Fred Thompson Watch III

We now have confirmation of recent reports that soon-to-be presidential candidate Fred Thompson represented a pro-abortion group as a lobbyist in the early 1990s. Billing records from his law firm show that Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working on behalf of the group, including lengthy consultations with its president and three conversations with Bush Administration officials.

How will this effect Thompson's chances? Hard to say. Abortion appears to have faded as an issue for this cycle. There are people, like me, for whom it is non-negotiable, but most people appear more concerned with the Iraq war, terrorism, and immigration. For Fred this is a good thing because he looks increasingly shaky on life issues. I'll happily eat my words if Thompson will just give us a forthright explanation of all the conflicting statements he's made about abortion, but it hasn't happened yet.

This episode could still hurt Thompson, however, because it undermines the straight-talking next-Reagan image he wishes to project. He went from denial to don't recall to maybe to doesn't matter in less than two weeks. He's looking a lot like somebody who has something to hide.

In fact, he does have something to hide. Fred Thompson is the consummate Washington insider. He's played both sides of the fence with the #1 objective being his own enrichment and advancement. In this he has a lot in common with most politicians, and he may well be the best we can hope for on the GOP side this time. I'm still mystified by the reflexive enthusiasm that some people have for Thompson, though. As far as I can tell he is nothing but a ho-hum, mainstream Republican. If not for his acting experience I'm not sure anyone would give him a second look.

Hat tip: Poliblog

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