Tom Schieffer, Close Friend of George W. Bush, Takes Over Dodgers
Update: In 1975, Texas Monthly named Schieffer one of the 10 worst legislators in Austin. More below.
Further indignities may await the Dodgers, but for today it's bad enough that a close friend of George W. Bush is now in charge of the team's day-to-day operations.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig today appointed Tom Schieffer to be the Dodgers' new "monitor." Reportedly he will have to authorize any expenditures over $5,000.
Schieffer served as ambassador to Australia and Japan during the Bush
administration. He and Bush were both part of the investor group that
owned the Texas Rangers in the 1990s. Schieffer served as the team
president from 1991-99.
Schieffer's friendship with Bush became an issue when he ran for governor of Texas as a Democrat in 2009.
Here he is trying to explain that in early 2009:
Schieffer failed to get traction and bowed out of the race.
So will we see George W. in the owner's box at Dodger Stadium?
Update: Texas Monthly named Schieffer, then 27, one of the 10 worst legislators in Austin back in 1975.
Arrogant and--what is worse--ambitious. Gained abundant notoriety early in the session as the sponsor of a patently unfair presidential primary bill designed to boost the chances of Senator Lloyd Bentsen. His garbled mishandling of that affair could put him on the Ten Worst by itself, but he wins his spot by conspicuous lack of merit in every field.
"Actually he is furniture," said one lobbyist. "His mistake was in trying to be anything else." Said another: "He sits around and acts like he's thinking. The worst type of person is someone who's very ordinary and gets it into his head he's some sort of big shot." Said a high-ranking employee of a key state agency: "He's just not very capable. All he can do is turn red in the face and scream at you."
Have fun with that, Dodger front office employees. (Though to be fair, that was 36 years ago...)
Update 2: Schieffer's signal achievement as president of the Rangers was getting the taxpayers of Arlington to cough up $200 million for a new stadium. So that's one path to fiscal stability.
Update 3: As ambassador to Australia, Schieffer was accused of meddling in the country's internal politics during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. In an interview, Schieffer said that a Labor Party official who opposed the war was making a "rank appeal to anti-Americanism, to anti-George Bush feeling."
He also defended the detention of two Australian citizens at Guantanamo Bay. When an interviewer asked if there was proof that the two men were involved in terrorism, Schieffer responded, "Well, they were in Afghanistan. I think that's good proof right there."
Update 4: On the plus side, it appears that Schieffer authored this prescient 2008 cable on Japanese nuclear safety. The cable cites a Japanese legislator who raised concerns about seismic activity.
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