Thompson's wife 'no trophy,' and 'sick' at the start: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted October 5, 2007 7:54 AM
The Swamp

by Andrew Malcolm

Here's how Jeri Kehn Thompson felt when she learned her husband, the former senator named Fred, had decided to run for president:

PeopleJeriThompson.jpg

“I felt so sick. I was depressed. I didn’t want to throw my husband to the snakes.”

We learn this and more in a kind of coming-out interview in People magazine, coming out today. It's titled "No Trophy Wife" because, absent any information to the contrary, many in American society make assumptions about a 65-year-old man being married to a beautiful woman 24 years younger.

The story opens with the former Jeri Kehn in sweatpants and ragged nails from stripping wallpaper.

They met, according to the story, on July 4, 1996, in line at a Kroger supermarket in Nashville. Thompson was still a U.S. senator, and Kehn, who formerly worked at the Republican National Committee, spied the contents of Thompson's shopping cart--a can of Beanie Weenies and half a tuna sandwich. Kehn recalls feeling sorry for the bachelor. They struck up a conversation. He walked her to her car and on the spur of the moment she invited him to a party that night.

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They were married in June 2002. As for the trophy wife murmurs, she can sometimes shrug it off, sometimes get annoyed. "It's hard not to be defensive," she says. "To think back on how hard you've worked and all anybody thinks about is you're a trophy wife."


Now, they have two children -- one-year-old Sammy and four-year-old Hayden. And the People photos show Thompson in the couple's $3-million suburban Washington home, changing Sammy's diaper in the living room, which the magazine describes as "Horchow Collections meets Fisher-Price."

Anonymous rumblings from her husband’s nascent campaign have suggested that Jeri has played a much more hands-on role than she portrays. She says she has no intention of helping govern should he win. “It absolutely blows my mind that people think I would want a Cabinet post,” she says. “I can’t forfeit my responsibility for some of the ones some women might take on as first lady. I would still have my children as a first priority.”

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Earlier this week the entire Thompson family sat for an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity. The children squirmed happily on their parents’ laps. Thompson looked more like Hayden’s grampa, but the newest GOP presidential candidate looked as comfortable as could be as his daughter played with a plastic bowl and waved her hands. He didn’t miss a beat when answering Hannity’s mostly softball questions.

Hannity did ask two pointed questions: He pushed Thompson on evangelical leader James Dobson’s doubts about his Christianity and dismissal of his candidacy. “I have my own relationship to the good Lord,” said Thompson, who says he's never met Dobson and doesn’t plan “to dance to anybody’s tune.”

Hannity also raised a Newsweek story quoting unnamed Thompson campaign advisors worrying that living in the White House is Jeri’s dream, not Fred’s.

“To people who say this has not been my lifetime ambition," Thompson replied in his deep voice, "I plead guilty. It hasn’t been. That’s absolutely true.” His wife smiled demurely. “Circumstances change," he added. "Times change. The country faces different challenges.”

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As for whether the presidency is his wife’s dream, Thompson said, “I don’t think that’s something she relishes…this kind of a process and be open to anything anybody wants to anonymously say about you.”

When Hannity mentioned that if her husband was elected, Jeri would be the youngest first lady “since Jackie Kennedy,” she smiled and joked: “I have one question. Do I get the clothes?”

Andrew Malcolm writes for Top of the Ticket, the L.A. Times' political blog.

"No Trophy Wife.'' No cover story either. The Jeri Thompson story appears in the new edition of People, pages and cover reprinted here with permission.

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Comments

“I felt so sick. I was depressed. I didn’t want to throw my husband to the snakes.”

Oh please....he is one of the snakes.


I think Fred Thompson should just stick to acting. He is nothing more than another plastic politician.


Well at this point, we've heard more from her than we have from him. Maybe Fred ought to get in the game if he plans on winning. And when reporters ask him questions, he ought to brush up on his history, like the name of the largest country in the world.


Republicans--they can never tell the truth!


It's very apparent that the trophy wife pushed him into running.

As a Republic consultant,she is obviously power hungry.


The Thompsons are sooooo
tacky.


The fact that his wife is four years younger than his daughter is not going to sit well with the imMoral Majority.


James "Focus On The family" Dobson has gone public to say that he won't support Thompson. He's already losing support from the far right wingnut base.


Fred is the right man at the right time. He is not afraid to tell us we should be looking over our shoulder and watching out for the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union wants to take over the world!


Grandpa Fred said yesterday that we can't depend on help from the Soviet Union with regard to Iran...I guess he forgot that they don't exist anymore.
He needs to quit watching the reruns of that Hunt for Red October movie.

I'd vote for Freddies trophy wife but not him.


“I felt so sick. I was depressed. I didn’t want to throw my husband to the snakes.”

Oh please....he is one of the snakes.

Posted by: bill r. | October 5, 2007 8:05 AM

Very funny!

She should have said whoops I got drunk and married my GRANDPA!!!


I've gotta start hanging out at Kroger supermarket in Nashville!!!


The story opens with the former Jeri Kehn in sweatpants and ragged nails from stripping wallpaper.

Not staged? Please...she knows just what she is doing.


A siiting Senator. Beanie Weenies and a half a tuna sandwich. That guy cannot become President. No.


Senator Fred Thompson is the only major candidate that gets it. He makes decisions based on principles. Principles don’t change. You have to stand for something and not change who you are based on the polls. That is what Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have done and all of the Democrats do it. Give me a leader that will stand by his principles anyday versus someone that stands for everything.

I know many Republicans that will stay home if Rudy Giuliani is the candidate. He does not represent our values as conservatives, and never will. Millionaire former Governor Willard “Mitt” Romney is a RINO (though he seems like a very nice man) that simply has everything else and nothing to do. “I guess I’ll just try to buy the presidency”. The White House is not up for sale!! Conservatives and pro-life democrats/independents will simply stay home and the Socialists will pickup additional seats in the House and probably get the 60 seats in the Senate they need to completely destroy our Country. Nice picture huh?

However, I think Fred can bring America back together, if that’s even possible. America needs a rebirth of patriotism and honor. Republicans also need a rebirth. President Reagan was our last rebirth and he can never be duplicated. Fred Thompson will bring his own down-to-earth common sense to this Country and strength back to our party. A little of the good old days of faith and family would do well for this Country. If a Conservative runs as a Conservative, he will win!

Think of it this way: Eight years of another Clinton White House? Now if that is not a sufficient enough reason to pull together as a party, as a Country, and fight this socialist liberal takeover of our government, what is? It is not impossible to take back the House and the Senate. We are winning in Iraq—they know it. The best they can do now is stop our progress and choose defeat, just like they did during Vietnam. We lost because Congress chose defeat. History repeats itself when not learned from...

Folks, we are in for the fight of our lives, just as our young men and women are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must fight for our Country right here and now! I truly believe Fred Thompson is the one man who can pull this party and nation back together! Rudy Giuliani will just tear us apart as a party. Liberal is liberal every day of the week!!

Really tick off the RINOs and leftist democrats and contribute to Fred Thompson: https://www.fred08.com/contribute.aspx?RefererID=c637caaa-315c-4b4c-9967-08d864cd0791


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