Their View: Voters like strong figures, he has a legitimate shot
It is a sign of the power of modern media that someone like Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee Republican senator, should almost immediately be considered a serious contender for the 2008 presidential nomination, primarily on the basis of his skill playing the prosecutor on TV's “Law & Order.”
That is not to say that he's not a plausible candidate. Besides having been a senator, he also served as a lawyer, including as a Watergate Senate Committee co-counsel and big-time lobbyist. (Unfortunately, in that role he helped cause the savings-and-loan crisis of the 1980s by pushing to free those institutions to make various bad investments.)
His film career took off in the mid-'80s. His authoritative but folksy manner and rather hulking body made him perfect for playing big shots, such as admirals and CIA officials. As The New York Times said: “When Hollywood directors need someone who can personify government power, they often turn to him.” Certainly his persona has been carefully crafted by himself and others, with great success. But then the “good old boy” routine of this smart, sophisticated and now very rich lawyer/lobbyist/actor is part of a long American tradition.
Given that voters like strong figures as their president and are much more likely to watch a television police show like “Law & Order” than study candidates' policy stances and, indeed, their political records, we'd give Thompson a healthy shot at the nomination.
- The Providence Journal