The first time I heard about Fred Thompson throwing his hat in the ring, I had a bit of a chuckle. I was aware of his long political career, but for some reason, I am unable to get one image of Fred out of my mind.
It’s a scene from the movie “The Hunt for Red October,” the excellent submarine flick based on a book by Tom Clancy. In it, Fred plays Rear Admiral Joshua Painter. One line in the show always seemed to resonate with me. It occurred while he was having a discussion with Jack Ryan (Alec Baldwin), and went like this:
Adm. Painter: What's his plan?
Jack Ryan: His plan?
Adm. Painter: Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.
The last line made me chuckle at the time, but when Fred came to Law & Order to play District Attorney Arthur Branch, the line popped back into my head. I’ve almost been waiting for Fred to utter it during a scene with Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston).
But now that he’s running for president, that line could come back to haunt him. I can see it being replayed over and over, and not to make Fred look good, especially with "the Russians."
Personally, while I don’t think Fred has a chance of making very far in the presidential category, he made his chances even worse by waiting so long to throw his hat in the ring. He’s also been less than energetic in his appearances, and some of his early responses to questions shows someone who may have been out of politics, and the real world, too long. Maybe he is hoping for a VP slot or something else.
Either way, the one positive thing about Fred leaving L&O to get back into politics is that Jack McCoy is now in the driver’s seat in the DA’s office. And we know Jack McCoy doesn’t do ANYTHING without a plan.
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