Ignoring the Republican presidential candidate debate in New Hampshire—live blog here at AmericaBlog—former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's launches his presidential campaign from the friendly confines of Burbank and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
"I'm running for president of the United States," the politician, character actor and longtime lobbyist deadpanned to the studio audience. Overnight, the virtual Thompson campaign surged into action, broadcasting a 15-minute Internet address, 30-second television spot after the GOP debate, and, deployed the candidate to Iowa..
The former senator has a lackluster legislative record—he covers the current Newsweek, appropriately titled Lazy Like a Fox?—and made his mark as the Watergate prosecutor who leaked strategy to the White House, and, as a longtime lobbyist for clients such as military supplier GE and Haiti's former right-wing dictatorship. Last month, Thompson publicly called for a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage but later backpedaled.
Thompson is best known as a character actor and formerly played the district attorney on NBC's popular Law & Order franchise. During last night's debate, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor, "poked fun at Mr. Thompson for playing a prosecutor on television. 'I think he’s done a pretty good job of playing my part on Law & Order,' he said. 'I personally prefer the real thing.' "
Fred Thompson, Lobbyist [Political Wire]
Thompson On Leno: "I Am Running For President" [HuffPo]
Lazy Like a Fox? [Newsweek]
Thompson Taregt at GOP Debate [NYT]
Thompson Backtracking on Gay Marriage [Blerico]