|How did the Democratic Party – party of JFK, LBJ, and civil rights – fall from glory? How did Texas, home of its most promising players, become Bush territory? What do politicians on either side need to do today to get our country back on track? Ben Barnes has the answers.
Barnes had a front-row seat through it all. His political savvy and bravado made him a standout in the rough-and-tumble world of Texas politics. He won a seat in the Texas Legislature in 1960, at the unheard-of age of 22, and four years later became the youngest Speaker of the House since the Civil War. In 1968, he helped Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush get his son into the National Guard – a controversy that would rage during the 2004 presidential election. In 1970, Lyndon Johnson told the public that Ben was destined to be the next US president to hail from Texas.
How did his party lose its place in Texas . . . and the nation? How did Barnes – affectionately dubbed the "51st Democratic senator" – remain a force on the Democratic scene despite his departure from public office? In this exciting new book, Barnes takes readers inside the rise and fall of the party he loves. Pulling no punches, he uses lessons learned in the Texas trenches as a guiding light for a new generation of lawmakers and political hopefuls, and a return to bipartisan consensus building for our nation. Barnes's rollicking memoir recalls the glory days of his Texas past and blazes a trail for our country's future.
BEN BARNES is an American lobbyist and former Lieutenant Governor of Texas. He was a vice-chair and top fundraiser of the John Kerry campaign in the 2004 presidential elections. He has served as Speaker of the House in Texas from 1965-1969, U.S. representative to the NATO Conference in 1967, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland in 1968. He founded the Austin-based lobbying firm, EntreCorp.