Molly Ivins on Picking a Governor

Tough as Bob War and Other Stuff June 7, 1986

We’ve just survived another political season largely unscathed. I voted for Bobby Locke for governor: he’s the one who challenged Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to hand-to-hand combat. In the Gulf of Sidra. On the Line of Death. At high noon. Next Fourth of July, “Only one of us will come out of the water alive,” said Locke. Locke thinks the trouble with America is that we’ve lost respect for our leaders and this would be a way to restore some. Me too. Besides, you should have seen the other guys.

The Republicans had a congressman running who thinks you get AIDS through your feet. That’s representative Tom Loeffler of Hunt, who is smarter than a box of rocks. His television advertisements proudly claimed, “He’s as tough as bob war” (bob war is what you make fences with), and also that in his youth Loeffler played football with two broken wrists. This cause uncharitable persons to question the man’s good sense, so he explained that he didn’t know his wrists were broken at the time. Loeffler went to San Francisco during the campaign to make a speech. While there, he wore shower caps on his feet while showering lest he get AIDS from the tile in the tub. He later denied that he had spent the entire trip in his hotel room. He said: “I did walk around the hotel. I did see people who do have abnormal tendencies. I’d just as soon not be associated with abnormal people.” If that’s true, what was he doing running for governor of Texas?”

Molly Ivins

The Nation 1865-1990: Selections From the Independent Magazine of Politics and Culture