Skip to comments.Thompson's life has Gump feel: As opportunities knock, GOP hopeful right there
Posted on 11/09/2007 9:18:28 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
WASHINGTON It is the kind of story you could write a book about: A 35-year-old single mother of three is fired from her state job after refusing to go along with a scheme to pardon criminals who bribe aides to the governor.
The plot cries out for a good lawyer to save the day. All the better if he has charm and a commanding presence. Enter Fred Thompson, a 6-foot-5 cigar-chomping Southern gentleman. He saves the day; the woman is vindicated.
And best of all, for a man with a presidential campaign in his future, it is a true story, and someone did write a book about it.
Many a life follows a serendipitous path. One persons influence sends someones career in a new direction.
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompsons life has a Forrest Gump quality to it. The lawyer-lobbyist-senator-actor often seems to have been in the right place at the right time.
As a young lawyer in the 1970s, Thompson took up Marie Ragghiantis lawsuit against Tennessees governor, and won her reinstatement to her job and back pay. The story became a book; the book became a movie; the movie launched Thompsons acting career; the actors profile helped Thompson win a seat in the U.S. Senate.
One thing led to another, Thompson once said of his acting career. Its one of those things like totally accidental.
In earlier years, Thompson was the class cutup whom no one pegged to go far. But his in-laws helped shape him up after he married at 17, and Thompson embraced not just his wifes extended family but their Republican politics.
GOP connections led Thompson to Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker, who in turn led Thompson to Watergate. Six years out of law school, at age 30, Thompson was chosen by Baker to became minority counsel on the Senates special committee established to investigate the famous break-in.
His prominence in the Watergate hearings is what caught the attention of Ragghianti when she was looking for a Republican lawyer to stand up to the Democratic governor.
Hes good at recognizing an opportunity and seizing it, said Thompsons son Dan. He makes it look easy, but Im sure its not.
Now Thompson, 65, has decided he wants to be president. And hes out to do it his own low-key way, entering the race long after other candidates, trotting along while others gallop.
I dont do frenetic very well, he says.
Ive done pretty well being me, and me is all theyre going to get.
Thompson, a Nixon administration loyalist, gradually realized Nixon might be lying.
Thompson is remembered as the man to whom White House aide Alexander Butterfield made public the bombshell revelation of a secret White House taping system. But Butterfield already had revealed the tapes to the committee staff a few days earlier.
Ragghianti had watched the televised hearings and been impressed by Thompson. She hired him to take her Tennessee case, and won.
Author Peter Maas turned Ragghiantis experience into the 1983 book Marie: A True Story. And when director Roger Donaldson turned the book into the movie Marie, Fred Thompson played himself.
Thompson became the go-to guy when Hollywood needed a tall, imposing authority figure.
He was the CIA director in No Way Out, a rear admiral in The Hunt for Red October, White House chief of staff in In the Line of Fire, and President Ulysses S. Grant in the 2007 TV movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
Forrest Gump? ROTFL!
I thought the MSM said he was a “lazy” man? Wow. ;^)
This brings to mind a stupid question. Does anyone have any photos of a young Fred Thompson? Just wondering.....
Fred Thompson was never young as far as I know.
Does anyone have any photos of a young Fred Thompson?Near the beginning of "Hunt for Red November" on youtube.
>Fred Thompson was never young as far as I know.<
I love your tag line. It certainly applies to a Fredthread. ;)
Don’t forget “Baby’s Day Out” which is one of my favorite Fred films.
Wow! What a good-looking young man.
He’s a stud. He even could have been in a toothpaste or Brycreem commercial.
Heck even if he wasn’t top candidate, he’d get my vote!
Accounts for his being a father at 17 : )
Point of order: Fred lives in Virginia, now.
Forrest Gump and “never young”
You have both made my day!
I believe the “GUMP” comparison is a very good expression that will resonate further. I know I will use it.
If you go to his website and watch the video that pops up (where he’s sitting at a lunch counter), the video shows a picture of him when he was young with Ronald Reagan back in the 60’s.
*grin*....Thanks, for postin’ this. :D
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