As the program notes, Friday’s ceremony will be “concise.” Historian David McCullough will give “special readings” from JFK speeches. Mayor Mike Rawlings will give a speech. Then comes the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club and a flyover. Here’s what has me worried: the mayor is not a gifted orator. He’s okay off the cuff, but this isn’t the sort of thing you want to do off the cuff. Realizing this, he has been working on his speech since January. This can go one of two ways. Either all that preparation pays off and the mayor kills it, or all that preparation leads to total vapor lock (see how he begins his speech in the above video) in front of a dozen network TV cameras, making Dallas seem, well, not BIG.
Okay, look, the mayor will do fine. (Keep saying it: the mayor will do fine, the mayor will do fine …) But if you had to pick another speaker to represent Dallas, who would be? David Stern? TD Jakes? (Yes, yes, I know he now lives in Fort Worth, but his main church is still in Dallas.) Jerry Jones?