Who Should Speak for the City at the JFK Commemoration?

As the program notes, Friday’s ceremony will be “concise.” Historian David McCullough will give “special readings” from JFK speeches. Mayor Mike Rawlings will give a speech. Then comes the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and a flyover. Here’s what has me worried: the mayor is not a gifted orator. He’s okay off the cuff, but this isn’t the sort of thing you want to do off the cuff. Realizing this, he has been working on his speech since January. This can go one of two ways. Either all that preparation pays off and the mayor kills it, or all that preparation leads to total vapor lock (see how he begins his speech in the above video) in front of a dozen network TV cameras, making Dallas seem, well, not BIG.

Okay, look, the mayor will do fine. (Keep saying it: the mayor will do fine, the mayor will do fine …) But if you had to pick another speaker to represent Dallas, who would be? David Stern? TD Jakes? (Yes, yes, I know he now lives in Fort Worth, but his main church is still in Dallas.) Jerry Jones?


  • Eric Celeste

    Emmit Smith?

    • Eric Celeste

      Emmitt. Dangit.

    • J. Erik Jonsson

      You have time to post on Front Burner, you have time to post a new pod.

  • Tim Rogers

    Brought to you by Hed-a-duh-duh tequila?

  • David Burrows

    I’m good with it as long as he high-fives the Glee Club..

  • GordoKeith fan

    Robert Wilonsky.

  • RAB

    The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders doing an interpretive routine.


    Tim Rogers?

  • Brian Youngblood

    Maybe you should hire Sttickland’s copy editor?

  • Zac Crain

    OK, OK. I’ll do it.

  • scooter

    Jerry Jones should speak. He needs to picked up in a black Lincoln convertible and driven slowly thru Dealey Plaza. Very slowly. Multiple times if necessary.

  • Tim Rogers

    If I gave the speech, it would be greatly noted and long remembered. No question. But, despite my good intentions, it would probably NOT cast the city in the best light. (“With a little red wine and that white ‘X,’ I might just get lucky tonight.”)

  • heels

    Rob and Doug Ford, pleeeeeease.

  • RAB

    I’ve heard it called a Steely Dan but never a White X. Is it a newer model? Multiple settings?

  • matthew

    Arthur and Archie

    • Tim Rogers

      +10 if I could, man. That is a SOLID callback.

  • Dubious Brother

    If only Ron Washington lived in Dallas.

  • jfpo

    Bruce Alger is still alive and as crazy as ever. Who better could express the true spirit of Dallas in 1963?

  • Peter Simek

    non-joke answer: Louise Cowan

    • Tim Rogers

      I laughed maniacally until I saw that you said it wasn’t a joke. (But, yeah, good suggestion.)

  • ozusco

    my final theory is mac wallace fired the fatal shot through the overpass, the fingerprint at the book building was a plant to divert attention from him if it got that far, the rest was a planned smokescreen around that

  • mr_lakewood

    I would say our homegrown (Woodrow ’65) Pultizer Prize winner Lawrence Wright. He has been speaking on the subject recently (interviewed by Jim Lehrer) and wrote a defining piece thirty years ago for Texas Monthly: http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/why-do-they-hate-us-so-much

  • Anonymous


  • Lisa R

    Ruth Altshuler so we can continue to hear her say, “We are not the City of Hate.” (Which of course, dredges up phrase’s association with our city.)

  • Cole Daugherty

    I knew the name but thanks for the motivation to find out more, including this profile of Dr. Cowan from D Magazine in 1979: https://www.dmagazine.com/Home/1979/05/01/The_Prime_of_Louise_Cowan.aspx