Mar. 26, 2021

NEVER FORGET: POLITICIANS ARE/WERE PEOPLE...FIRST.

In the early seventies, I was a staffer for United States Senator John McClellan’s last Senate Race.  Those were the years when politicians were gentlemen-politicians, always respectful of their opponents, and would NEVER have lowered their standards to raise big money for slandering, defacing, and belittling their opposition. 

Those were the days of classic, highly-respected US politicians from Arkansas... like McClellan, Fulbright, even Senator David Pryor-- and now---those days are past, over, finished.  Even Arkansas Congressman Wilbur Mills and his late-night "Tidal Basin Romp" with Fanny Fox (remember?) was like“child's play” when compared to the political atrocities of Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, Biden, The Clintons, and other self-serving politicians.

While a student at Lindenwood College (St. Charles, MO), I visited Independence, Missouri, home to Harry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States.  Accompanied by Secret Service, President Truman was out for his daily walk when the two of us almost-collided as we rounded the same corner.  He introduced himself, shook my hand, and asked me to join him on his walk.  We walked together for approximately six blocks with secret service close-behind, while he pointed out sites of interest along our route. As soon as we reached his house, he told me the best way to reach Main Street, my destination.  Before saying goodbye, President Truman shook my hand—then decided I needed a fatherly hug. This has always been a wonderful memory for me. 

Decades later, something similar happened in Houston, Texas.  Out for my morning run, I saw a group of runners coming toward me.  As they got closer, I recognized the lead runner was George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States. The other runners, respectfully-allowing President Bush to “take the lead”---- were obviously members of his secret service detail.   As we passed each other, the President waved and shouted “Morning, pretty lady!”  Excited by such a rare encounter, I waved and shouted, “I love you, Mr. President.”  I remember thinking Daddy George had great-looking legs for an older man.

Although we never met in-person, I was invited to attend President Ronald Reagan’s Funeral in Washington DC.  Even better, I was able to travel with the Press to Andrews Air Force Base and watch President Reagan’s casket  being removed from Air Force One and ceremoniously-carried--with Full Honors-- to a waiting Hearse.  I watched as President Reagan returned to DC where he would lie—in state—in the Capitol Rotunda.

Here is a list of Arkansas Governors I knew—both professionally and----personally: Orville Faubus, Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Sid McMath, Bill Clinton, Winthrop Rockefeller, Frank White, and  Mike Huckabee.  Some on this list were friends before they became Arkansas Politicians.   Some became Governors then -- became U.S. Senators, and, of course (Surprise-Surprise!) one Governor even became a two-term U.S. President.

PS…In 2016, I wrote about meeting Donald J. Trump in the eighties…when I was working in New York City. He wasn’t the President at that time but…I was “warned” to “keep an eye on Trump because he was an ongoing success story and... destined for greatness.”