Is He Really Man Enough?

New Republic writer challenges the mystique of Fred Thompson's masculinity
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 19, 2007 6:47 PM CDT
Prospective Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, of Tennessee, reacts to a sign reading "Get on the FredExpress, Fred Thompson for President," held up by as supporter as he...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The 6’5” movie star almost running for president is thrilling Republicans with his old-school manliness—or at least the manliness of his TV persona. The New Republic’s Michelle Cottle compares the character with the candidate, and argues that the latter doesn't have the fire-in-the-belly his admirers attribute to him.

In fact, she says, it was his first wife, Sarah, his highschool sweetheart, who pushed him to go to law school and into politics, aided by her family connections. And it's his second wife, polical consultant Jeri Kehn Thompson, who is driving his presidential run, Cottle claims. Thompson was tk and “obviously bored” on the Hill, she says, and  that casual drawl?  Really just a cover for anxiety.