Fred Thompson Unplugged III

Part I
Part II

Fred Thompson has an interesting personal life. In 1959 at the age of 17, he married Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey. It appears she was already bearing his child, since son Tony was born seven months later according to this chronology. Anyway, he did the honorable thing by marrying the girl. They both worked while Fred went through college and law school and had two more children.

Fred's marriage to Sarah ended in a divorce in 1985. This was, perhaps not coincidentally, right about the time his acting career was beginning to take off. There followed a 17-year period of unmarried life during which Thompson is alleged by some to have taken full advantage of the "favors" that are often available to celebrities and politicians.

In 2002, Fred married his current wife, Jeri Kehn and has two young children with her. Jeri was born in 1967, making her 27 years younger than her husband. As this picture reveals, she is a very attractive woman. Some have called her a "trophy wife" and wondered how voters will react to having her as first lady. That may be unfair, but at the very least it gives Democrats an opening to attack Thompson as a hypocrite on family values. If he is the nominee, you will hear a lot about his personal life.

Former wife Sarah, along with several former girlfriends, have reportedly agreed to campaign for Fred if he is nominated, which will be rather strange. Apparently they remain on good terms, though if he has any chance of becoming president it's not surprising that old friends would want to keep in his good graces.

The requisite family photo ops will be odd as well, since it will be far from clear to the casual observer how to tell the difference between Thompson's young wife and his children - two of whom are actually older than their stepmother. Given the weird family structures of modern Americans, however, it may actually get Fred some sympathy. We've all been touched by divorce, remarriage, and the awkwardness that sometimes goes with it.

Some will say all this is none of our business. Like it or not, nothing is off limits in modern politics. These things are all going to be talked about. Skeletons, if there are any, will be brought out of the closet. Voters will decide in the end what matters.

News reports are now suggesting Fred could announce his candidacy sometime this week. Once he does, the honeymoon he has enjoyed so far will end quickly. He'll have to start answering questions, taking positions, and proving himself. We'll learn a lot more about him soon.


Anonymous said...

I do not know where you guys get all your information from. Fred's first daughter was born in 1963. There is an older son, probably born in '61 and another son born in '65 with his first wife, Sarah. He has a few granchildren from these children. Most considerably older than his "new" children. Does anyone ever check facts? I read the most innacurate s---t on the internet!

Patrick said...

My source is the Tennessean newspaper, which says Fred Thompson's first three children were born in 1960, 1963 and 1965. Current wife Jeri was born in 1967. His daughter Betsy, the one born in 1963, passed away in 2002.

I've updated the post to link to this info.