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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I was blessed to have been able to present Texas Senator Robert Duncan with a commemorative artifact this week, in a reception held in his honor.   Senator Duncan is retiring from the Texas Senate, after 21 years of service.  His new title is that of Chancellor of Texas Tech University.

Among the presenters who spoke at that event, four big ideas stuck in my mind as Senator Duncan's work as a public servant was recognized.  Here they are:

  1. He always brought civility to the table, even when dealing with contentious and partisan issues.  What a tribute!  I have written about Civility before, but it's a topic that gets short shrift in both text and deployment. 
  2. He always offered a solution, even when it was politically perilous. Rather than work and campaign on the "I'm agin' it" platform, he listened, sifted, synthesized, and forged workable solutions that could pass the this-is-good-for-us-all test.  Not seeing a lot of that kind of statesmanship these days.
  3. He constantly worked calmly and reasonably, with folks of both parties, to create consensus around important policy decisions.  Hmmmm...  Now I'm wishing he would run for national office.
  4. He leaves a "legacy of love" (to quote Charles Perry, the man who has won the seat Duncan vacated).  That is not a phrase often attached to those who have spent decades in political positions.  Wouldn't mind having that one tattooed on my own headstone.
Senator Duncan is genuinely a "good guy," and I'm betting he'll be missed by a LOT of folks in Austin (on both sides of the political aisle).   Texas Tech knocked it out of the park when they got him.

But the point of this blog is not so much to honor Senator/Chancellor Duncan as it is to point to the attributes he embodies that I believe we should look for in ALL our leaders (regardless of party, regardless of role).  

Perhaps the science of cloning offers some hope on this front.

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