The Corner

Frist Helps Fred

From Roll Call:

Thompson May Enlist Frist Aides

April 2, 2007

By Lauren W. Whittington, Roll Call Staff

While actor-turned-politician Fred Thompson’s (R) public flirtation with a 2008 presidential bid has garnered increasing media attention, behind the headlines lie a litany of logistical questions about the former Tennessee Senator’s ability to build a campaign operation should he decide to run.

Those close to Thompson say his interest in a White House run is genuine. Yet the practical evidence that he is preparing to build a national political and fundraising team from scratch — at a point when his GOP competitors are already well out of the gate — remains minimal.

Thompson is taking counsel from former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) as well as from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and several House Republicans are also wooing him to run. But the star of NBC’s “Law & Order,” whose last political campaign was in 1996, has no ready-made political organization of his own.

If he runs, he is expected to borrow some from Frist’s inner circle of political advisers.

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