Newsweek, September 17, 2007

Bad Casting Decisions
Holly Bailey
SECTION: PERISCOPE; Thompson; Pg. 12 Vol. 150 No. 12 ISSN: 0028-9604
192 words

Fred Thompson has announced that he wants to run the country, but he still needs to show he can establish order among his staff. Over the summer, the former Tennessee senator's would-be campaign struggled to get going amid tensions between aides and his wife, Jeri. To get his bid back on track, Thompson brought in an old friend, Bill Lacy, a respected GOP operative, to run his campaign. Perhaps inevitably, that effort is producing new casualties. Just hours before Thompson made his White House run official on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Mark Corallo--a veteran PR hand who had been involved with Thompson’s presidential effort longer than any other aide--resigned. That came just days after the exit of Jim Mills, a former Fox News producer who was hired three weeks ago as press secretary. Corallo declined NEWSWEEK's interview request. Mills trashed Thompson to NBC: "I am currently checking in with my Catholic friends to see if they can recommend any local priests who still perform exorcisms." A senior Thompson aide, who declined to be named, said: "We are sorry that they have decided to leave. But ... we're moving on.”

-Holly Bailey
GRAPHIC: photo, IN AND OUT: THOMPSON throws his hat into the presidential ring