A Texas reporter on Rick Perry’s awkward ending

Texas journalist Jeremy Pafford recalls his only face-to-face meeting with Rick Perry. It was in 1998, and the then-agriculture commissioner wanted to know, “Where’s the Aggie?” — referring to the reporter who usually covered him.

That reporter, while working on his graduate degree, was working with chemicals in a lab that somehow made him sick, and he didn’t recover. He unexpectedly died, leaving behind a pregnant wife. It was a tragic reminder of how short our time on Earth can be, and now a month or so later I was breaking that news to our ag commissioner.

“Um, Mr. Perry, he unfortunately died about a month ago,” is what I remember starting out saying. Perry asked for some details, and I did the best I could, but the conversation derailed whatever the light-hearted ceremony was I was assigned to cover. Everything was off-script from there, and Perry isn’t good at going off-script — as everyone in the country now knows.

* A veteran Texas newsman on Rick Perry’s awkward ending



  1. CS said:

    Apologies if I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen anyone use the obvious line for summing up Perry’s departure from the race: “Adios, MoFo!”

  2. wubbly said:

    Hopefully we can say the same thing soon to the current White House “occupier” …