If Fred Thompson runs for President — something that appears to be a distinct possiblility — what will be the prime Democratic talking point against him? I see two:
- He acted on a TV show while he was a sitting U.S. Senator:
U.S. Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) has begun work as an actor on Law and Order for the fall season, even before his current term ends at the end of the year, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Wednesday). “It may be without precedent for a sitting U.S. senator to have a regular part in a dramatic TV program,” the Times observed. A spokesman for Sen. Thompson said that “his commitment to the Senate would be foremost” until his term ends. The senate is currently on Labor Day recess.
Even though he did his TV work during recesses, you can count on the Dems sniping about how he still owed the public a commitment to do the work of the country, etc. etc. etc. Count on it. There will be endless debates about what other Senators do during their recesses, and whether it’s all Senate-related. I can hardly wait . . .
- He has been a prominent supporter of Scooter Libby’s. He helped raise funds for Libby and denounced Fitzgerald’s prosecution as a “travesty.”
I think the Libby thing is the only one that might stick. I don’t think the public would fault Thompson for doing acting work during a recess. But the Libby thing will be guilt by association with the one high-ranking Bush official convicted of felonies. Not good. This may actually earn Thompson points with hardline conservatives, like readers of this blog, but I’m not sure how well it will play with the public at large.