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Presidential Hopeful Robert Thompson Comes To Area Sunday

A common sense approach to government wraps up the message expressed on Veterans Day Sunday in Burlington, Iowa by President hopeful Senator Fred Thompson (republican).

The former U.S. Governor of Tennessee and popular actor on Law & Order flew into Burlington, Iowa Sunday afternoon and spoke before a full crowd of around 200 inside Big Muddy's banquet hall. Many attended from Illinois.

"I came to make a personal assessment of how he comes across," said Judy Roessler of Media, Vice President of the Republican Women's Club.

Henderson County Republican Chair Chuck Neff of Stronghurst said he was excited about the prospect of Fred running for President and was excited when he announced in September. "Of all the candidates, and we have a good group of them, Fred Thompson best represents the folks in West Central Illinois and their Midwestern values."

Neff is running as an alternate delegate for Thompson.

Joyce Louden of Stronghurst, President of the Womens Club said she and her husband Bob wanted to see him and hear what he had to say.

Bonnie Flatt said she and her husband Meredith of Media were asked by Chuck Neff to come.

""I'm real anxious to see this man and here what he has to say. We don't get a chance to see a Presidential Candidate very often."

Jim and Rosalie Cavanaugh of Kirkwood said, "He's our man!" When asked why they came.

Tonny Williamson of Fulton County, Illinois, said "I was looking for a strong leader and he projects that on TV and I think he has the best chance of winning in November "08.

Thompson came in and the crowd shouted let out a yell as he shook hands and took front stage. For about 45 minutes, Thompson spoke and answered questions before he was rushed on to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa for a 6:30 p.m. engagement with veterans.

Thompson's uniquely American life has been marked by answering the call to public service and leadership. He told the crowd that motherhood and applepie problems, "Why don't you leave them up to the people.

After several questions on his thoughts of where the school problems are (families, parents, lack of discipline in the schools, same sex parents?), Thompson gave them some straight talk..

"You probably aren't going to like what I have to say, but I believe it to my very core. Don't drive by the school where school boards are meeting, and drive by your county courthouse, and drive by your state capitol, then onto Washington D.C. and ask your officials to solve your problems. Most of the problems you can solve in your own back yards."

Thompson also said we need to take all of our Republican values and work with all the people in things we can agree with.

Thompson speech was unwavering and straight forward. He said he was the only candidate that went on Meet the Press and faced their intense questioning. "Everything you've ever said, is flashed across the screen, he said. "I wouldn't advise the other candidates to go on it."


Fred was born in Sheffield, Ala., to Ruth and Fletcher Thompson on August 19, 1942. Soon after his birth, the tight-knit family moved just across the state line to nearby Lawrenceburg, Tenn., which embraced Thompson as a native son. There, he learned the importance of family, hard work, faith and education. He attended school, including Lawrence County High, during the week and the First Street Church of Christ on Sundays.

Thompson, married while still in high school and graduated in 1960, and would be the first member of his family to go on to college.

He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science from Memphis State University in 1964 and his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1967, working his way through school.

In March 2002, in the aftermath of the loss of his adult daughter, Senator Thompson announced that he would not seek re-election to the Senate. He has two sons who live in Nashville. He retired with an 86% American Conservative Union rating and a 100% rating pro-life voting record.

Divorced in 1985, he remarried in 2002. He and Jeri have a three-and-a-half year old daughter, and a seven-month old son.

In the tradition of President George Washington, a leader Thompson had admired growing up, he walked away from an easy reelection victory to seek new challenges. He joined the American Enterprise Institute as a visiting scholar, traveled the country as speaker and served on a Wall Street advisory board.

In 2005, Thompson was named by President Bush as an advisor to Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts, helping to move his nomination through the Senate confirmation process. Thompson continued his public service as chairman of the State Department's International Security Advisory Board.

In all this, Thompson has been a man of the times and a man for the times, adapting his unique abilities and leveraging today's communications technologies to speak to the American people about issues he feels are important to the nation. Whether it's on the radio, filling in for Paul Harvey on the ABC Network with news and commentaries, on his own "Fred Thompson Reports" commentaries and broadcasts, on-line blog posts or TV appearances, Thompson has focused on the issues of the day viewed through the "first principles" he's stressed throughout his career.

He's talked about big issues and challenges our nation is facing now, and will face tomorrow:

The ongoing threat of Islamist terrorism

The unresolved economic threat of entitlements

The need for lower taxes to ensure our nation remains economically competitive and innovative

The need to remain engaged in the world while remaining true to America's principles

In early 2007, Thompson embarked on what he calls a "dialogue" with the American people to determine whether there was a desire among American voters for him to enter Republican Presidential race.

One can't help but see that Thompson again might be hearing the call to serve. As he discussed less than six months ago, a door is opening and this time Fred Thompson may lead all of America through it.