Fred Thompson for President?

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Former senator and current Law and Order star Fred Thompson is the man many conservatives hope will throw his hat into the presidential ring. Let's compare Thompson's qualifications to those of other candidates who aren't starring in a hit TV show.

(Soundbite of music)


The latest candidate to consider a run for the White House is former Republican senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson. Our humorist Brian Unger wonders which Thompson is running, the Washington politician or the Hollywood actor. Here is today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: Rudolph Giuliani is toast. Who needs a former U.S. attorney when you can elect a fake Manhattan district attorney, Fred Thompson? Why even consider a real law-and-order guy like Giuliani, who took years to bust the mob, when you can get behind a candidate who puts bad guys behind bars in 44 minutes without commercials? Who better to be commander in chief than Fred Thompson, who steered a fake aircraft carrier right into a fake conflict in "The Hunt for Red October"?

But what are Thompson's positions on the real issues? Where does he stand on abortion and Iraq? Hold that thought. If you watched "Law and Order, Episode 15" this season, you know that Thompson, as DA Arthur Branch, was stunningly decisive in his adjudication of an ex-athlete who murdered his wife. He'd do the same for America.

But where does he come down on, say, gays in the military? Not certain, but we do know how District Attorney Arthur Branch would reform a powerful pastor who preaches intolerance toward homosexuals in Episode 14, Season 17. Oh, he got the slammer.

And that's how one could imagine it, a Fred Thompson presidency, with every utterance:

Tonight, the state of our union is strong.

Get me the vice president.

Sit down, Helen Thomas(ph).

The consensus among the well groomed: Fred Thompson is presidential, and for that he can thank Hollywood.

(Soundbite of song, "Hooray for Hollywood")

UNGER: So far, that lewd and liberal bastion of smut peddlers and violent provocateurs, maligned by the right, have produced for the Republicans their biggest stars: Reagan, Schwarzenegger, and now Thompson?

Together, the three have appeared in over 110 Hollywood movies, mostly portraying military leaders or paramilitary bad-asses. Take just three of their movie titles: "Hellcats of the Navy," "The Terminator," and "The Hunt for Red October."

The Democrats, they have one movie star, and his only role:

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Former Vice President AL GORE: If you look at the 10 hottest years ever measured.

UNGER: Playing a liberal who worries a lot about the weather.

(Soundbite of "Law and Order")

UNGER: That sound will never follow Social Security lockbox.

(Soundbite of song, "Hooray for Hollywood")

UNGER: But if Hollywood is so liberal, why can't it produce any nationally viable candidates on the left?

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UNGER: A man with courage who definitely knows where he stands, like Simon Cowell. I know he's British, but he could quickly browbeat Congress into changing that law.

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UNGER: Or Kiefer Sutherland. The guy has saved the country like six years in a row.

(Soundbite of song, "Who Are You?")

UNGER: Or how about Marg Helgenberger, a former Vegas stripper who's good with a gun. She'd seduce our adversaries by threatening to annihilate them, and really, what actor since Reagan could do that? That is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

(Soundbite of song, "Who are You?")

Mr. ROGER DALTRY (Singer, The Who): (Singing) Who are you, who, who, who, who? Who are you…

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