July 20th, 2007
05:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Fred Thompson 'Fredheads' getting restless

Some Thompson supporters are getting restless.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the online supporters urging "Law & Order" actor Fred Thompson to run for president, it's turning into a long summer.

Since May, the former Tennessee senator has been "testing the waters" for a 2008 White House run, launching a campaign Web site and beginning to raise money. A senior adviser confirmed to CNN that the actor and former senator will officially launch his bid for the White House after Labor Day.

But that may not be soon enough for many of his supporters. The self-described "Fredheads" – who populate scores of unofficial Fred Thompson blogs, forums and draft Web sites – are ready to jump in and join him now.

"What's the hold up?" wrote Keith Harper, who operates a forum called FredHeads.com out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Harper said he didn't want to second-guess a politician's sense of timing, but said he worries Thompson's grassroots support could dwindle if he waits too long.

Since spring, Thompson has been cultivating a loyal following among conservatives online, regularly posting on blogs and right-leaning Web sites. Blogs supporting Thompson abound, and a crop of unofficial draft sites have gathered tens of thousands of signatures of people ready to support a Thompson bid.

Jeff Mitchell in Memphis, Tennessee, who has run the site DraftFredThompson.com since January, notes an "increasing anxiety" among the Fred faithful.

"New people come in, and 4-6 weeks after they come, they're still waiting," Mitchell said. But he thinks supporters are "anxious and excited" to get involved, rather than discouraged by the wait.

Robert Traynham, a spokesperson for Thompson, said the senator is "flattered" by all the support and "will hopefully have an answer for them, one way or another, sometime in the very near future."

Despite the assurances, "everyone is starting to get impatient," said Erick Erickson, managing editor of the popular conservative blog RedState, where Thompson enjoys significant support and where his own posts frequently appear.

"We all understand the reasoning," Erickson told CNN, "but as my wife said, ‘I'm tired of flirting. It's time to put up or shut up.’

"That said, it's much like the excitement over the iPhone,” he added. “By the time it was released, people were standing in lines across the country waiting."

- CNN Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. DJ, Los Angeles

    How can people actually believe that a career lobbyist representing the worst in American politics – elitism, cronism, special treatment for those with money, and influence peddling...

    Can be a viable candidate for President? Didn't we just see what that type of elitism bought us in Bush/Cheney???

    As much as I bash the Republicans...I still sincerely want them to bring a solid candidate to the table. Fred Thompson respresents more of the problem than any remote solution.

    July 21, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. J Fraser, Anchorage, AK

    It appears that many of you have little or no knowledge of Fred D. Thompson,for President in 2008, but you have an amazing ability to bash and trash,96 % of that expressede is rumor and unfounded fact–your loss, sadly.

    I am a proud FREDHEAD who has been happily working on the finest campaign probably ever begun in the USA, for 4 exciting months, meeting superb AMERICAN voters. WE have facts, foundation, a positive attitude,an excellent and very well qualified candidate and incredibly wonderful, warm, erudite volunteers from all over this country committed to the best man and what he's offers Americans for the future of the USA,to be President of
    the USA!
    Let's see less ugly and more "Yes, I understand!" Fred's the only answer!

    July 21, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Fredheads are just deadheads.

    July 22, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. George Kaplan

    >>To say that Fred was “involved with Nixon” is similar to saying the Allies were “involved with Hitler.” Dummy! He was the prosecutor! Nixon had to step down! You weren’t there, were you.<<

    Well, John, I WAS there, and you are almost 100% wrong about Fred Thompson's role.

    Thompson was NOT "a prosecutor" during the '73 Senate Watergate Hearings (the Ervin Committee). He was the Minority (read: Republican) Counsel of that committee, and would be more accurately compared to a "defense" attorney. (Those of us at the time who actually SAW the hearings referred to Thompson more as "Nixon's Mouthpiece", than anything else).

    In fact, as Nixon tapes recently made public reveal, Thompson was practically a "mole" inside the committee, feeding the Nixon White House information about "what the committee knew, and when they knew it".

    None of that in itself necessarily disqualifies him (he can't get my vote, on the basis of not being qualified to be president).

    But, if we should have learned ANYTHING over the last six years, it should be that you don't "rearrange" the facts just to fit them in with what you "choose" to believe.

    The Facts always win, in the end.

    July 23, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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