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Original 'Maverick' Was Unconventional Texan

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Original 'Maverick' Was Unconventional Texan


Original 'Maverick' Was Unconventional Texan

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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[POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: This story characterizes Maverick as a "Texas rancher." He was actually a lawyer, legislator and landowner. Also, the story called him a "conservative" politician. Politically, Maverick was a progressive Democrat.]


INSKEEP: Barack Obama also took time to sit down with FOX news television host Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly questioned the Democrat on Iraq and challenged him to admit that the surge of troops there worked.

Mr. BILL O'REILLY (FOX New Television Host): But it's wrong (unintelligible) wouldn't have been a surge.

Senator OBAMA: Well, he…

Mr. O'REILLY: No, no, no, no, no…

Senator OBAMA: No, no, no, hold up…

Mr. O'REILLY: If it were up to you, there wouldn't have been a surge. You and Joe Biden, no, sir.

Senator OBAMA: No, hold on a second Bill. If you look at the debate that was taking place, we had gone through five years of mismanagement of this war that I thought was disastrous. And the President wanted to double down and continue on an open-ended policy that did not create the kinds of pressure on the Iraqis to take responsibility and reconcile pol…

Mr. O'REILLY: But it worked.

Senator OBAMA: Well, look. What I - Bill, what I've said is - I've already said it succeeded beyond our wildest dreams…

Mr. O'REILLY: Right, so why can't it…

INSKEEP: It succeeded Obama said, but he still argued that it has not fixed Iraq's fundamental political problems. That's Obama on FOX news. On this morning after the Republican Convention, we would like to pause to remember one word in politics that's gotten a lot of attention this week.

Unidentified Man #1: There's no doubt that John McCain has been truly a maverick…

Unidentified Woman #1: I think McCain is known as a maverick and that's why I love McCain.

Unidentified Man #2: McCain is back to I'm a maverick, I'm an independent.

Unidentified Man #3: If he can sell this as a maverick who picked another maverick…

INSKEEP: Statements from the convention and the days before. We picked word maven William Safire to tell us where the term, in his political dictionary, came from. It was the name of a Texas rancher in the 1800s, Samuel Maverick.

Mr. WILLIAM SAFIRE (Word Maven): He refused to brand his cattle and the reason he gave was he didn't want to be cruel to animals. But all his friends and neighbors said that wasn't so, he was just going around trying to round up all the unbranded cattle and claim them for himself.

INSKEEP: Mr. Maverick was a conservative southern politician who signed the Texas declaration of independence. His great-grandson lives in Los Angeles, self-described city slicker, Andrew Maverick, who likes hearing tales of his great-grandfather and those unbranded cows that roamed freely in Texas.

Mr. ANDREW MAVERICK (Great-grandson of Samuel Maverick): When people around there saw a calf running around without a brand on it, with no mother, they'd say those are Maverick's.

INSKEEP: But the one who wears the name says it doesn't apply to him.

Mr. MAVERICK: I'm a pretty bad conformist, I'm afraid.

INSKEEP: Andrew Maverick, on MORNING EDITION from NPR news.

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