Thursday, September 20, 2001


Biography of John Adams, terrorist crisis play roles.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2001 at 4:00 AM

If David McCullough, the respected historian and author of best-selling biographies of presidents Harry Truman and John Adams, is to be believed, then Senator Fred Thompson has already made his decision to run again in 2002.

It has seemed fairly clear to many observers that Thompson's omnipresence in Tennessee and on television talk shows since last week's terrorist attacks augured a reelection run. But McCullough says the senator's decision came just a mite earlier than September 11th.

As Allison Stevens of The Hill, a widely read Capitol Hill poop-sheet, renders it: "Thompson encountered McCullough on a downtown Washington street last week, just before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and introduced himself. He told the historian he had been uncertain about whether he would run again, but after reading the 736-page [Adams] tome during the August recess, he changed his mind."

Stevens quotes Thompson this way on the exchange: "Well, yeah, I -- I did have that conversation with him. I don't know the words that I used, but I certainly could have left that impression."

Thompson said the terrorist attacks and their aftermath were important in reaching a decision as well. "[The crisis] has its effect, just like David McCullough's book had its effect in another way, in a positive way. It's just life and lives that we lead. I suppose everything goes into [these decisions]."

The senator said further: "[I'm] trying to address a very personal situation in the midst of turmoil and crisis and pressure. I kind of made the determination some time ago that I was going to absorb all these things and just see what kind of an impact they had on me, as I thought my way and felt my way through, as to what was right for me. I decided I wasn't going to come to any conclusions in the midst of all this."

The senator characterized McCullough's Adams biography as "inspirational," according to Stevens. "You know, a man who devoted his life to public service and who died without much in the way of physical asset, but who provided a great service to his country, it's inspirational. And it had an impact on my thinking." Lest giddy Republicans get too carried away with the foregoing, the senator did issue a caveat. Said The Hill's report: "Thompson protested that the notion he had 'changed his mind' over the August recess 'was a little strong' and insisted that he has not made a final decision."



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

    • A Race to Watch in County Commission District 13

      A surprise newcomer, Brandon Morrison, emerges as a threat in the Republican primary to incumbent Commissioner Basar, while Democratic favorite George Monger vies with another novice, Charlie Belenky,
    • Some You Win, Some You Lose...

      Memphis representatives fight the good fight in committee, on student voting and Confederate statues — with varying results.

Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Another Big Shoe Drops with Lane's Entry in Sheriff's Race

    County Homeland Security director holds kickoff rally in Millington; considered major contender for GOP nomination.
    • Sep 13, 2017
  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • Councilman Calls for Local Control, Wants Confederate Monuments Removed

    District 1's Bill Morrison challenges state law, says Memphians should have "right and power" over public monuments.
    • Aug 16, 2017
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation