Kirk on Leppert and Dallas's Next Mayor

Last week, the Texas Tribune sat down in Austin to chat up U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Today, the Trib posted some of that interview, during which Kirk reveals that when he stepped down as Dallas Mayor, he cried. So did Schutze. Like a baby.

You can watch the video. Or read the transcript. Your choice. Well, don't cry about it.
TT: What do you think of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert's decision to resign to run for U.S. Senate? Any advice?

Kirk: I know Tom Leppert. He's a good man. I think he's been a good mayor for Dallas. I will only say this: One of the last times I cried as an adult was the night before I resigned as mayor, because I loved being mayor, and I loved the privilege of being the face and voice of a dynamic city and being responsible for the hopes and dreams of a million people, and trying to address their issues of safety, how to build a better economic future. And when I resigned, I said my prayer was that Dallas would have a better mayor than me, because they'd never have one that loved it any more. I've got to assume that's what he's going through. Beyond that, that's a conversation for you to have with Tom Leppert. What I would say is I hope whoever is our next United States senator from Texas understands the critical importance of America having a thoughtful, progressive trade policy to our economic future. No state benefits more from exporting than Texas.

TT: What is Dallas looking for in its next mayor?

Kirk: What Dallas wants from a mayor is vision, integrity, leadership and character. And I think it's okay to have a mayor who wants and loves the job. I am always suspicious of people who credential themselves for public office by virtue of the fact they're not a politician. And I think part of our challenge in this country is we elect people over and over again who have told us that they don't know anything about politics. And then we put them all in office and can't understand why nothing works. This is a big job. Dallas is a big city. You've got 1.2 million people, a multibillion-dollar budget. You need someone that understands the politics of governing. And I don't believe you can lead an institution you don't love and respect. And more than any other individual, the mayor's job is to go out and sell Dallas every day.

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I think it is our civic duty as Texans to highlight Mayor Liar's record in Dallas all across the state. GOP Primary voters should be warned that he can not tell the truth.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Trade policy? As though Texas has ever had a senator who didn't favor free trade? (check my math; I really can't remember Bentsen's record on trade)

So, if Ron Kirk is so committed to improving US exports, is it the fault of his boss that he's been able to conclude no major trade deals in his tenure?

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

Kirk: What Dallas wants from a mayor is vision, integrity, leadership and character.

Way to say almost nothing at all. "Vision". So he's saying we want a mayor that has ideas of things he wants to do, without specifying what those things are. Yeah OK, I can go with that. It's just that I want a mayor who has a vision of fixed potholes.

"Integrity". So as a politician that means once you've been bought, you stay bought, right?

"Leadership". He can tell people what to do. Yeah, that's a tough one.

"Character". You know, I once thought Leppert had no character at all but the Observer has definitely highlighted his wacky side. I'll forever have visions of Leppert in the various funny poses that have been caught on camera. Maybe we should find some homeless guy to be mayor next. I bet they just ooze character.


Kirk is, in my opinion wrong. But that comes down to how do you define politician. I think there's too much selling. Especially the kind that Ron Kirk specializes in. He's a hell of a guy. But, that is not as important to me as being competent. I believe Ron was. He spent years lobbying for Dallas, and then in private practice. He knew well how gov't works. He knew the technocratic side and the influence peddling side.

I appreciate his saying that it's important to elect people who repect the position, though this needs to be fleshed out as well. The GOP doesn't respect gov't as a party platform. It is unconscionable that these people are ever entrusted to public office. I'm all for less gov't but like a flat tax that's easier decreed than achieved. Less gov't requires effective and efficient regulation; lest we allow greedy corporations and banks to destroy the economy and pensions, which later get bailed out. It's unlikely we can find that from people who don't really believe in regulation. The GOP's childish attitude leaves the field to the Dems. who need more push back and to be challenged to be more efficient.

But, sadly, Mr Kirk is really offering a deception. For, so long as we vote on such meaningless aphorisms as freedom, liberty and patriotism, we as citizens and voters fail to demand more from our politicos, and they let lobbyists write the laws. Never in the process are we seeking the most efficient, effective and eloquent laws and regulations. Rather, we are scratching backs and greasing palms, and hoping that somewhere they throw us a bone. But, too often we have to take the bone. But, to be fair, we were asking for it.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Ron Kirk thinks Liar Liar Leppert is a good man and was a good mayor. Then Kirk says we want integrity and character in a mayor. How could anyone describe Leppert as a man of integrity or someone of character?

Kirk is forever the politician.

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