Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Fun for Tommy!

Tommy Thompson is “thinking seriously” about running for Herb Kohl’s soon-to-be-vacated seat in the United States Senate!


Where have we heard this before? Oh, in…1999, 2005, 2007, 2010…..Tommy’s always thinking about running for something, and he apparently loves the attention.

The last time he got half-way serious was his half-assed run for President. It was a little more than four years ago (May 4, 2007) in a Republican Presidential “debate” in California that Tommy made the famous gaffe saying private businesses should have the right to discriminate against gay people. The next morning, as scores of Wisconsin news anchors (like me) ran the story in the A-block (the first four or five most important stories of the day), Tommy’s folks arranged a call to CNN so he could “clarify” his response.

Said he didn’t hear the question correctly, which seems a plausible answer. No candidate would be dumb enough to give such a response in a national “debate” – with the possible exception of that Alaska woman. Tommy told CNN he championed gay rights in Wisconsin 25 years ago.

Except that was a lie.

In 1982, State Representative Tommy Thompson (R-Elroy) voted AGAINST the gay rights bill, which passed the Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Lee Dreyfus. John Roberts, the CNN anchor conducting the interview, wasn’t sharp enough to catch the lie, and obviously his staff didn’t do its homework before the interview.

I suppose it would be piling on for me to mention a few of Tommy’s many other gaffes, like his drunken welcome home performance at Lambeau Field after the Pack won the Super Bowl in 1996, and his 1995 “stick it to ‘em!” speech to a crowd in northern Wisconsin, proposing the tax district in the Milwaukee metro area that would fund the construction of Miller Park. Even back then, in the infancy of file-sharing, news audio clips got all around the state in one big hurry, using phone lines (before the internet came along). Tommy apparently thought word of his speech would never get back to Milwaukee.

So Tommy is up to his old tricks, threatening to run for some high office. Who knows – he may even be serious. I hope he does run. I can’t wait for the myriad new YouTube moments he’ll create.

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