A question missing from the recent Tom Schieffer interview, executed by excellent Burnt Orange Report writer Todd Hill, could have been “What have you done for me lately?” If you haven’t read the interview, you should.
Call me selfish or just an Austinite, but when reading about Schieffer, potential Texas gubernatorial Democratic candidate, and a Bush-appointed Ambassador to Japan & Australia, I spend most of my time like a girl on a bad date: Pushing food around on my plate, trying to find a spark with the guy, and unable to see past his eau de motor oil (true story) or the fact that he carries a credit card with a large-mouth bass on it (also true – don’t ever date a veterinarian).
In Schieffer’s case, it’s neither an odor or fishing hobby that distracts me. Instead, it’s his longstanding friendship with George Bush – yes, that one – that makes me not want to order dessert.
Granted, like Garth reminds us, we’ve all got friends in low places. For Schieffer, it’s unfortunate that his low friend happens to have such a high profile. And if you’re going to run for Governor as a Texas Democrat, you’re going to have to cheat on Bush (or, and this is optional, publicly humiliate him) before you manage to get this girl’s vote.
If I squint my eyes just right (okay, I have to shut them), I can understand Schieffer’s support of a gubernatorial W. After all, they met while they were working with the Texas Rangers (we’re talking baseball here, not law enforcement). We’ve all got our Rangers memories, mine being that I was at a perfect game pitched by Kenny Rogers Jr. in 1994. I’d still be friends with the raging drunks sitting in front of my dad and me if they’d managed to get any words out other than “Throw ‘im the heeeeter!” I think this must be similar to the Schieffer-Bush good ol’ days, forged together by hot dogs and halogen lights.
But it’s not 1994 and the Rangers suck now. George Bush’s batting average doesn’t seem to have held up that well either. That’s why I cringed when I read Schieffer’s response to whether he was loyal to the state and nation as opposed to Bush. “George Bush is a friend of mine,” Schieffer said. “George Bush and I don’t have the same politics, particularly on domestic issues.” So they don’t have the same politics on domestic issues. But what about international issues? That whole torture thing and cooked up war on terror? Agree or disagree?
But back to our date. Schieffer’s friendship with Bush, and seemingly continued support of his friend, is kind of the quirky “Did he really just do that?” feeling you get when your date is discussing the various ways to prepare squirrel meat for human consumption (again, the veterinarian). It’s clearly not in line with any values you might have, or anything you might endorse, but Democrats, like single, lonely women, can be desperate lovers. We can fall for a nice suit and tie, someone who buys us dinner, or even someone who promises us a good time.
Yet this is no date. We can’t be deluded by white picket fences and engagement rings. At the end of this, Democrats are left staring at someone with a core value completely different from ours, and a question: What have you done for Texas lately? What will you do for me? Schieffer remains a question mark, an out-of-touch, former-legislator-turned-overseas-diplomat who, upon his recent return to Texas, needed to drive around the perimeter of the state with a copy of Texas Monthly’s Best BBQ joints issue just to remind himself of what Texans need.
Some of us have been here the last eight years. We know all too well. No disrespect to Texas Monthly, but Texans don’t need a weatherman to tell which way Cooper’s is.