During her 24 years in Congress, Pat Schroeder was always quick with a quip. But as Confessions of a Political Spouse makes clear, Jim Schroeder was much more than Pats straight man during their 47 years of marriage. The book, which grew out of a journal Jim started keeping after he retired in 2001, includes observations that are hopefully relevant for two-career families, but also of plenty interest to anyone interested in Colorado.
In Confessions, Jim recalls how he met Pat Scott at Harvard Law School during their first week on campus; reveals why Pat became the 1972 candidate for Colorados First Congressional District even though hed already run for a state representative slot two years before; tells how he started the Dennis Thatcher Society, a very exclusive club for men with powerful political wives; and recalls how he first heard that Pat might be running for president while he was visiting his law firms Bangkok office in 1987. Pat, its still up to you, but I think you can do it, and should do it, he wrote in a memo to his wife. In the end, Pat decided against it and after she announced that decision in Civic Center Park, she put her head on her husbands shoulder and cried.
While that image has followed Pat to this day, Jim offers a more telling detail. Once when he was scrounging through Pats purse, he came up with a business card that had a balloon delivery company on one side and Shimon Peress home number on the other. A small thing a calling card with two important numbers said a great deal about Pat Schroeder, he notes. A sense of humor, fun, and the importance of family: keep Joes card handy. A desire to work for peace and justice in the Middle East: keep Shimons number available. Tender and tough Pat Schroeder.
Count on Jim Schroeder to be a little tender and tough himself when he speaks about his book at noon today at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. The event is free; for more information, go to www.tatteredcover.com.
Wed., Sept. 30, noon, 2009