Oh joy, the GOP punditry and spin meisters are all abuzz about the likely candidacy of Fred Dalton Thompson. The former US Senator (R, Tennessee) and soon to be ex-actor on Law & Order is about to announce his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination.
Thompson fits the profile of a good Republican candidate - he's appropriately "oily", southern and a conservative. Even without officially being in the race he's pulling good polling numbers, right now a close second to Rudy G.
RAD's memory of Thompson is as the lead GOP Minority Counsel on the Special Senate Watergate Committee where his role was to deflect the spears and arrows of misfortune headed at "Tricky" Dick Nixon. Thompson's latest foray into controversy was to urge Dubya to pardon "Scooter" Libby. Is there a pattern here?
According to Wikipedia:
Thompson was responsible for his close friend, then Senate Minority Leader and member of the Watergate Committee, Howard Baker asking the question that led directly to the downfall of President Richard Nixon—"What did the President know, and when did he know it?"  Also, Thompson's voice has become immortalized in recordings of the Watergate proceedings, with him asking the key question, "Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?"
Thompson has been criticized for leaking grand jury information to the Nixon White House while they were under investigation. In his 1975 memoir At That Point in Time, Thompson noted that he acted with "no authority" in divulging the committee's knowledge of the tapes, which provided the evidence that led to Nixon's resignation. "Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home" to tell him that the committee had learned about the taping system, Thompson wrote. "I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action."
Former investigator for Democrats on the committee, Scott Armstrong said "Thompson was a mole for the White House." In response to the Boston Globe's story Thompson said via e-mail without addressing the specific charge of being a Nixon mole: "I'm glad all of this has finally caused someone to read my Watergate book, even though it's taken them over thirty years." The Boston Globe concluded, "The view of Thompson as a Nixon mole is strikingly at odds with the former Tennessee senator's longtime image as an independent-minded prosecutor who helped bring down the president he admired."
RAD: Great, now if Hillary and Fred run the tables in '08 and become the candidates we can anticipate reliving the two greatest soap operas of recent US history - Slick Williegate (a frivolous soap) and Watergate (a serious soap). And the question again will be of both - "what did you know and when did you know it?" Please Barack and Mitt save us from this ignominious fate!