VOICES A DAUGHTER’S DEFENSE

After the Senate rejected John Tower as Secretary of Defense, the former Senator came home to Texas vowing to put politics behind him. Not so quick to forget Tower’s trial by (FBI) file is Dallasite Penny Tower Cook, thirty-four, oldest of Tower’s three daughters. She spoke to writer John Hawkins about the lingering pain of the Tower confirmation affair:

●”I felt so helpless.. .so sorryfor my dad. It’s not easy towatch someone you love be putthrough all that. It’s really hardto put it aside when the firstthing you hear on the news everymorning and the last thing youhear at night before you go tobed are new, unbelievableallegations of misconductagainst your dad.”

●”I went to Washington [during the hearings] because whenyou’re looking at someone’sdaughter, it becomes a lot harder to isolate that person as a non-feeling. non-family kind ofentity. Early on, I was identifiedby one Washington newspaperas ’one of the young thingscavorting around Tower.’ Theyjumped to the conclusion that Iwas my dad’s girlfriend, forGod’s sake.”

●”It floors me that all this happened. More than seventy of the one hundred senators served with my dad on some committee at one time or another. None of them has ever seen him act in an unprofessional manner, unable to conduct himself properly. Who are these nameless people who claim to have heard something over a transom?” ‧ ●”Many [Democrats] were scared of the prospect of having someone as strong as my dad come in as Secretary of Defense, because my dad has a very definite reputation for toughness. From the Democrats’ point of view, the only control they have is the fact that they have a majority in the Senate. From their viewpoint, maybe it would be better to have someone a little less strong, a little less knowledgeable.”

●”Frankly, the media was awilling accomplice to it. Theywere fed a bunch of juicy storiesand printed them withoutchecking their sources. Thestories they printed were absolutely ludicrous. To think thatmy dad served for twenty-fouryears in the Senate and wouldhave the gall to show up at anAir Force base drunk and fondlea female personnel? It’s absolutely ludicrous to me.”

●”To me, a womanizer implies someone who treats women as objects, someone whodoesn’t have respect for women.That is not my dad. He has threedaughters, and he raised us withthe feeling that we were totallyequal to men. He always said, ’Get your education, have a career, and know you can support yourself. Don’t wait for a man to take care of you.’”

●”It’s so very hypocritical. Ifwe’re only going to elect saintsto political office, then we better start with a tot of housecleaning in Washington.”

●”I feel it is a huge loss for ourcountry. I don’t know what isnext, but when history is writtenon John Tower, I don’t think thiswill be his last chapter.”

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