Thompson Running for President

Strangely, it’s Tommy Thompson.


Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has decided to officially enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and has tentatively picked Wednesday, April 4, to make an official announcement, according to a campaign aide.

Why, I don’t know.

Meanwhile, a committee to draft Fred Thompson to run is forming.

Reps. Zach Wamp and John Duncan Jr. are pressing fellow Tennessean, Fred Thompson, to pursue the Republican presidential nomination, jointly announcing the “Draft Fred Thompson 2008— committee — and their co-chairmen status.

That’s a switch for Duncan, who had endorsed Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney but said just last week that “If Fred Thompson gets in there, then I definitely would support him. He’s been a longtime friend. I know him a whole lot better than I know Gov. Romney.’’

But Thompson (District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC’s Law & Order) has yet to decide whether he’s “in there.” Former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker and Bill Frist (also from Tennessee) have been urging him to run, and Thompson has said he’s “giving some thought to it.”

It’s amusing that “District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC’s Law & Order” is the chief identifier given to Fred Thompson, who did manage to get elected three times [twice] to the Senate, but that’s show business.

Hat tips: Alec Oveis and Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. So is the CNN style guide to refer to politicians with less than 4 terms as senator by some other title? I could live with that if I get to help pick Hillary, Edwards and Obamas title (especially since between the three of them combined they don’t have 3 terms in the senate).

  2. He also played the president and several other high administration figures in movies as well

  3. Triumph says:

    I thought Tommy had already announced or pre-announced!

    Welcome, Tommy–I anticipate many shameless photo-ops of him on a Harley before he drops out of the race later this summer.

    I wonder if he is going to quit the Board of Directors of the Verichip and divest his options. I doubt the libertarian wing of the Republican party will be happy with a nominee who owns $336,000 worth of stock options in a company whose business plan is to implant radio transmitters in people.

  4. Mark says:

    Three times? I thought Thompson was elected twice – once to fill out Al Gore’s term and then for a six-year term…

  5. James Joyner says:

    Mark: Right you are. I thought he was in there longer than 8 years but he wasn’t.

  6. StormWarning says:

    While I am not a Tennesseean (sp?), based on my earlier exposure to Cong. Wamp, it is beyond my comprehension that he has any influence, certainly outside of the state.

    I do like the idea of Senator Thompson as a candidate though. Clearly a better choice than Mayor Rudy (even though I was a NY’er at the time, as admired his leadership during crisis, I don’t have a lot of confidence in his choices of people.

  7. Tlaloc says:

    Well realistically outside of his home state nobody is going to know/care he was a senator. But L&O has been a very popular show nationwide. He’s probably better off being described by his acting carreer in this initial “get his name out there” phase.

    He can always raise his senatorial credentials later. Of course it can’t help him that there’s going to be name confusion with the other thompson.

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    Just heard Tommy Thompson on NPR this afternoon. He said one of the things I’ve been pulling for: asking for an up or down vote for American withdrawal from the Iraqi parliament. If they ask us to leave, it will give the President political cover for doing so. If they ask us to stay, it will grant further legitimacy for doing so.

  9. Steph says:

    I remember when Illinois and Wisconsin both had Governors named Thompson and each side of the stae line said Governor Thompson welcomes you.

    Back in the day when the states were run by republicans and in much better shape than they are today.