Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Political Face of Daddy D

Shreveport (July 26) - I have been thrust into the world of politics. This is not something I anticipated or sought, but there it is. One of my oldest friends has decided to run for mayor, and she asked me to introduce her at her announcement party. To be honest with you, I really don’t know a lot about her politics, but she has helped my family and me so much over such a long period of time that I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. I’ve introduced her twice now. I offered similar thoughts about our friendship at her first major fundraiser.
Having spent decades in the media, there are some things I have difficulty doing. I really struggle to cheer at sporting events. One of the fastest ways to be banned from a press box is to openly support one team or another. I also have been taught over the course of my adult life to never take a stand in the political arena. As a member of the media, it’s professional suicide to support a candidate publicly. So, being an out-front, face person for a mayoral candidate is a little disconcerting.
The politics of this mayoral race aside, I’m supporting someone who has supported me. This obviously is a major leap for my friend Liz, and my wife and I have her back whether she wins the election or not. The campaign has just begun and I have no idea what tone it will take. I’ve said for a while now that I know so many people who are running for mayor that I’ve just starting saying “good luck in the race.” I feel a little awkward because my wife and I are well acquainted with Republican candidate Jerry Jones and his wife. In fact, I felt compelled to explain to Jerry in advance why I would be publicly introducing Liz. To his credit, he said he understood and patted me on the shoulder.
There are many qualified candidates for mayor, and I feel confident that the city will be just fine under the leadership of most of them. Only one helped me navigate the treacherous waters of dating in the early 80’s. Only one propped me up as I made glaring mistakes in judgment personally and professionally. Only one had her mother cook elaborate meals for her hungry single friend. Only one stood up for us on our wedding day. Only one threw bridal showers for my fiancĂ© and baby showers for my wife. Only one allowed us to fill her garage with furniture and boxes while we were building a house. Only one can induce a cathartic belly laugh when I’m dealing with stress. Only one offered advice and guidance when I was making a massive career change. I know and like and have confidence in several mayoral candidates, but only one is a friend in the truest sense of the word.
Only one asked me to introduce her candidacy to the city, and I enthusiastically embraced the opportunity.

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