Fred Thompson

Prospect Magazine

Fred Thompson

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Former senator and actor Fred Thompson has vaulted into the top tier of presidential contenders without any executive experience

Visitors to the website of former Tennessee Republican senator Fred Thompson——learn that, earlier this year, Thompson “embarked on what he calls a ‘dialogue’ with the American people.” The purpose of this dialogue, the website continues, was to “determine whether there was a desire among American voters for him to enter [the] Republican presidential race.”

It is clear Thompson found what he was looking for: many Republican primary voters have voiced their support in polls for his still non-official candidacy (he plans to announce in September). In national Republican primary polls this summer, Thompson has consistently come second behind Rudy Giuliani. He is running second in southern primary states like South Carolina and Florida. And while Giuliani, and particularly John McCain, have seen recent declines in support, Thompson’s popularity has only increased since March, when he first announced he was considering a presidential bid.

The 66-year-old Thompson has achieved something remarkable.

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Matthew Continetti

Matthew Continetti is the author of The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Conservative Machine (Doubleday) 

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