When Republicans run for office, the press likes to track down their ex-girlfriends (and if possible, ex-wives) in hopes of digging up some dirt on them. This usually hasn’t seemed to work; Jane Wyman, for example, wouldn’t say a bad word about Ronald Reagan, and that George W. Bush’s only serious ex-girlfriend praised him to reporters.
It’s no secret that I find the whole Fred Thompson boom rather annoying, but give him credit for this: he passes the ex-girlfriend test. Fred, who has a lot more exes than most, apparently is on good terms with all of them–a tribute to his character, his charm, or both. Country singer Lorrie Morgan, in particular, gushes about him, and he says that even his ex-wife, whom he married when he was 17, is ready to campaign for him.
I still have reservations about Thompson’s lighting out for Hollywood rather than serving his country in a time of war and crisis, but it doesn’t appear that skeletons in the closet need be one of them.
Via Power Line News.
UPDATE: Mark Levin, whom I respect greatly, made what strikes me as a rather silly criticism of this post, here. Levin wrote:
Thompson is leaving acting and a considerable income to serve his country in a time of war and crisis. John McCain has become a career politician. He wasn’t going to leave the Senate whether or not 9/11 occurred. He has been planning on running for president, using the Senate as his launching point, for a decade. So what? Does that make him more patriotic or better suited to be president?
But why take the low road about not serving your country? Did our friend who wrote the comment to which I link resign from his law practice and join the Marines after 9/11? Liberals argue this way, not serious conservatives.
Levin seems to think that I criticized Thompson for not joining the Marines after 9/11. I’m not sure why. Thompson, obviously, was much too old for the Marines or any other branch of service by 2001, as was I. But Thompson was a United States Senator. He could have stayed in the Senate, or run for other elective office, or gotten an appointment in the Executive Branch. Or he could have just taken a leadership position on the issues of the day as a private citizen–who knows, maybe by blogging. There were a lot of alternatives to Hollywood.
My point is not to criticize Thompson harshly for the path he chose; there is nothing particularly wrong with it. My point is simply that, in selecting the one Republican who I think is best qualified to run for President in 2008, the fact that Thompson has spent the last five years as a bit player in Hollywood, not fighting the battles of the day on behalf of the conservative movement, weighs against him.