When I worked for U. S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, I was surprised that the local media treated me like a celebrity and ran stories when I came to town. Front page, sometimes.
The charade climaxed when organizers asked me to be a substitute speaker on the first annual legislative panel convened in Wharton, Texas. That's rice country near the Gulf coast. The event was, and still is, a big deal.
Although I have written speeches for others many years, I don't give speeches. Like many people, I freeze up. There is a serious disconnect between my brain and my mouth.
But I couldn't wriggle out of the request. I gave the speech. At least I think I did. When I sat down from the microphone, I had no idea how long I had talked nor what I had said. It was all a blur. But then the state senator seated next to me on the dais leaned over and whispered, "Well said."
I thought about that and, in my delirium, concluded he was right. It was a good speech. I'm the toughest little S.O.B. in town. I should do this more often. Maybe a new career.
Next up was State Representative Joe Hubenak, a self-confessed member of the Bohemian Mafia and proud of it. Joe blew smoke for 45 minutes in the most disjointed, rambling and awful speech I had ever heard.
When Joe finished, I heard the Senator murmur, "Well said."