I heard the most interesting thing this evening while driving home from a band parent meeting at my son’s school. As is my habit (the rest of my family might say “obsession”), I tune in the news at the top and bottom of every hour when I am in the car. This goes back to the first stirrings of desire to be a journalist when I was in high school.
Anyway, it must be a slow news day in Austin, because the second story (the first was a mere reminder of the Vice-Presidential debate due to begin a half-hour later) was about local singer/songwriter/musician/entrepreneur/wannabe politician/colorful Texan Kinky Friedman‘s opinions on Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin. I tried to locate a transcript on the Web, or even an audio clip, but no joy. Good thing I memorized, almost verbatim, what he said:
As a former Gubernatorial candidate with no political experience, I can identify with Sarah Palin. She is the most maligned person to walk the planet since Jesus Christ, and that is enough to earn my respect. She’s got my support.
For those of you who don’t keep up with politics in the Lone Star State, Kinky Friedman, running as an Independent, came in 2nd in the 2006 Governor’s race to incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry. Third place went to another Independent, former Comptroller (and mother of former White House spokesman Scott McClellan) Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn, while the Democrat candidate Chris Bell came in a distant fourth.
Friedman is better known, though, for heading up his band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys, who famously headlined the only episode of Austin City Limits that never aired. He lends his name to a line of salsas and cigars. His campaign slogans during his run for Governor? “He’s not Kinky, he’s my Governor” and more famously, “Why the Hell Not?”
Remember, this is the man who wanted to appoint Willie Nelson to a statewide office in charge of promoting biofuels. Not exactly the stereotypical conservative. Still, he was also quoted as identifying Gov. Palin as “Ronald Reagan in a dress.” I believe that to be high praise. She quoted the Gipper heavily tonight in the debate. I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again: Sarah Palin seems to be appointed next to wear Reagan’s mantle of “The Great Communicator.” For her to win over someone as diametrically opposite in manor, demeanor, and choice of friends as Kinky Friedman is high praise, indeed. Thanks, pardner!