Links - Official Sites: Tommy Tompson for President, Akin Gump, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, LHI
Tommy G. Thompson Collection at Marquette University
Finances: FEC
Organization  ...P2000 page

In Brief - Partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.  Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.  President of Logistics Health Incorporated of La Crosse, WI (named to the position in Feb. 2005).  ("LHI designs, implements and manages occupational health services, medical and dental readiness services, and secure data management for the U.S military and DHHS, as well as numerous commercial companies.")  Health and Human Services Secretary, sworn in Feb. 2, 2001 served to Jan. 2005.  Served 14 years as Governor of Wisconsin; first elected in 1986 and re-elected in 1990, 1994, 1998; resigned in Jan. 2001 to become HHS Secretary.  Unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1979.  Elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1966 and re-elected ten consecutive times; elected assistant minority leader in 1973 and Republican floor leader in 1981.  B.S. (1963) and J.D. (1966) from University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Born November 19, 1941 in Elroy, WI. [Timeline].

The Wisconsin Candidate
For much of 2005-06, if one had suggested Wisconsinite might run for president in 2008, the likely candidate would have been Democratic Senator Russ Feingold.  Former Wisconsin Governor and Health & Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson had largely been out of the public eye since leaving the Bush Administration in January 2005.  He had been busy, working as a partner at Akin Gump, chairing the the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and serving as president of Logistics Health Inc., a LaCrosse based health services company.

In September 2006 Thompson started making occasional visits to Iowa.  He formed a leadership PAC, Forward America PAC, on Oct. 24, 2006, very late in the cycle.  During his fifth Iowa trip, on November 15, Thompson said he would form a presidential exploratory committee, and on December 13 aides filed papers with the FEC to establish a committee.  Thompson pursued an intensive Iowa strategy, making 14 visits to the state in the first quarter of 2007.  He affirmed that he was running for president during an April 1 appearance on ABC News' "This Week" and formally announced his candidacy on April 4, terming himself "the reliable conservative."

Broad Experience
Thompson brought to the campaign an impressive amount of executive and management experience through his 14 years of service as Governor of Wisconsin and four years running the Department of Health & Human Services.  Thompson remains Wisconsin's longest serving governor.  One of his signature accomplishments was the Wisconsin Works (W-2) welfare-to-work legislation which he signed into law on April 25, 1996.  He also gained notice for creating the nation's first parental school choice program in 1990.  A fact sheet provided by the exploratory committee notes that, "Thompson cut taxes 91 times, saving taxpayers $16.4 billion.  He used his veto more than any Governor in America, cutting more than $287 million in wasteful spending."  Through his work at HHS and subsequently, Thompson has likewise gained extensive expertise on one of the most pressing challenges facing the country today, that of spiraling health care costs.  Additionally, Thompson's work at LHI gives him private sector experience.

Midwest Appeal
As a midwesterner, Thompson was well-versed in regional issues, and he hoped to translate that understanding into a strong showing in the first-in-the-nation caucuses in neigboring Iowa.  He tapped Steve Grubbs, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, to lead his effort there.  In a Jan. 3, 2007 interview with the Des Moines Register (reported Jan. 4) Thompson stated, "I'll be here more than any other candidate...I look at this as trying to run for sheriff in 99 counties in Iowa."  While Iowa could give Thompson a boost, his potential appeal in other states was less clear.  By the end of the first quarter of 2007 he had yet to set foot in New Hampshire.

Straw Poll Dashes Hopes
All told Thompson made 42 visits and spent 65 campaign days (days with public events) in Iowa.  He ended his campaign after a sixth place finish at the August 11, 2007 Iowa Republican Straw poll in Ames (1,039 votes or 7.3 %).  On October 12, 2007 Thompson endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

April 14, 2007-Republican Party of Iowa's Abraham Lincoln Unity Dinner.
April 1, 2007-After an appearance on ABC News' "This Week"

April 14, 2007-Republican Party of Iowa's Abraham Lincoln Unity Dinner.

On the Web
(April 3, 2007-date launched) Akin Gump page

Copyright © 2006, 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action