Patterico's Pontifications


Fred Thompson, 1942-2015

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:06 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Farewell to Fred Thompson, lawyer-turned-actor-turned-politician who was one of the wittiest minds in Washington. Elected to serve out Al Gore’s term in the Senate in 1994, he won reelection two years later and served a full term before retiring in 2002. He ran for President in 2008, quickly establishing himself (along with Mike Huckabee) as the candidate with the best off-the-cuff — and perhaps sometimes rehearsed — quips:

In the Age of Obama, Thompson settled into the role as a Republican party elder statesman while quietly battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma with stoicism and dignity. All the while, he kept up a steady stream of posts on Twitter and Facebook most of which ranged from the clever to the hilarious, and specialized in poking fun at progressive sacred cows. Here was his final tweet from a month ago, unloading on Virgin’s pompous CEO Richard Branson:

He was an accomplished gentleman, successful in all of his endeavors. He was by all accounts a kind and friendly man, easygoing and quick with a smile. And he was a principled and honest conservative who would have made a fine President back when that office required a higher level of seriousness than it does today.

Rest in peace.


17 Responses to “Fred Thompson, 1942-2015”

  1. And he was a damn fine actor too with that sonorous voice and hang-dog expression. Kind of like a Southern version of the late, great character actor John Vernon.

    JVW (738b08)

  2. Than you for this post, JVW. Thompson deserves to be remembered.

    felipe (56556d)

  3. But, but … how can that be a Presidential Debate – the candidates are being asked relevant questions ?

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  4. Wikipedia is claiming that his given name is actually Freddie Dalton Thompson. I’m trying to confirm that. The obit in the Nashville paper says he was called “Freddie” as a boy, but they don’t indicate that this is his actual name. He married for the first time at age 17 and he has grade-school-age children with this second wife — what an interesting and full life he led!

    JVW (738b08)

  5. RIP

    mg (31009b)

  6. I met him on an NRO cruise in 2008 after the election. He had a gorgeous wife and two cute small children. His first wife died, I think in 2003, and he was a bachelor for a few years in DC. I think his young wife may have persuaded him to run but he would have been an excellent president.

    He was a rare example of “The man who could ride the horse and who did not have the fire in the belly.” That was a description of Eisenhower as the only president of that sort. Alan Greenspan also said Jerry Ford was the only president he met who was a “normal man.” Fred would have been the second.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  7. What a man he was. God bless him.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. Does this mean we won’t see his commercials any more?

    beni (9b7a1f)

  9. Good man–I always had the sense that he really didn’t necessarily *want* to be President, but when people started putting his name up for it he felt obliged to go along with it until it became clear that it wasn’t in the cards. Which gives him a lot in common with any number of prominent US citizens who never became President, and is certainly nothing to speak ill of him about.

    Godspeed, Mr. Thompson.

    M. Scott Eiland (9fd59f)

  10. Perry – you are a small pathetic person.

    JD (34f761)

  11. Gawker (and I won’t link to that sewer of social justice warrior losers) apparently had a typically vile headline announcing his death. That’s probably more Perry’s speed.

    JVW (738b08)

  12. I heard a speech by him in 2006-7 or so and was very impressed, he would have been my prefered choice.

    MD in Philly (not in Philly, and out and about) (4a071b)

  13. He was easy to listen to. Mark Steyn has this to say about him:

    Steyn also has this 2010 link to a series of U-Tube videos made before a Canadian audience that features Mark, Howard Dean, and Senator Thompson following the Tea Party election:

    There are six segments, and they are all worth listening to. It is remarkable how reasonable Dean can sound when he’s performing for an audience that can’t vote for him. But even so, he was an advocate for the wonders that the second round of QE would do for our economy.

    Fred’s cup started off 1/16th full (because he was an optimist,) but by the close the discussion he was at 1/20th full. He knew what was going on, and he recognized that this was going to be a long struggle. Watching him in this discussion, I have a sense that he know his prognosis.

    His family should be very proud of him.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  14. #13: … knew his prognosis … My flub.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  15. My understanding is he had a form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma called Nodal Marginal Zone Lymphoma. It is an incurable but indolent (slow-developing) forms of cancer, which is consistent with reports that he was diagnosed in 2007. I don’t know what his symptoms were but my guess is they included hemolytic anemia and fatigue.

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. Thompson was the prototypical example of a public servant who’d have made a great President, but for the fact that he lacked the fire in the belly to actually win the job. He was a class act and a great American. RIP.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  17. Fred got his real “Come To Jesus” moment, and Jesus said, “Welcome good friend.”

    PCD (39058b)

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