September 6th, 2007
01:38 PM ET
15 years ago

In Iowa, it's not all about Fred

Thompson's campaign bus arrived in Iowa Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Former Sen. Fred Thompson may dominate the coverage in Iowa over the next 48 hours - after all this is the first state he's visiting since officially announcing Wednesday his bid for the White House. But if Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has anything to do with it, not all eyes will be on the actor-turned-senator-turned presidential candidate.

In a statement, Obama's campaign said a group of the Illinois senator's senior advisers will travel to Iowa Thursday and Friday to meet with people "to get their insight and ideas about the most pressing challenges facing America."

The campaign said the purpose is to further the Illinois senator's policy agenda.

"I want my senior advisers to get advice and insight from people in the Heartland - not Washington special interests," Obama said. "Our campaign is building a grassroots movement for change, and I don't just want Iowans' support - I want their ideas."

The team of eight advisers will include various policy directors and chairs whose areas of focus range from women's issues to foreign policy. They'll be split up, and meetings will be held across the state.

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Iowa
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Jack, Ft. Myers, Florida

    Thompson has finally thrown in his hat...big suprise. The party clearly sees the other candidates–can't gain the attention of moderates or conservatives. He is stoic and very respectable..and a great actor. But has never demonstrated desire–or potential to be a great leader. In the end..I believe...the GOP is in deep trouble and suffering a serious leadership crisis...even with Mr. Thompson now joining the ranks.

    September 6, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Rob

    Obama they can't stop ya!
    OBAMA 08!

    September 6, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. susan, glen ellyn, Il.

    Thompson's strategy will start to take a hit now. Why should he expect to be in the spotlight in Iowa? Here's another article whose title says it all: Lazy after all these years.

    September 6, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Dan Starr, Green Bay, WI

    Oh please! If Oprah wasn't so racist, this might help Obama. But to have Oprah take an active role in his campaign is a mistake. I can't seem to forget that Oprah sponsors such things as a Dinner/Extravaganza to honor her favorite black people. Why not just her favorite people? And she funds a special school in Africa limited to black girls. Why not just girls? Obama doesn't need this!!

    September 6, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Samie Carr

    where is the coverage on the GOP debates? The Dems debate was all over CNN and other news cast. I can't find anything on CNN web site?

    September 6, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Loyda, WDC

    Without taking anything from Iowans, but I'm really getting fed up with all the presidential candidates....I'm feeling INVISIBLE!!! HERE, in the Nation's Capital.....!!!!!!

    I have not seen, heard of or read about ANY of the candidates, from BOTH parties, campaigning in the DC area, MD, VA, or even WV....

    Either the local news are not doing their job, or they are not talking to their (they hope) future neighbors!!!

    September 6, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    Why can’t an already established, respected, and successful corporate president apply for the American presidential position? Does the political spectrum only consist of those of ex-fame and other lifetime politicians? Are the leaders of Corporate America that immoral?

    September 6, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Greg, NY, NY

    To Samie Carr,

    The Democratic debate was a CNN/Youtube debate, therefore of course you'd see it all over CNN's website.

    It also got additional press as it was the first of that style debate ever.

    I'm sure the Republican Youtube debate will get just as much press when it happens, though some of the top tier candidates have stated they won't participate.

    September 6, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. lavelle, Rochester,ny

    You wont see anything regarding the GOP debate because it stunk. It was the worst thing ive ever seen. The only Candidate up there that actually debated and talked about "the people" was Ron Paul. All the other candidates spoke about was bombs, american soldiers and killing more people. I dont know about you but I think Some republicans need to really look in the mirror and say is this who i really want to be. Yes it's easy for us to say that Iraqs government should step up and come together. Well so does the American government however we have too many republicans who feel that America will die if we leave Iraq.

    September 6, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. lavelle, rochester,ny

    But what about the Article. The GOP loves to downplay others and stay on there high horse. Do you see what Obama is doing? he's trying to change politics and its just the beginning. Thompson wants to keep the troops in iraq...keep the war going just like the other GOP candidates said last night. In a way its kind of scary if you ask me as to how arrogant some Republicans are when it comes to dealing with "terror" its sad.

    September 6, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Fred Pohl, Gainesville, FL

    Thompson is the guy Dems love to hate.

    September 6, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Jay Austin, Texas

    Freddie Thompson is ALREADY a big disappointment. He really should retire back to Hollywood and continue with his corny acting. He's too old and way-too out of touch with mainstream America.

    September 6, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Fred Haeusel, Doylestown, PA

    Republicans have brought us 7 years of unqualified failure, do you really think that another aging actor who wants to play President is going to do any better? Granted, after Bush anyone will look like a better leader, but Republicans equal failure; make a better choice.

    September 6, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. John P McNea III University Heights, Ohio

    This man is more educated than ex-President Ronald Reagan but less necessary. America needs a leader and NOT a speech reader. President Bush is evidence of what that minor ability is actually worth.
    This man is a Union Buster, a staunch Bush ally and NO friend to small business.
    Do We Need Another republican clone candidate? I am a Democrat but would vote for a QUALIFIED LESS LOBBY-ORIENTED CANDIDATE. Fred Thompson's biography reveals that his real 15mins. of fame was in during the Watergate debacle. Why hasn't anyone mentioned what he's been up to for the last 5 years????

    September 6, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. kathe Oakland Cal

    Fred, I think you are a joke. Stick with Law and Order, which happens to be my FAVORITE show – much longer than you have been on L&O – – OK
    Those 'country hick jokes' are fine for TV but as a voter I need substance and real anwers to real questions

    September 6, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. RB

    Fred's 15 minutes of fame will last for about a month – after that he'll be in single digits with most of the pack.

