As many know by now, Mr. Thompson has been made a bit uncomfortable recently by a blogger who has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission. Lane Hudson filed a complaint that alleges Thompson has violated the FEC law regarding candidates for office called the ‘testing the waters’ clause. If you spend more than $5,000 on campaign activities, you're a candidate, whether or not you've officially declared. Within five days of receiving the complaint, the FEC must notify the Thompson exploratory committee and provide it with a copy of the complaint. An AP article states: "The law prohibits anyone who is 'testing the waters' from hoarding the money for use during his actual campaign. Potential candidates also cannot refer to themselves as candidates, can't run ads that publicize their intention to campaign or take steps to qualify for the ballot in a primary or caucus state."
Well, it seems Fred is going to have to explain himself to at least the FEC. This is a good thing to me, no one should be able to play coy AND take in millions in contributions. He has raised, according to the AP article linked above, at least $3.5 million so far and only spent a paltry $625K. That might be construed as hording, right? Thompson has 15 days to get his story straight for the FEC. I doubt that they will accept the answer our coy boy Fred gives to the Media, which is, he is "testing the water, and the water's warm."
The money Fred has raised is small potatoes compared to the likes of Obama, Clinton and the top 3 republican candidates. This might signal that Fred isn’t quite the charmer he is touted to be in the press. Add to that fact another staffer has left his campaign..er..his non-campaign and this brings the total to 4 that have either been demoted, fired or quit on ol’ Freddy so far..and he hasn’t even announced! His list of new hires is quite legendary however:
John And Jim McLaughlin as pollsters
Tim Griffin As Communications And Message Advisor.
Todd Zeigler As Part Of eCamapaign Team
Former Chief Speechwriter For Attorney General John Ashcroft, Ed McFadden As “Adviser.”
Former Senate leader and White House chief of staff Howard Baker
Former FOX producer Jim Mills
Thompson is supposed to represent the so far unrepresented southern conservative base. Hooking up with Howard Baker supports that assertion made in the press since Baker is the ‘godfather’ of southern conservatism. The other assertion made by the media is that Thompson represents the Reagan ‘aura’ reincarnated. I don’t know about that one my dear reader, but the media is sure playing it up as witnessed by this article entitled; Is Fred Thompson another Reagan? Hopefully people are considering more than the fact that both men were actors. As the article points out the obvious for us:
Both men come across as strong, authoritative figures on stage and screen. Their speaking voices are fluent and resonant, though vastly different. Reagan's was smooth, mellow, grandfatherly. Thompson's is deep, gruff, sometimes gravelly. Both men were blessed with the gift of gab and a flair for spinning a good yarn.
But the times are much different now than they were back in the days of Ronnie Ray-guns. There is a recession heading our way possibly with the housing debacle..a war that is highly unpopular with the majority of Americans regardless of party affiliation just to name to of the biggest issues. Reagan enjoyed a high popularity among voters and the times were good in the first administration. There was, true to republican form..the Iran-Contra coverup however. But enough on Ronnie..back to Freddie. David Johnson, a political consultant has this view of the Thompson/Reagan connection:
“Reagan was also the eternal optimist and, like Franklin D. Roosevelt, used his speeches to raise people's spirits. "That was Reagan's whole persona," Johnson said. "That's what his greatness was, very much like Jack Kennedy. Thompson, on the other hand, is more a 'just-the-facts' type of person. He doesn't lift to the oratorical lengths that Reagan or Roosevelt did or even Bill Clinton did."
As evidence, Johnson cited a speech that Thompson gave to a group of Republicans last May. Some complained that the address, Thompson's first as a prospective presidential candidate, was disappointing.
Lets not forget Freddie’s job during the Watergate Affair. Nixon, on those infamous tapes, referred to Thompson as "dumb as hell" but "friendly." Somehow I don’t see Fred as dumb, but I do think of him as typically smarmy ala most republican’s that say one thing but believe another. I still am not sure if he was a double agent during Watergate hearings either.
But the bottom line is Fred Thompson isn’t what he appears to be. He is well polished and changing his pov to keep from pissing off the Neocon right is something he excels at my dear reader. His Senate career was marked only by its lack of highlights and his lobbying career was intermittent between 1975-1993 but public disclosure records show he made around a million large during his lobbying career. He represented Westinghouse, two cable television companies, the Tennessee Savings and Loan League, the Teamsters Union's Central States Pension Fund, and a Baltimore-based business coalition that lobbied for federal grants. He also supported the bill that deregulated the savings and loan industry and some say caused the big S&L debacle.
And FYI..he did not vote to impeach Bill Clinton but he did support Scooter Libby and was on the advisory board for his legal defense fund. It’s interesting that he supported the Free Scooter Libby group..but had never met the man prior to his indictment. He also has stated in the last month that he would actively work to overturn Roe v. Wade.
For more dirt on Freddy, Wikipedia has a whole section entitled: Fred Thompson controversies on some things I haven’t even touched on..enjoy!