I never agreed with Fred Thompson‘s political views and I never would have voted for him if he’d been on the ballot in California or New York, but I always liked him. He exuded a kind of been-around, no-bullshit integrity. Especially when he was on the Watergate committee in ’73 and during that brief but respectable performance he gave in Roger Donaldson‘s Marie: A True Story (’87). I guess it was basically a feeling of trust and comfort for a steadfast dad or uncle figure. “Does [Fred Thompson] have sex appeal? Gene, do you think there’s a sex appeal for this guy, this sort of mature, older man, you know? Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man’s shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of…a little bit of cigar smoke? A little, you know, whatever.” — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews speaking about Fred Thompson on or about 6.13.07. From Joe Leydon: “Can’t you just imagine Thompson in one of the debates with Trump or Carson? ‘Excuse me, but just what in the hell are you talking about? I mean, just how stupid do you think voters are?'”