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Sen. Cornyn confronts protest

I adamantly disagree with Senator John Cornyn on pretty much everything. But after this morning, I can see why some people (the one's who don't care about policy) voted for him: he's a straight-up diplomat.

Now, one might try to say this sort of fellow vacillates and shapes himself into whatever form is most beneficial at the moment.

And in response to those individuals, many of whom I am friends with, I would offer a solemn, "But at least he's friendly!"

Which was exactly what I witnessed this morning in Denton, at a luncheon with the Senator. A couple of our very friendly local pro-peace activists had come to make their views known to the Senator, and they stood outside of the gate at the Wildwood Inn.

Then this happened ...

The afternoon's host, Congressman Michael Burgess, was not as cordial. When Senator Cornyn walked past me, mentioning that he wanted to "go outside and meet our friends", Dianne Edmondson, the chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party (wearing the sunglasses in the pic) said, "Wait. Wasn't Congressman Burgess coming with us?"

As we passed through the doorway and into the daylight, I prepped my camera and pulled out a recorder.

"Aw, I guess he had a change of heart," said Senator Cornyn.

After the Senator left, the hotel chef pulled up in a silver VW Beetle and ran over to the ladies.

"I don't know you, but would it be okay if I gave you both a hug?" he asked. "I ... It just means a lot to me to see people doing this. It is so important."

As he walked toward the hotel I asked him how he felt about the Senator coming to speak at the hotel. He smiled at me and said, "If Senator Cornyn tries to shake my hand, all I'll say is 'Impeach Bush!'"

After the brief exchange with the chef, I went back to the entry and asked the women what they thought of the Senator coming to speak with them. Both agreed that it was a kind gesture, but felt that Senator Cornyn had not listened to them.

"Our soldiers aren't defending our right to freedom of speech in Iraq," said Leslie Harris, a Flower Mound resident (wearing the large, straw hat). "Senator Cornyn likes to say they are, but it isn't true. They're fighting for reasons we have never actually been told. We are defending freedom of speech, which has been under assault since Bush took office."

You want more details? Pick up The News Connection on March 2, 2007.

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