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Let Me Sum Up

Craig Watkins' problem is he listens to lawyers. Plus: Tebow!

Eric Celeste
Dallas district attorney Craig Watkins
From working on his last campaign, I can say that one problem Watkins has is listening to too many lawyers. Dallas South News
Eddie Bernice Johnson
When you don't worry about being factually accurate, it's easy to slam the media.
News_Tim Tebow_Jockey ad
The Tim Tebow-First Baptist silliness was good for pastor Robert Jeffress. Jockey

It’s time for the Friday 5, the stories that I can find approximately 500 words to discuss as we head into the weekend.

1. There’s a reason Craig Watkins can’t stay out of the headlines.
Well, there may be several reasons, but there’s one reason I know about, having worked for his campaign: He surrounds himself with sycophantic lawyers. This is bad on two levels. One, they’re sycophants, so he never hears someone say, “Craig, you’re wrong about this. Let me give you some advice that runs counter to what everyone else is telling you.”

Two, they’re lawyers. Lawyers believe no one else could do their job, and they think they can do your job better than you can, if they only had the time. Example: When Watkins ran for reelection in 2010, we spent much of every day telling him that fighting the County Commissioners made no sense. He wasn’t running against them. Play nice, act collegial and the day after the election he could go back to attacking them. “You’re right,” he would say.

Then he’d get to work. The top lawyers in his office would tell him, “Don’t listen to those pussies, Craig. You can’t be seen as weak! Take them on!” The next day he’d be on TV shouting at Margaret Kelleher, and his poll numbers would dip again.

This was the sort of suicidal political advice they dished out all day, every day, and I’m sure they still do. He doesn’t have to listen, but I understand why he does. They’re lawyers. They’re smarter than everyone else.

2. Lake Highlands is not the new Southlake.
Yes, there is some new development going on there. And even though my friend who lives in Lake Highlands says the parents are getting a little Stepford-y, it’s still not the solid American conservative enclave that is Southlake. Mainly because Richardson (which it borders and with which it shares a school system) is still diverse enough to be interesting, and the neighborhood is close enough to central Dallas to feel connected to its vibrancy and resurgence. 

3. Keven Ann Willey makes Eddie Bernice Johnson look foolish.
EBJ makes that easy these days, but still. The Dallas Morning News’ chief editorial page writer-boss-person shows us in a blog post how the congresswoman not only lies to get her message across, but also how her office refuses to acknowledge those lies. Worth a read.

4. This Tim Tebow-First Baptist silliness was great for Robert Jeffress.
Yes, this whole affair showed how dumb Tebow is. But mostly it showed how shrewd Jeffress is (as Bud Kennedy notes today).

5. Jim Schutze writes important columns no one reads because they are so unsexy.
I’ve been onboard with Schutze’s take on this Okon Metals vs. DMN scrap for a long time. But I also realize that the keywords — “scrap metal,” “southern Dallas,” “poor people” — means no one will read it. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be outraged. 

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