Saturday, July 7, 2007

Fred Thompson: "dumb as [heck]"

Article reveals that Nixon thought Thompson was "dumb as hell"...

So Thompson fans, do we really want a dumb lazy president?

C'mon guys, let's just rally around Mitt Romney and stop distracting ourselves with lesser candidates.

Check out the whole article By JOAN LOWY here.

My favorite excerpts:

President Nixon and his top aides viewed the fellow Republican as a willing, if not too bright, ally, according to White House tapes.

Those tapes show Thompson played a behind-the-scenes role that was very different from his public image three decades ago. He comes across as a partisan willing to cooperate with the Nixon White House's effort to discredit the committee's star witness.

It was Thompson who tipped off the White House that the Senate committee knew about the tapes.

Nixon was disappointed with the selection of Thompson, whom he called "dumb as hell." The president did not think Thompson was skilled enough to interrogate unfriendly witnesses and would be outsmarted by the committee's Democratic counsel.

"Oh s---, that kid," Nixon said when told by his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, of Thompson's appointment on Feb. 22, 1973.

Nixon expressed concern that Thompson was not "very smart."
"Not extremely so," Buzhardt agreed.
"But he's friendly," Nixon said.
"But he's friendly," Buzhardt agreed.


"I found Thompson most cooperative, feeling more Republican every day," Buzhardt said. "Uh, perfectly prepared to assist in really doing a cross-examination."

Later in the same conversation, Buzhardt said Thompson was "willing to go, you know, pretty much the distance now. And he said he realized his responsibility was going to have be as a Republican increasingly."

At a hearing on July 16, Thompson asked former White House aide Alexander Butterfield: "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?"

The question made Thompson instantly famous. His political Web site prominently notes: "Friends in Tennessee still recall seeing the boy they'd grown up with on TV, sitting at the Senate hearing-room dais. He gained national attention for leading the line of inquiry that revealed the audio-taping system in the White House Oval Office."

What rarely is mentioned is that Thompson knew the answer to the question before he asked it. Investigators for the committee had gotten the information out of Butterfield during hours of behind-the-scenes questioning three days earlier, on July 13.