On Thursday past, the long awaited announcement that Grandfatherly Fred Thompson was finally prepared to make the long awaited announcement next Thursday, that he is officially set to formally enter the race for the presidency. Wow, that's just the kind of concise and decisive decision making we haven't seen in a President since quite frankly back on May 1, 2003, when the original DECIDER, George W. Bush, unfurled the now infamous MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner aboard the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln. I'm sure any number of historians will one day dispute that pronouncement, particularly with the Iraq War still being fought more than four years later and counting.
The youthful Thompson, 65, is a former Senator from Tennessee as well as serving as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal, (1973–1974), and afterwards wrote a book about it. Despite holding those government offices, Fred is best known as an undistinguished actor in television and movies. Thompson asked to be released from his television commitments back in May of this year. Now after more than three months of tantalizing his hundreds of die-hard supporters, Fred is finally ready to expose his bald head by throwing his hat in the ring. Many pundits agree his greatest appeal is that he's not one of the many announced candidates already running. Those aforementioned candidates are as feverishly accepted as an ice machine would be in an igloo.
In most polls of likely Republican primary and caucus voters, the consistent leading candidate was "None of the Above." The always thinking Thompson must have theorized that he would be in that category and therefore, surge to the top of the polls. Not so fast, Fred. Most political experts agree that because Thompson has wavered back and forth for so long, most of the top advisers have already committed to other losers, er candidates, and the necessary monies needed to finance a successful presidential run have been designated elsewhere, as well.
So what does the senior thespian/politician have going in his favor you might ask? How about Jeri Kehn? For those of you that don't know, she of course is the 40 year old second wife of the Family Values challenged Fred. She apparently exercises tremendous influence over her husband. But what exactly qualifies her to have such power and why won't Thompson or his campaign team even discuss her? According to an August 13th Newsweek story, writer Holly Bailey reports that "she urged her husband to run in the first place. To prepare for the rigors of a campaign, she recruited staff, including a friend, longtime Republican PR hand Mark Corallo, to help as an unpaid spokesman."
"As the run got underway, Jeri quietly assumed responsibility for many day-to-day details, say campaign advisers who didn't want to be named talking about internal matters. She oversees her husband's travel and fund-raising events, and has the power to hire and fire staff. She also grooms Thompson's public image. When ... filmmaker Michael Moore challenged Thompson to a debate on health care last spring, Jeri persuaded him to film a tough-guy video response that became a YouTube hit. Apparently, Jeri has not been shy about using her authority. The campaign advisers say she's smart and tireless—but her spare-no-feelings management style doesn't always have the intended effect. Last month Tom Collamore, a former Reagan aide and tobacco lobbyist hired as campaign manager, quit after what a Thompson associate called "personality conflicts" with Jeri. Three other aides followed."
IS THIS WHY THE CAMPAIGN WON'T DISCUSS THE WIFE?"Those exits, combined with worse-than-predicted fund-raising numbers—Thompson raised $3.5 million in June, less than the $5 million the campaign projected—have caused jitters among key Thompson supporters. They privately question the wisdom of Jeri, who has no experience running a presidential campaign, taking on such an influential role—and are mystified why Thompson continues to stall his official entry into the race. "People are starting to wonder if she's more into this than he is," a Thompson adviser tells NEWSWEEK."
What could be more appealing than a tough talking, no-nonsense conservative, seemingly less than engaged candidate, who reminds you of the really old guy in Florida, who lives in the condo next door to your grandparents? Then throw in his shrew of a second wife, who is young enough to be his daughter, and then they go on to become America's next First Family? Oh, I don't know. How about spending every second of the next eight years in Hell with your exes mother or perhaps a third Bush/Cheney term?
Think about those options as you enjoy your Labor Day Weekend........