June 02, 2004
Crawford Mayor backs Kerry

Just for the record, not everyone in Crawford, home of the Bush ranch, is a Bush backer. The Mayor of Crawford, for example.

Crawford may be the heart of Bush country, but the town's mayor says John Kerry is the best choice for president.

"I don't see where I'm better off than I was four years ago," Robert Campbell said Tuesday. "I don't see where the city is any better off."

The Kerry campaign recently listed Mr. Campbell as one of 100 black mayors around the country seven of them Texans who support the Massachusetts senator over President Bush. But the campaign has not focused particular attention on the endorsement.

With his sprawling ranch near Crawford, Mr. Bush is the area's most famous resident. Tourists flood the Central Texas city's tiny downtown on weekends to purchase Bush memorabilia and eat the Presidential cheeseburger basket at the Coffee Station, the restaurant that Mr. Bush occasionally visits while on vacation.

Mr. Campbell, a Democrat who has been mayor since 1999, said he's met Mr. Bush once but doesn't feel inclined to support the former Texas governor. He voted for Al Gore in 2000.

"I would say the city has a mix of Bush and Kerry supporters," he said. "The Kerry supporters feel like Bush has not delivered on his promises."

Some Texas Republicans took the endorsement in stride.

"You will find a few Kerry supporters in Texas," said Victor Carrillo, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. "But the majority of Texans support President Bush."

Mr. Campbell says he's not worried about a backlash among constituents.

"I have the right to vote for who I want to be president," he said. "If some people around here don't like it, they can vote for someone else for mayor."

Note that Mr. Campbell voted for Al Gore in 2000. Now take a minute and revisit those thrilling days of yesteryear when Chron reporter Rachel Graves "blogged" from Crawford while "covering" one of the President's many vacations there. Let's roll the tape:

There are, I have confirmed, Democrats in Crawford, albeit ones who voted for President Bush.

Mary Abel said her parents would probably "roll over in their graves" if they knew she had crossed party lines in the last election, but she liked Bush's policies better than Gore's.

I found Abel playing canasta at a friend's house.

In true small-town fashion, Crawford's street signs are faded past legibility and few of the houses have addresses. The county Democratic party gave me the addresses of four Democrats living here, but I couldn't find a couple houses and the others weren't home.

I asked a man pulling into a driveway for help finding Democrats, he invited me into the home of the friend he was visiting, and there was Abel, whose door I had just knocked on. That just wouldn't happen in Houston.

Apparently, it never occurred to her to inquire with the town's Mayor. You'd think, especially given Bush's vaunted outreach efforts to minority voters, that it would have been natural to ask this prominent African-American citizen if he'd voted for Bush in 2000. But you'd have been wrong. Besides, it's ever so much cuter to assume that because one canasta-playing Democrat voted for Bush, every Democrat in town voted for him. Well, now you know. You can thank me later, Rachel.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 02, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack

When do the media types get embarrassed about being lame and ignorant?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on June 2, 2004 3:29 PM

Reporters? the Chronicle has reporters? You could've fooled me! I thought they just reprinted stuff from the AP and the NY Times. Why I still subscribe to the print edition is a mystery to me; I suppose old habits die hard.

Posted by: Steve Bates on June 3, 2004 9:51 AM

Maybe the good mayor of Crawford should name a public toilet in honor of Dubya, or something equally foul and disgusting like a septic tank...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 3, 2004 3:44 PM