When Stephen Rodrick profiled former senator Fred Thompson, also the incumbent New York County district attorney on Law & Order and an all-but-declared presidential candidate in real life, Rodrick took a look at Thompson's Senate papers, which the then-lapsed politician donated to the University of Tennessee in 2005. Among them was a good deal of his senatorial correspondence, both letters received and those sent. And there were some good ones. After the jump, highlights from a few of our favorites.
(Click the links below for PDFs of the actual letters.)
• February 2, 1995, thank-you note to Bill Clinton: "I had a fight with my staff as to whether I should smoke the cigar or keep it as a memento from the President."
• February 2, 1995, letter to John Hughes: "I have not forgotten you owe me a fundraiser. Call your buddy Rupert Come to Washington when you get a chance and visit your money."
• August 5, 1995, handwritten at the bottom of a thank-you note to Al D'Amato: "Looking forward to the Hamptons!"
• January 29, 1996, letter of apology from Bruce Willis: "With your help, and the help [sic] many like you, our government may again be for and by the people, serving them by opening windows and allowing the free enterprise system to work instead of hindering them with debt, waste, taxes and failed programs and policies. P.S. You were great in Die Hard P.S.S. [sic] I'm doing a WWII action picture this year that you'd be perfect for if you're interested."
• March 26, 1996, thank-you note from Trent Lott: "My family and I certainly enjoyed being with you this past weekend in Nashville. You certainly know how to 'throw a party!'" Handwritten at the bottom: "Lorrie loved me!"
• April 1, 1997, thank-you note from Oliver Stone: "I have no doubt your call to the governor was very helpful in securing my visit to James Earl Ray in Nashville."
• April 3, 2001, handwritten at the bottom of a thank-you note from Russ Feingold: "All kidding aside, you were essential to our success from the outset!"