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Roger Staubach Bristles at Morning News Implying His Daughter is Living Out His Political Dreams

Roger-Staubach-and-Henry-Miller
Roger Staubach (left) always wanted to be like Henry S. Miller Jr.

In the Sunday Dallas Morning News, Gromer Jeffers opined that the Dallas City Council campaign of Jennifer Staubach Gates is being aided by the famous name and wealthy friends of her father, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and commercial real estate bigwig Roger Staubach.

Staubach has long been expected to become a political candidate himself, though he never has, Jeffers wrote:

But the game’s not over. Staubach is handing off any dreams of public office to his daughter, Jennifer Staubach Gates.

When I interviewed Staubach this morning, Jeffers’ column was one of the first matters he brought up. He didn’t like the implication that his daughter is running for office in his stead and that he harbors political ambitions of his own.

“I didn’t really want her to be in politics,” Staubach said. “The reason I mention that is my dream was never, never even indicated, never even tried, never any contemplation of going into politics.”

Never? I reflexively asked.

“No, I started my own business. I was in the real estate business, so my dreams were to be like Mr. Miller,”  he said. He’s referring to Henry S. Miller Jr., of the Henry S. Miller Company, who took him under his wing back when Staubach was still playing pro football.

Of course, Staubach has been approached by others about running for office quite a few times. And he’s been happy to back candidates with his money and time. He even stumped for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980. But he says he hasn’t let the prospect of his own candidacy get past “step one.” Except once.

When then-President-elect George W. Bush’s team contacted him in 2000 about being vetted to serve as Secretary of the Navy, he was willing to take the second step of meeting with them to discuss the position. Even then, he made it clear early on that he wasn’t interested in the job.

“I had a business to run,” he said.