Don't worry, governor: To err is human, to forget is Texan

Posted Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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A closer look

Perry on the federal agencies he wants to cut:

Perry: "... It's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone: Commerce, Education, and the ... what's the third one, there? Let's see."

...

Moderator: "... You can't name the third one?"

Perry: "The third agency of government. I would do away with Education, Commerce and let's see ... I can't. The third one, I can't. I'm sorry. Oops."

Has Rick Perry's performance in the debates turned you off toward him as a presidential candidate?

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kennedy What you need to know is that Texans have a long history of forgetting.

Besides the Alamo, which we are sworn to remember, we might forget anything: the fact that Alaska is bigger, the state song, the risks of eating raw jalapeños.

Lately, we've had lots to forget. There's the end of the Texas-A&M rivalry. And Game 6. And the realization that we really can't secede and wall off the Red River.

Personally, I've forgotten more lately than the guests on Willie Nelson's bus.

If "I forgot" isn't the state motto, then I don't know what is.

For example, take our governor.

A few years ago, he and the Texas Legislature completely forgot to collect enough money to cover the school budget.

They often forget to tax oil and gas wells. Particularly their friends' wells.

So it wasn't a surprise Wednesday when Gov. Rick Perry forgot which Washington agencies he'd wipe out.

Look, if we wanted a governor who could remember his lines, we would have elected Kinky Friedman.

Perry's lapse made me think of another forgetful Texan: the late Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith.

One day in the mid-1960s, the Cowboys were playing the New York Giants. Meredith, a country boy from Mount Vernon, brought the Cowboys to the line of scrimmage.

Silence.

Instead of a snap count, Meredith blurted a barnyard expletive.

Silence.

Finally, he shouted, "I clean forgot the play!"

Three Giants laughed so hard they jumped offside.

I don't think Perry was trying to draw anyone offside.

But he's staying in the game.

"His performance was going good up until he seemed to freeze," said Pastor Stephen Broden of Dallas, one of about 40 evangelical Christian leaders who gathered here last spring to discuss choosing a religious conservative presidential candidate.

As a Dallas pastor, Broden can talk football.

"What we're looking for is somebody to carry the ball and score for us as Christians," he said, listing causes such as abortion and the definition of marriage.

"Is Rick Perry the one? Can he win a debate? I don't think we know."

Oops.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Twitter @budkennedy

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