A wealthy guy who has dabbled a bit in politics, who has long enjoyed perks afforded him by the Bush family, who was involved in the Texas Rangers ball club, and who now wants to run for Governor?
But enough about George W. Bush. Let’s talk about Tom Schieffer.
Schieffer, by all accounts a nice guy and a serious-minded man, very decisively declared yesterday that he might think about considering to commence to begin mulling over running for Governor, he thinks, maybe. In a rousing beginning to his efforts to attract Democratic primary voters, he proudly proclaimed that he doesn’t regret supporting George W. Bush all those years.
Ever-vigilant and on the lookout for wealthy Democrats who shave regularly and can accessorize properly, half the Democratic establishment immediately spread their prayer rugs, and facing the general direction of Dallas/Fort Worth, said a few prayerful and moving words.
Others rolled their eyes and pretended to be somewhat polite, like when that guy you never really liked shows up to the family reunion and very promptly reminds you of why you always hate going to family reunions.
The consultant class, for their part, quickly became sexually aroused, especially because their 2002 model year vehicles, which are named “Tony,” all have high mileage and need to be replaced soon.
But not so fast.
Schieffer is a serious guy who many seem to be welcoming to the fray, if only cautiously. He may not ultimately prove to be The Chosen One for the Democrats, but what the hell – the discussion ain’t a bad thing.
Democratic primaries are rough on Democrats. People take this stuff seriously, and they should. Primaries are a bit like family reunions – evolving and redefining what kind of family it is, or should be, and every bit as annoying sometimes. But it is an important process.
And you can’t have a real discussion unless there’s more than one person talking.
Does Schieffer’s resume disqualify him from the discussion before the discussion begins? Of course not. And I will note for the record that the entire time he spent in public service as Bush’s ambassador to Australia and Japan, we never once found ourselves in a war against either country, which is a much better deal than a lot of countries got under the Bush regime.
Schieffer has a lot to explain to Democratic voters over the coming months, starting with why Democrats should trust a man to share their collective values, after he spent so many years defending Bush’s positions around the world. Maybe he can explain it to Democratic voters, and maybe he can’t. But let’s at least welcome the discussion, while remembering past election cycles in Texas during which the lack of choices silenced all discussion. How did that turn out for us?
At the end of the day, I trust Democratic voters to make good choices from among their options. Sometimes the options haven’t been great, and sometimes the choices could have been better. But for the most part, Democratic primary voters have sorted it all out pretty well most of the time.
So those who aren’t crazy about a Schieffer candidacy shouldn’t feel threatened by the debate – the debate is what primary elections are supposed to be about.
I’ll have more to say about this, but I’m running late and it’s time to drive ol’ Tony to the Capitol for meetings.