2008 Presidential Corner: Richardson, Thompson aim to raise profile in field (part 2)

By Katelyn Friel

Fred Thompson, former senator of Tennessee, is one of the eight Republican candidates vying for his party’s nomination and ultimately, the presidency. Thompson has dedicated his life to a wide range of pursuits, including politics, family and more notably, acting. Many know him for his former role as District Attorney Arthur Branch on the prime time hit Law & Order.

Thompson was the first person in his family to attend college. A graduate of Memphis State University and Vanderbilt University, where he received his law degree, Thompson’s career has ranged from assistant U.S. attorney to chairman of the State Department’s International Security Advisory Board.

His presidential campaign is focused on three main areas: “lowering our taxes, strengthening national security, and to change the federal government,” according to his official Web site.

Without revealing definitive positions on some of the various issues that other candidates are scrambling to address, Thompson’s strategy is to listen, see and discuss what his voters are looking for. Based on these discussions and suggestions, Thompson plans to create a more detailed account of his policies. However, his Web site does illustrate that opinion and experience have already begun to formulate some of the tentative, basic ideas that Thompson desires to implement if elected.

On the issue of education, a major area affecting college students, Thompson feels that state and local governments are best equipped to handle the demands and needs of the surrounding areas. Believing that the federal government’s role in the education system is too intrusive and hinders rather than helps the achievement of excellence, he strives to give “parents more choices in education and schools less bureaucracy.”

By returning federal funding back to the states’ budget and urging students to pursue careers in science, math and engineering, etc., Thompson is committed to the idea that these “fields are crucial to our security, competitiveness, and prosperity.”

A strong education system will provide America with prosperity, according to Thompson. This idea of prosperity and security is reflected in his stance on immigration. Not disputing the feeling that immigration has infused the nation with character, Thompson does draw a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration. He strongly supports demands to strengthen border security and crack down on illegal immigration. For him, “amnesty is not an option.”

So, as the days go by before the primary election determines who the Republican presidential candidate will be, now is the chance to familiarize oneself with Thompson and the other candidates and their positions.

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