I think we can safely ignore your opinion.

Well, I meant “not bad-looking” in a scowling-bulldog kinda way. Basically what John said.

The really “uglier than a baboon’s butt” actors never get far in the business and certainly don’t get on national TV shows. The ugliest A-list actor you can think of is probably good-looking compared to five of the next ten people you’ll pass on a city street.

There might be some important difference between an atheist and an agnostic (a point debated endlessly here), but there is no practical difference between a global-warming denier and a global-warming skeptic. Especially WRT a politician.

It is not a fact, though it is often asserted by the religious right, that the Framers were protecting the church from the state and not the other way around. The First Amendment was meant to work both ways, with emphasis the reverse of what Thompson alleges. Here’s a good article on the subject. Here’s another, deconstructing Marvin Olasky (and the author of the review is actually a conservative Catholic).

Guns make communities safer when and only when the police are the only ones who have them. One reason (there are also cultural and economic reasons, I’m sure) why there is so much less violent crime in Japan or the UK than here.

“Securing our borders” might be necessary but it is not even the first step in a realistic and progressive immigration policy.

He’s an ignoramus on the subject who thinks that, e.g., references to alleged warming on Mars somehow genuinely undercut the credibility of mainstream climate science.

Now mind you, there are many other politicians who are no better than Thompson in this regard. But none of them deserve the noble title of “sceptic” (or “skeptic” as we tend to say here), in the sense of a knowledgeable person who reserves judgement in the face of factual uncertainty. They aren’t even informed enough to be genuinely skeptical.

Certainly: it’s a lie, or at best a deliberate half-truth. The early American legislators were attempting to protect both the church from the state and the state from the church. As we see, for example, in the Constitutional provision that no religious test of any kind may be required for a holder of elective office.

[In preview: and what BG said.]

I don’t think I care to break down the difference between those two stereotypes any further. :slight_smile:

Regarding the wikipedia article on his political views, I’m always skeptical of someone claiming to sum up a person’s views on a particular subject with one or two sound bites. Saying that article lacks depth would be an understatement.

Yeah, but Thompson himself has provided plenty of detail on his moronically shallow and uninformed views on climate change. Here, for example:

If that’s “skepticism”, then the Westboro Baptist Church godhatesfags-dot-com site is a theological commentary on St. Augustine.