Colbert King, of the Washington Post:
Far be it from me to start trouble, but former Tennessee Republican senator Fred Thompson, the presidential candidate who portrays himself as a conservative outsider capable of reforming Washington, is playing down his kinship with this town. Thompson may campaign as a steadfast son of the South, but he is really one of us.
In fact, no other White House hopeful, Republican or Democrat, can come close to matching Thompson's insider credentials. He alone among the contenders has managed to reach the pinnacle of Washington influence: the presidency of the Federal City Council, a powerful, behind-the-scenes group comprising a who's who of this city's top business, professional and civic leaders. The Federal City Council is synonymous with the Washington establishment, and Thompson was its chosen leader from 2003 to 2005.
The list of former council presidents reads like a roster of the city's famous heavy hitters. Thompson succeeded former Senate majority leader Bob Dole. Former House speaker Tom Foley preceded Dole.