    Pretty boy Romney will fizzle, too – he's an empty suit with a nice haircut on top of it.

    September 6, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. fedupwithourgov't

    What an absolute joke this is!

    Maybe he and his baby bride just want to be able say he ran for president to climb up the social ladder!

    September 6, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. LB, Franklin Lakes, NJ

    Why can’t an already established, respected, and successful corporate president apply for the American presidential position? Does the political spectrum only consist of those of ex-fame and other lifetime politicians? Are the leaders of Corporate America that immoral?

    Posted By William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario : September 6, 2007 2:32 pm

    William, Dick Cheney was a corporate executive. Many of Enron's former executive have been working in the Bush Administration. I think we've had enough corporate hacks to last a lifetime.

    September 6, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Lance in Monrovia, CA

    Obama won't have to do much to offset Thompson in Iowa.

    To Kimbrlyton, who in the post immediately above just said a "great guy like Obama could never get elected because he is black. Why, my son just got called the N word…"

    I am young, I'm white, and I've never in my life taken more than a casual glance at the political pages of CNN or another media outlet before, much less gotten involved in a campaign.

    I could give a rats ass what color Barack Obama is. He has inspired me in a way no politician of my generation ever has. He has blasted a ray of light over the darkness that is American fear, oppression and hatred and called us back home again, back home to a country where anything actually IS possible. Where anyone can make a difference. Where we actually can take charge of our country again and make it whole, actually make our souls whole again by picking our leader for a change instead of letting him be picked for us, by actually standing up and saying, "enough. YOU OUT THERE will not dictate my fate any longer."

    I had a conversation with an older black woman at work the other day about Obama.

    She likes him, but didn't support him, even though her sister was supposedly working her ass off for his campaign in L.A. This woman preferred Hillary, and she said the exact same thing you just said… "America is too racist to let such a great black man get elected."

    She also added she felt something bad would befall him if he did manage to get the job.

    I told her that she's right only when she says that racists won't vote for Obama. They may give him lip service, but when voting time comes, they'll stay home with their heads hung in shame. Or maybe they'll vote another way once alone with their bigoted views. Alone. Unheard. A legend in their own minds. Is that the majority of this nation?

    No. It's what gives meaning to the word, "minority."

    Those sad people, those closeted racists you speak of… they can NEVER overtake the good heart that is the center of this still great nation of ours. We are a nation of ideas, not color. For every one of them that stays at home, alone, wrought by their own fears and the propaganda of others, ten more people who've never even thought about politics before, people like myself, will get excited enough about Barack Obama and his war, his war of IDEAS, to not only vote but bring a car load of others to vote as well.

    From what I've seen they'll be ALL colors. They'll come in busses, in vans, on bikes. They'll wait in the rain at precincts that have broken voting machines and they'll refuse to go home even if it means they could lose their jobs. They'll work until five o clock and call undecided voters until nine when they have to go to bed again. They'll actually start caring about this country in a way maybe they only saw through the prism of their childhoods, if ever.

    The American innocence that they once felt lost forever, they'll discover again, one by one, as they realize motion is perpetual and never too late. And once the foundation is built, it will be built upon until the backward thinking minority you so worry about is comfortably in the back of the bus, finally and for good.

    The neocons and their ilk will toss voter registrations out by the bushel, they'll pour provisional ballots and voter I.D.s like water on fire.
    But like brave soldiers before machine guns, people will keep coming. Brand new voters right along old ones will refill the bucket again and again, with more and more enthusiasm, until the well overflows.

    Because, for once, they'll care. don't you see that? They'll really, truly start to take charge of the government of this country and when that happens, not bigots, not neocons, not fear mongers, nobody but nobody will be able to prevent the election of Senator Barack Obama.

    And don't you think Obama knows the stakes? As my friend at work pointed out, don't you think he knows that by putting himself in such a position as the first viable black candidate for president in U.S. history he is putting not only his life but that of his family at risk?

    The woman I spoke to Obama with, well, she left a bit less ready to say that Obama could never do it. She's going with her sister the next time she attends an event. She's still undecided, but at least her ears are open and so are her eyes.

    Only you can count yourself out. Nobody else but. You cannot suppress what WILL NOT BE SUPRESSED.

    Many people have ideas. Many people have facts, figures and smarts. Yet, only one person in a generation can inspire the sort of passion that can actually accomplish real change.
    Barack Obama is that person.

    He is the next president of the United States, but only after we get off our asses and even off these boards and into the real world where we can make it happen.

    The greatest fear is always within.

    Obama 08

    September 6, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. Corliss W. New Orleans , La.

    John McNea, CNN has posted Sen Thompson's video introducing his campaign mission and running down his bio. Did you watch it or are your jumping in debate with a one-sided un-informed point of view?

    September 6, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. Dan, Tx

    I wish the Obama campaign the best of luck in Iowa. I hope they can pick up a lot of the undecided votes and win!

    September 7, 2007 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  22. Nate, Minneapolis, MN

    Why is it news that Obama aides are going to Iowa? Not to mention it's a portrayed as a positive for Obama? Obama has been in the race for months, out-raised every candidate but Clinton and has dropped in the polls for months. Another great CNN biased editorial...I'm guessing Iowans, much like the rest of the country, are looking forward to hearing new ideas from a new candidate.

    September 7, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  23. Skip Seattle, WA

    While the partisan punchlines might provide short term 'feel good' relief, the reality of Fred Thompson's full biography is what should be discussed here. Whether we end up voting for him or not, at least ensure it's an informed decision.

    September 22, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |