From Michelle Cottle’s profile of Fred Thompson in the latest TNR:
[T]he teenage Thompson was regarded as likeable, outgoing, lazy (he had a tendency to doze off during class), and an incorrigible cutup. (As the Nashville Tennessean charmingly reported, Thompson’s high school principal had to create a separate study hall for the mischief- making athlete and one of his close pals, accessible only through the principal’s office.) Most folks assumed Freddie’s future held nothing more exceptional than following his dad into the used-car business. The summer after his junior year, Thompson got his girlfriend, Sarah Lindsey, "in trouble," as people used to delicately put it. The couple married in September of Thompson’s senior year and moved in with Sarah’s parents while the groom finished high school. Fred Dalton "Tony" Thompson Jr. was born in spring 1960. Three years later, daughter Betsy arrived during her parents’ junior year at Memphis State University. In 1964, Thompson enrolled at Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, and, for the next three years, Sarah taught (when not on maternity leave with their third child, Dan) while Fred worked as everything from a shoe salesman to a hotel night clerk to help support the family.
Over the years, Thompson has made repeated reference to the fact that he isn’t the kind of guy driven to achieve. "I have never beaten down a lot of doors in my life," he told Fox News in March. "Occasionally, doors have opened to me, and I had sense enough to see they were opening and I would walk through them, and they’ve always turned out well for me." Ironically, getting his high school sweetheart pregnant was the first and arguably most important of these doors. Considerably more goal-oriented than her young beau, Sarah has long been credited with starting Thompson on the road to personal maturity and professional direction.
Could be worse. We could be contemplating President Blutarsky. Again.