Fun With Nexis: Fred Thompson Fresh Iowa Approach

As Fred Thompson heads to Iowa today, it's worth remembering that he wasn't always so sanguine about the conversational opportunities he is bound to have.

While considering a 2000 presidential bid, Thompson implied he would rather spend time working in the Senate than spend "two months in Iowa talking about abortion."

Lucky get will get to spend three and a half months in Iowa talking about abortion now!

According to the August 21, 1998 Commercial Appeal:

Taking a jab at such career campaigners as former Gov. Lamar Alexander and Vice President Al Gore, Thompson responded to a question about a possible presidential candidacy by saying, ''Contrary to popular belief, I don't think you have to run for president for 15 years. Or four years.''

He said he would wait until later this year or early 1999 before making a decision about whether to run. He asked rhetorically whether it was more important to accomplish some important things in the Senate that he feels need to be accomplished ''or spend two months in Iowa talking about abortion.''

I confess I did not remember that Thompson was flirting with a presidential bid in 1998. He has said that he's not one of those guys who had ambitions to be president for all his life.... so, just since 1998, apparently.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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