Fred Thompson

Coonskin in the Game


Good find by the liberal blogger TBogg. Fred Thompson's pre-campaign website compares him to some of the truly great Americans:

In the tradition of Daniel Boone of Tennessee and President George Washington, citizen-legislators and leaders Thompson had admired growing up, he walked away from an easy reelection victory to seek new challenges.

There was no "Daniel Boone of Tennessee." There was a Daniel Boone of Kentucky, who was born in Pennsylvania and settled the Bluegrass state, as visitors to the Daniel Boone National Forest or readers of Teddy Roosevelt's essay "Daniel Boone's Move to Kentucky" can attest.

It's likely that someone named Daniel Boone has lived in Tennessee at some point in time, but less likely Thompson sees himself as a pioneer in that tradition. Both Daniel Boone and Tennessean Davy Crockett were played in beloved Disney films by Fess Parker, which would explain the mistake if Thompson was some kind of phony whose knowledge of the hard life came outta the movies instead of his own axe-chopping, Oregon-trailing, bear-wrestling experiences. If he was.

Tbogg's take on this is much funnier:

Former Senator Fred Thompson has an official website called: I'm With Fred, the express purpose of which is to lay the groundwork for his run for the Presidency once he gets done with sitting on the front porch and whittling and finally moseys on into town to file papers with the county recorder or some other act suitably bucolic enough to make Chris Matthews swoon.

NEXT: Who's Up for a Game of Point Football?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. More likely, Thompson, who I remain ambivolent about, never read & approved that particular line. Not surprising. I mean, do elected officials read -anything- that isn’t put in front of them by staffers?

    They barely read legislation as it is.

  2. Boone/Crockett, who cares. All that matters is Fred kilt a bar.

  3. I loved Daniel Boone when I was a kid. Though I never had no coon-skin cap. Neither did Dan, of course.

    His people may have meant Davy Crockett, who was in Congress, unlike Boone.

    Where is the kid who played Israel now? I have a feeling I don’t want to know.

  4. Some startling similarities between this story and the Paris Hilton story above — two media whores (one playing the whore part a bit more literally) actors working the public looking to be the sacrificial victim (unless GWB ends the Iraq war and makes a Republican candidacy viable again.)

  5. This looks, from my vantage point, like a serious case of picking nits. It has “who gives a rats ass” written all over it.

    Get back to us when you find some flip-flopping in his voting record, or some such.

  6. Mitt Romney kilt him plenty of bars. Well, varmints,anyway…

  7. Boone/Crockett. Iceberg/Goldberg, who the hell cares, the Titanic still went down.

  8. Greenest state in the land of the free….

  9. One will note that Daniel Boone (my great-great-…-great-granduncle) kept moving west as the borders of the U.S. expanded.

    U.S. history classes never address my own theory: Daniel Boone wasn’t blazing trails and opening territories for his fellow Americans; instead, he was trying to get the hell away from ’em.

  10. Probably because his “fellow Americans” did not exist as we now think of them…Boone fought against the British-allied Natives in the Revolutionary War and was nearly bankrupted by failed land prospects in Kentucky after the war.

    His extended hunting trips were conducted to generate capital from the beaver, otter, and deer skin trade.

    Trying to get away, indeed…

  11. To be fair, an axe-choppin’ man would probably be less likely to know that Crockett was the Tennesseean than someone who spent a lot of time watching Dan’l Boone/Davy Crockett movies.

  12. From the old Daniel Boone TV show:

    Daniel Boone was a man,
    Yes, a big man!
    He was brave, he was fearless
    And as tough as a mighty oak tree!

    From the coonskin cap on the top of ol’ Dan
    To the heel of his rawhide shoe;
    The rippin’est, roarin’est, fightin’est man
    The frontier ever knew!

  13. Those lyrics sound like they written by Chris Matthews during one of his man crushes.

  14. If Fess Parker was gay, I’m upset.

  15. Dave, Davy, Daniel, Ernie, everyone:

    The page has been now corrected — “of Tennessee” has been removed and now Daniel Boone is simply Daniel Boone.

  16. My favorite Daniel Boone story: After being gone for over two years, Boone came home to find his wife Rebecca nursing a newborn baby girl fathered by Daniel’s brother Ned. Without reservations, Daniel raised Jemima as his own saying, “If a bar (bear) is caught in my trap, then it’s my bar.”

  17. It seems Davy Crockett wore a ‘coon skin cap as the result of a misunderstanding when, after telling Daniel Boone that he was going Tennessee, Boone said, “Wear the fox hat”.

  18. I don’t remember where Thomas Jefferson was from….can i still quote from the Declaration of Independence?

    Was Adam Smith from Whales? or was he a Londoner?

    Does Chicago School of economics mean all those economists went to school in Chicago?

  19. Whereever Adam Smith was from it was definitely not “Whales”.

  20. Fred has been away from his home too long. I am from Fred’s home county, the home of Davy Crockett. Maybe Fred should come back home more and quit hobnobbing with the Hollywood elite and he would remember that it is Davy Crockett who is from Tennessee (his home county in fact) instead of Daniel Boone.

  21. Daniel Boone was raised in NC, where he found the Yadkin River on hunting trips as a boy. From the river he found Grandfather Mt. where four rivers flowed four ways, and he used them to guide him. Tennessee was not yet a state, nor was Kentucky, but Indian land. Wilkes County, NC in fact, stretched to the west to the ocean, in theory. I had to endure in my youth a wagon train from Wilkesboro, NC to Boone on the very trail Boone used. My aunt made me sleep in a cave on the Yadkin River where Boone had himself slept. Boone wanted to make money in the indian land but was always out running his debts. He wound up in Missouri, dying at age 85 there. He was a man, not unlike the one Cathy’s article speaks of. He was fleet of foot. Tennessee is always claiming everyone, including presidents Jackson, Polk and Johnson, all of whom NC claims as sons as well. NC doesn’t claim Fred. We confuse him with Frazer Crane. His running mate had better not favor Niles.

  22. There is evidence that Daniel Boone killed a few bears in Tennessee, that should be good enough for Tennessee to claim him.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.