Fred Thompson Flies to UK for Margaret Thatcher Photo-Op
Fred Thompson is trying to bolster his foreign policy cred by flying to the UK to give a speech on the transatlantic alliance and meet with Margaret Thatcher.
Fred Thompson, the actor and former Tennessee senator who is expected to announce next month he is running for president, flew to London on Monday to meet Margaret Thatcher and deliver a foreign policy speech, his advisers tell The Politico.
Thompson’s advisers aim to use the London events to bolster his foreign policy credentials and elevate him above the increasingly contentious fray of the GOP race. On Wednesday, he will pose for photos with Thatcher, which his advisers hope will enhance his support among devotees of former President Ronald Reagan.
Thompson will deliver the foreign policy speech, “Strengthening the Transatlantic Alliance,” on Tuesday at the Policy Exchange, a conservative think tank based in London. It will stress the importance of American alliances abroad, his advisers said. “The speech is mostly about the unique and special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K,” an adviser said on condition of anonymity, because the prospective campaign has not publicly announced details of the address. “It is about how we have a responsibility to stand together and lead the Western democracies, protect our civilization and stand together for freedom.”
While the symbolism of meeting with Ronald Reagan’s partner in fighting the Cold War is powerful and should resonate well with the base, I don’t see how this bolsters his foreign policy credentials. He’s a polished actor; I have no doubt that he can deliver his lines (although, in his defense, that would be a marked improvement over the status quo). For that matter, I don’t think there’s a serious candidate in the race — Democrat or Republican — who would not maintain a strong relationship with the UK. Our interests and values simply overlap too much for the Special Relationship to fade.
UPDATE: The text of Thompson’s speech is up at Townhall.