Driving Fred Thompson

The Senator Never Aspired to Washington—or Hollywood—but Nevertheless Moved Seamlessly Through Them Both

I spent an evening with Fred Thompson because I drew the short straw.

A lawyer and actor, Thompson had been elected U.S. Senator from Tennessee by that night in the late ’90s. He was visiting California, and I was a young Republican staffer, assigned to be his driver for the evening. It turned out I was lucky to get the gig. He gave me one of the most memorable nights of my career, and insight into how powerful people navigate the world.

Fred Thompson, who died this week at age 73, …