|One Hollywood actor, Ronald Reagan, served as president for eight years. So why not an actor who plays a district attorney on TV? |
Fred Thompson, the character Arthur Branch on NBC's drama "Law & Order," is being urged to pursue the GOP nomination by several Tennessee Republicans who also have been trying to drum up support for a candidacy.
Former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker has been talking to senators. Rep. Zach Wamp has been in touch with colleagues in the House.
"It's something I hope happens," Wamp said Friday. "We need that kind of star quality, but most importantly we need his strength and resolve."
Wamp said he asked Thompson to consider running immediately after former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, another Tennessee Republican, decided not to run for president late last year.
"I think he has an open mind, and he sees the need," Wamp said.
Thompson, 64, the minority counsel in the Watergate investigation, was elected to the Senate in 1994 to fill the unexpired term of Vice President Al Gore. He was chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and left the Senate in 2003 to resume his acting career.
He took an active role in shepherding Chief Justice John Roberts through the Senate confirmation process in 2005.
Thompson recently raised money for the defense of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who was found guilty of perjury and obstruction in the investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity.
Thompson has acted in films such as "The Hunt for Red October," "Cape Fear," and "In the Line of Fire."
He has had no comment about a possible White House bid.
If he decided to run, Thompson would join a crowded GOP field led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The number could grow when Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel makes an announcement on his future plans.