Tag Archives: 1992 GOP convention

Time of My Life, Part 42: I met him before he was famous

Chris Matthews is celebrating 20 years as host of an MSNBC news/commentary talk show, “Hardball.” He has been getting salutes from fellow media stars, politicians and entertainers.

I don’t qualify as any of those categories of individuals, but I want to offer a salute of my own.

You see, I met Chris Matthews once before he was, well, “Chris Matthews.”

It was the summer of 1992 in sweltering Houston, Texas. Matthews and I worked for the same media corporate employer, the Hearst Corporation. I was attending the Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome while working as editorial page editor of the Beaumont Enterprise; Matthews was there as a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. He hadn’t yet made his big splash on cable news TV, although Matthews was a frequent guest — as I remember it — on the PBS program “The McLaughlin Group.”

The Hearst Newspapers had a work station deep in the bowels of the Astrodome. We all had our areas where we could organize our notes and send stories back to our newspapers through the primitive computer systems we used at the time.

One morning, I went to the small coffee bar we had set up in our work stations. Who do you think joined me there? Chris Matthews, that’s who. We chatted for a few minutes. I told him I enjoyed publishing his column in the Beaumont Enterprise; he thanked me for the exposure was getting in Southeast Texas. We had a laugh or two about what we had seen the previous day. Then our encounter ended.

My recollection of this guy, whose media personality is loud, brash, borderline rude is that he was much quieter when he was chatting with a fellow Hearst-oid. Yes, he is a gentleman.

OK, I admit to being a bit star struck as I recall that brief meeting. I doubt Chris Matthews would remember it, given the journeys our respective lives took after that encounter in the Houston Astrodome.

If he would remember, I would be flattered to the max. If he doesn’t, that’s all right. I do.

Hispanic, Anglo: Same thing? Umm, no

John Ellis Bush is no more Hispanic than his mother, father or his four siblings.

He’s an Anglo-American. But in 2009 he put “Hispanic” on his voter registration form.

Thus, the 2016 presidential campaign comedy of errors has begun — and John Ellis Bush, aka Jeb, isn’t even an official candidate for president.


PoliticsUSA, a left-leaning website, says Jeb Bush committed a third-degree felony by registering falsely when he listed his ethnicity as Hispanic. Those folks are all up in arms over it, complaining that the media are giving Bush a pass.

What does PoliticsUSA want to happen to Bush? Toss him in jail for committing a third-degree felony six years ago?

I’m not willing to slap irons on the former Florida governor’s wrists and/or ankles.

Hey, perhaps he was thinking of his wife, Columba, who was born in Mexico. She’s Hispanic, for sure. So are the couple’s children, the most notable of whom is George P. Bush, the newly elected Texas land commissioner.

My favorite memory of George P. Bush is watching the then-teenager at the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston extolling the virtues of his grandfather, President George H.W. Bush, who was seeking re-election. “Viva Boosh!” shouted George P. from the podium that day — bringing down the house in the Astrodome.

Jeb Bush will get past this little kerfuffle.

Just a reminder, though: John Ellis Bush, you are an Anglo. Keep it straight in the future, all right?