August 8th, 2007
12:29 PM ET
14 years ago

Thompson taps new campaign manager

Thompson tapped a new campaign manager Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Likely White House hopeful Fred Thompson is turning to the man who helped him win his Tennessee Senate seat 13 years ago to lead the "Law & Order" star's 2008 presidential campaign-in-waiting.

Bill Lacy, who served as Thompson's strategist and management consultant during his successful 1994 Senate bid, was officially named manager of Thompson's "testing the waters" committee Tuesday.

“It is an honor to be working with Fred again,” Lacy said in a statement. “My immediate goal to provide stable, hands-on leadership and to retool the Thompson operation to implement a non-traditional, message-driven effort.”

Lacy, the current director of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, is also a former strategist for President Ronald Reagan, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kansas, as well as the Republican National Committee.

Lacy's appointment follows the departure last month of campaign manager Tom Collamore, another former Reagan aide and one-time lobbyist for the tobacco industry.

Several GOP sources familiar with Collamore's decision acknowledged differences between Collamore and Thompson’s wife, Jeri, on structure and staffing.

The Tennessee Republican is formally expected to jump into the presidential race around Labor Day.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Keith, Atlanta, GA

    Don't you need a campaign to have a campaign manager? Last time I checked he hasn't debated a single person yet. Commitment issues?

    August 8, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. James, NY, NY

    I wish the politicians would get a clue. Your either in or your out. You either have the confidence that you have a better path ahead for this country or your just like all the other losers in this election.

    August 8, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Providence, RI

    Thompson will be 1996's Bob Dole, A BIG LOSER in 2008.

    August 8, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    Okay, for starters, Fred portrays himself as an outsider in the mold of Reagan, yet in reality he was a lobbyist for many years in Washington, status quo, and he lacks Reagan's ideology, ambition, passion, charisma AND HAIR.

    He was also the guy that asked the question on a Senate committee circa 1970 that started the downfall of Nixon. He asked the question about the Nixon tapes, whether they exist. Great right? Wrong. He told the Nixon administration all about the question he was going to ask days earlier to give them warning and time to prepare a defense. He was a huge Nixon supporter and good buddy of Cheney who was also in that administration.

    Then there's Vice President Cheney's current Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, whom Bush just pardoned for lying about Valerie Plame... Thompson has been Libby's biggest supporter and fund raiser for his "defense fund", which Libby is using to pay that 250,000 fine that Bush hasn't bothered to pardon him of yet.

    Do we really want Fred, the guy that's leading the charge for lying, corporate corruption in Washington, to be our next President?

    Well, maybe he's a hard worker, you say?

    Uh, well, actually he is world famous for being the laziest Senator on record, and even more infamous for his constant procrastination and vacations, possibly even surpassing our current President in that regard.

    Well, maybe he's well spoken, you say? Maybe he's tough on terror, you say?

    Think again on both counts, I can sum it up in one quote from Fred Thompson I just found in Newsweek, "Twelve million illegal immigrants later, we are now living in a nation that is beset by people who are suicidal maniacs and want to kill countless innocent men, women and children around the world."

    Huh? Say What?

    This dumbfoundingly confusing statement seems to be saying that the suicidal maniacs are here and want to kill innocents elsewhere. Not only is it garbled nonsense, it's also intended to provoke fear and combines two totally unrelated issues. He said it at a major speech.

    The bottom line is... haven't we had enough of the same old fear mongering, nonsensical talk about nothing from a President constantly on vacation in a cowboy hat while faking a good ol' boy Texas twang already?

    Do we really need another one?

    August 8, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    "Thompson will be 1996’s Bob Dole, A BIG LOSER in 2008"

    Yeah, hopefully he doesn't fall off the stage like Dole did

    BTW–if he does run, I wonder how the conservative women, esp. from the 1st wives club will accept his young wife. Seems like conservative men are excited about him, I wonder if their wives or EX-wives will vote for him if he receives the nomination

    August 8, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Vor, Salt Lake City, UT

    Is this really the best way to word that headline?

    August 8, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. David, Salinas, CA

    FYI, Thompson is basically a hardcore Washington insider – a high-powered lobbyist for Toyota, Westinghouse, cable t.v. companies, German mining concerns, deregulating savings & loans, abortion rights, and insurance companies denying asbestos claims. Thompson didn’t do much in his nine years in the senate other than toe the party line. He pushed hard for the invasion of Iraq, denied global warming, and hosted a fund-raiser for Scooter Libby. He also plays a crusty DA on Law & Order, which seems to be the source of all the Reagan comparisons.

    August 8, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. dm, Derwood, MD

    I hope Bill Lacy has authority over Mrs. Thompson....too many cooks in the kitchen. I think many of us will be watching this situation. I think Ms. Jeri should find other things to do. In-fighting will not help to elect Fred Thompson.

    August 9, 2007 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  9. Jon, Farmers Branch, TX

    Sorry Fred, it's not going to help your CFR, globalist cause.

    August 9, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Don, Boone, NC

    hey Vor from SLC- lol. I spit up some of my Sierra Mist on that one when I looked back at the headline and Fred's huge grin!

    August 9, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. Colin, Milwaukee WI

    I figure Thompson is delaying his announcement until the Republican field thins out a bit after Iowa's straw poll (see Tommy Thompson, Huckabee, & Brownback). Guess he's probably hoping to pick up their supporters after they leave the race.

    August 9, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Dr. Ron Paul Supporters Drive People Nuts

    Fred will get in...why not wait until some of the lower tier candidates drop out after the Iowa straw poll...picking them up and building momentum later than any other Repub will be able to do. Really not a bad strategy...he's climing in the polls, raising money and can grab the low hanging fruit after the Iowa straw poll. The Internet theory is working for Fred in the early stages, failing miserably for Ron Paul and all the unemployed folks that sit at their computers all day...Thompson is actually gaining traction, raising money and getting bits of his message out. He'll have to get in soon though to really raise money, folks seem to be sitting on the sidelines financially waiting for a more polished candidate.

    August 9, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |