Hollywood actor Fred Thompson casts himself as an "outsider" but is there anything more inside than hobnobbing as a lobbyist in Washington's power corridors?
As a lobbyist for more than 20 years, billion-dollar corporations paid Thompson for his access to members of Congress and White House staff. During that time he was close to two Senate majority leaders, both from his home state of Tennessee — his political mentor Howard Baker and, more recently, his former colleague Bill Frist.
During Baker's tenure, Thompson lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry's collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.
More recently, while Frist led the Senate, Thompson earned more than $750,000 lobbying for a British reinsurance company that wanted to limit its liability from asbestos lawsuits.