Politics As Usual: He’s A “Stud” While She “Works The Pole.”

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This is a photograph of possible ’08 Presidential candidate Fred Thompson with his spouse, Jeri Kehn:

AaaaSee also. The New York Post has referred to Kehn as Thompson’s “Babe Wife.” This article also observed:

“Kehn scored a coup in convincing Thompson, who had won the nickname “The Tennessee Stud” during his D.C. bachelorhood, to meet her at the altar.”

A Boston Herald columnist, Margery Eagan, had this reaction to the photo:

Flashed around the country Thursday was yet another full cleavage shot of Fred Thompson’s child wife looking almost as well-endowed as Alex Rodriguez’s stripper/pole-dancer girlfriend.“That was quite a dress,”said one GOP analyst, breathless.

MSNBC’s Imus replacement commentator, former Republican Congressional Representative Joe Scarborough, recently had this on air exchange about Kehn:

SCARBOROUGH: Have you seen Fred Thompson’s wife?
CRAWFORD: Oh, yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: You think she thinks she works the pole?
CRAWFORD: That’s what a Hollywood career will do for you, I guess.
SCARBOROUGH: What do you mean?
CRAWFORD: You get wives like that.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, look at that guy. God bless him, I love his voice. But I mean, you know. He ain’t Robert Redford in”Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
CRAWFORD: Well I would like to see him back into politics because I think he’s a lousy actor.

You can watch the video here.

According to this USA Today article:

Video of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bantering on the cable news network Friday about whether Fred Thompson’s wife “works the pole” is sparking criticism of Scarborough from the right, left and in between.

A spokesman for the news network said this afternoon, though, that the comment has been taken out of context and that it is “irresponsible” to suggest Scarborough was employing sexual innuendo. “Works the pole” could have been a reference to poles that some strippers use in their acts. MSNBC says it was a reference to an exercise routine that a growing number of women are performing.

As both an actor and politician, I have to assume Thompson understands the importance of his public image, and that of his wife. Kehn is described in the NY Post article linked above as “a former Senate staffer and Republican National Committee mouthpiece” and “a sassy political pro who could help his cause in the White House.” It is difficult to divine what, if anything, her style of dress says about Thompson’s perceptions of the current electoral zeitgeist. Is Kehn willing to be publicly portrayed as a “pole worker” to burnish Thompson’s reputation as a “stud,” or did the media coverage turn out differently than they expected? If Thompson didn’t anticipate this kind of reaction, his political instincts probably aren’t all that good.

–Ann Bartow

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