Fred Thompson, the outsider, anti-Washington candidate, is running into a few bumps in his nascent campaign, with questions arising about his work in the 1990’s as a K Street lobbyist.

Thompson’s pre-campaign hit one of its biggest stumbling blocks over the fact that he lobbied on behalf of a pro-choice group. Now, The New York Times reports Thompson gave advice to Libyan intelligence officials implicated in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Talk about an opportunity for an attack ad.

Mr. Thompson has said he makes no apologies for his legal and lobbying work, emphasizing in one online essay that every person, no matter how unpopular, is entitled to representation and that lawyers’ work on behalf of a client is no indication of their own personal views

I’m not sure Americans see lobbyists in the same way they do lawyers, because lobbying involves more of an advocacy aspect. (While the Libyan work may have been simply legal advice, the Times article points out other work he did for clients involved a much greater deal of hands-on involvement.)

Arguing that he would lobby for anyone doesn’t speak well of his personal convictions, while arguing that he doesn’t remember who he lobbied for doesn’t speak well of his work ethic.

So who else has Fred lobbied for? You can bet it’s all going to come out in the course of the campaign, and fair or not, he’s going to have to come up with a better response.

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