Sunday, March 11, 2007

Arthur Branch for President???

Yet another big change could be coming to the constantly morphing cast of NBC's Law & Order. On this morning's edition of the rightward leaning Sunday interview show Fox News Sunday, actor and former United States senator Fred Thompson, who for the past five seasons has portrayed New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch on the long running cops and lawyers drama, revealed to FNS host/Bush Administration puppet Chris Wallace that he is considering wading into the already crowded pool of hopefuls wrangling for the Republican Party's nomination in next year's Presidential election.
Thompson told Wallace that he has no set timetable for reaching his final decision to run or not, but I would think that he would have to come to a conclusion soon in order to give his bosses at L&O enough time to find a replacement, since I assume that he will leave the show if he decides to pursue the Presidency.
Whenever he may throw his hat into the ring of fire, the visibility he has enjoyed as a co-star of one of TV's longest running, highest rated and most respected dramas should catapult him to the front of the field, up there with John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and straight past such relative unknowns as Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback, Chuck Hagel, Mike Huckabee and Duncan Hunter. (No, I'm not just pulling these names out of my ass, they're all real people who want to be the next POTUS. Truthfully, I'd never heard of anyone named Duncan Hunter, either, until just a few moments ago, when I saw his name, which is all I know about him at the moment, on this list of GOP contenders--and I use that term loosely for most of these guys.) Politically, though, due to the fact that he's been out of the game for a while, Thompson is himself a bit of an unknown quantity. I suspect that a lot of people who support him, at least in the early going, will be doing so based more on the politics of D.A. Branch as revealed during his sojourn on Law & Order, rather than on anything the real-life Thompson has said or done. It reminds of when G.W. Bush first emerged as a serious contender and some of his early popularity sprang from people thinking he was his father, which turned out to be far, far from the truth.
Interestingly, none of this came up during the on-air interview. While it's fitting for what is ostensibly a "news" program (Word From On High style rule # 37: the word "news" always goes in quotes when discussing Fox) to focus on the issues rather than the showbiz aspect of the story, it seems odd that his current employment was not even mentioned in passing, since it will no doubt, as I said above, influence both his decision to run and his chances at getting the nomination.

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