Presidential hopeful Thompson decries ‘professionalization of politics’

Presidential hopeful Thompson decries ‘professionalization of politics’

CHICAGO National Restaurant Association [3] Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, making light of his acting abilities and criticizing the “professionalization of politics” that he said prevents critical problems from being solved. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

His speech was a look back at his career as a lawyer, minority counsel for the Watergate committee, and actor in movies and TV shows, most notably “Law & Order,” in which he plays a district attorney. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Describing himself as a character actor with “limited range,” he nonetheless has gained fame for his Hollywood work, though he recalled one time when a woman asked him for his autograph and said, “How long are you going to be in town, Dr. Phil?” That got a laugh from the audience, as did the wry comment he made about why he decided not to seek re-election to his Senate seat in 2002: “I longed for the reality and sincerity of Hollywood.” —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Thompson acknowledged in his speech that he was considering a return to politics, and just a week later he announced that he would test the viability of a bid for the presidency. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

In response to an audience member’s question, he said his decision had to be made in a “careful, responsible way.” The “name of the game” is winning the presidency “while still deserving to be president,” he said. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Thompson said he was not concerned that 10 others already had entered the race because he doesn’t want to “play by everyone else’s rules.” —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Thompson got an early taste of politics, and how it can corrupt politicians, when he served as minority counsel on Sen. Sam Ervin’s committee investigating the Watergate cover-up. It was Thompson’s question to Nixon aide Alexander Butterfield about White House taping systems that revealed the president had been taping conversations about Watergate. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

When he saw all the corruption in Washington, Thompson said, he thought about staying there after Watergate and practicing law. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

“Man, this place is going to be good for business,” he joked. “Always have a lot of clients.” —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

But he decided to return to Tennessee and open a law firm because “I was sick of Washington,” he said. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

His first movie role came in the 1985 film “Marie,” based on a public corruption case he handled in Tennessee. He played himself. After that came roles in “The Hunt for Red October” and “In the Line of Fire,” and TV shows. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

He never thought he’d run for office, he said, but when Al Gore’s Senate seat came open in 1994 he ran for it because “with an open seat you have a good shot” to win. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Asked about the differences he’s seen in Washington since the Watergate era and now, Thompson said the Democrats and Republicans are bickering at unprecedented levels and that the days of the parties working together are over. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

That’s due to what he called the “professionalization of politics,” meaning that politicians want to stay in office as long as they can and won’t do anything risky, like “telling the truth,” to jeopardize winning another election. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

As a result, Congress neglects such important issues as the federal deficit and entitlement programs for less important matters, he said. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Thompson also warned that the government has to be more attentive to the military buildup in China and the way the Chinese do business with other countries. The Chinese make deals “with any bloodthirsty dictator” to have enough oil and energy for their economy, he said. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

Thompson drew applause when he said the government should not tell people how they should manage their personal lives and drew laughter when he was asked whether he’d had a mentor when he joined the Senate. —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent

He said he’d had no mentor but had “great personal admiration” for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who once told Thompson, during a conversation about politics and Hollywood, that “politics is showbiz for ugly people.” —Actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, R-Tenn.,—who now is weighing a run at the White House—mixed gentle humor and tough political talk in his keynote speech at the recent