Fred: Jeri was just following orders

A strange piece. When I saw the headline, I thought it was going to be an ostentatious show of Fred’s chivalrous southern manners and innate alpha male gallantry via an impassioned plea to the press to lay off the missus. But no, it’s really more apologetic than anything. He takes a swipe in passing at the media for having its facts wrong on some things but the main part, oddly, seems directed at campaign staffers who might have been rubbed the wrong way by Jeri’s management style:

“We started literally from the kitchen table a few months ago,” he said. “While I did the things that I felt like I needed to do — I had a contract with NBC television, I had a contract with ABC radio, I was chairman of the advisory board on international security for the State Department, and a lot of other things — while I was disengaging from that and getting my thoughts together on issues and things of that nature, public comments I knew I would be called on to make, I asked her to do certain things for me. She did what I asked her to do.”

The former senator said his wife’s actions, however they have been interpreted in the press, have been at his behest. “She always looks out for my best interests, and when she sees something that she knows I would not approve of, or is not in my best interest, she voices that concern — in other words, just exactly the way I would want her to. Now, some people don’t like that, especially some people who have their own issue with regard to the campaign, shall we say, and they take advantage of putting out anonymous comments and so forth.”

Who cares about any of this? The only concrete allegation of Jeri having clashed with a top staffer was after former campaign manager Tom Collamore resigned. Bob Novak wrote an op-ed last week alleging that Collamore wasn’t ready for primetime anyway and had never intended to manage the campaign once it launched, so what’s the big deal? Or am I missing the point here insofar as what this is really about is reminding people that Fred wears the pants in his family, not Mrs. Thompson?