Letters to the Editor

‘Regular guy’ just an image

Before everyone starts hyperventilating about “certified good old boy” Fred Thompson’s presidential candidacy, how about we all step back and take a look at the actual man behind the TV roles.

With his leathery face, folksy accent, and cowboy boots, Thompson undeniably conveys the image of the wise, soft-spoken-but-tough-as-nails patriarch. Just the kind of guy you’d want steering the ship of state. Or dropping in on your backyard barbecue.

But the key word here is, obviously, “image.” Because the reality is utterly different. Here are the facts: Thompson’s official biography says that he’s been an actor, a government lawyer, and a senator. He leaves out the 20 years he spent as a highly-paid Washington lobbyist for both foreign and domestic clients. This folksy, down-home, “regular guy” has spent his entire adult life as a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, except when he was an actor in Hollywood.

Thompson was active in Republican politics in the mid-60s, so he presumably supported the Vietnam war. Did he ever back up his politics with actual military service? Um, no, despite being of prime fighting age. (Just like those other famous chicken hawks, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich.)

People like to talk about Thompson’s “tough guy” persona. Hello? Thompson’s entire claim to being a tough guy is that he plays one on TV!

George W. Bush fooled the country with his “compassionate conservative” shtick. Are we going to get fooled again by an actor playing a “tough guy” role?

Rob Lewis

Langley

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