Politics in the Public Arena with Tim Goeglein, part 1

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Right off the bat, I must confess that I am a total and complete nerd. I am also totally and completely devoted to following Jesus Christ. Nothing in my life comes close to my dedication to Jesus. I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, IN and I lived and worked in Washington D.C. for the last 25 years.

Now, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, professionally, when I was only seven years old. In fact, when the neighborhood kids would all be playing kickball in the backyard, at about 5:29 each evening, she would yell out the window, “Tim! It’s time to come in! The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite is about to start!”

That’s a true nerd.

(My leaving the game early really didn’t matter much since I was always the last kid chosen, anyway.)

Even as a young child, I was incredibly interested in such things as classical music, jazz, the American Songbook, opera, art, ballet, sculpture, and literature. All this to say, I became memorized by the English language and fine arts at a very early age. I found the speeches and writings of Winston Churchill captivating. Churchill used his words as his greatest weapon in his arsenal to be used to conquer his enemies. I didn’t quite understand this when I first read about this, but I clearly remember the first time I heard Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Sweat and Tears” speech.

And, as a young boy I learned that the greatest journalist of the 20th century, Ernie Pyle, was born quite close to my hometown. His work during WWII that he scribed while embedded with our G.I.’s is some of the greatest writings in American history. And I read everything of his that I could get my hands on. So that, by the time I was twelve-years-old, the thing that I wanted to do more than anything else was to be a journalist like Mr. Pyle.

I learned that journalism is that matrix where public policy, politics, great writing, and the action of life all come together in one fulcrum.

And that set my life on a remarkable trajectory. I began doing a television program when I was only twelve, which morphed into a radio program when I was fourteen, which morphed into another radio program when I was sixteen, which I produced until the age of 22. It was amazing!

Now, one of the greatest blessings of leading the Christian life is unpredictability.

I thought, based on everything I just described, that I would enjoy a life-long career in journalism. But providence has a way of intervening in your life, just when you think you are most confident and most secure about what the next step is.

For me, I received a call from out of the blue when I was a junior in college that would change my life. I was offered the opportunity of a summer internship for then Senator Dan Quayle. I didn’t see how it could tie in with my journalism career, but I seized the opportunity to do something different for a summer, and spend all summer improving my tennis game. I had a terrific time, but at the end of the summer, I was ready to say goodbye to the Beltway and get back to my journalism career.

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dan Coats speaks after winning the nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 4, 2010. Coats will likely face Rep. Brad Ellsworth in the fall election. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Image: AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Until I received another call the next year with the opportunity to intern in the House of Representatives for Dan Coats for the summer. I quickly did the math and added together another great summer of tennis, Capitol Hill, and another cherry on the top, which was a weekend internship at NBC News. It was a no-brainer for an eager college student like myself.

Then, I thought, I was done with politics.

I became the television news producer at the local NBC affiliate in Fort Wayne. I was happy as a clam. Until I received another surprise phone call 18 months later.

In that time, Dan Quayle had become Vice President of the United States, Dan Coats had become an appointed U.S. Senator and he invited me to come back to Washington to become his full-time Deputy Press Secretary overseeing all his radio and television efforts. Two successful elections and four years later, Dan became one of the most respected Senators on the Hill and I became his Press Secretary. I thought that I would be there for a year; but I remained with Senator Coats for his full decade as Senator. Still thinking that my future was in broadcasting, I was ready to leave D.C., but was easily convinced by Senator Coats to join Gary Bauer’s Presidential campaign. I didn’t think the campaign would last long, but I was wrong again. Gary remained on the ballot though the New Hampshire primary. When he bowed out, I received a call that I could not have dreamed of even in my wildest dreams.

Image: Bush Presidential Library

Image: Bush Presidential Library

I was asked to join the Bush / Chaney campaign.

I’ve found that, in the Christian life, everything that you think is “the thing” is really only a preparation for “the thing”.

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