Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

Fred Thompson

Thompson is one of those rare celeb politicos who has actual credibility both on screen and in office. His first brush with political stardom was as an attorney working for the Senate Watergate Committee investigating Nixon. After a successful career in the movies, he ran for the Senate in his Tennessee in 1993, driving around the state in a leased pickup truck. He won by a landslide and stayed in office until 2003. After a few years playing District Attorney Arthur Branch on the myriad versions of Law & Order, Thompson became a candidate for president, announcing his bid on the Tonight Show. But strangely, the straight-talking charisma that lured casting agents to offer him roles including lawmen, lawmakers, admirals — and, yes, the President — evaporated on the stump. He dropped out in January 2008.