I'd Call Bob Schieffer's Book Party A Hoe-Down, But I'm Worried The McCain Campaign Will Accuse Me Of Being Sexist

10/17/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Last Friday night, CBS "Face The Nation" host and former "CBS Evening News" anchor Bob Schieffer celebrated the release of his new book, Bob Schieffer's America, at Hill Country in Chelsea for some good old-time BBQ fun. Those who'd expect a sparse crowd on a rainy Friday night would have been surprised by the turnout of happy media folk enjoying the food, the atmosphere, the music, and each other.

Schieffer greeted his guests the old-fashioned way: In a cowboy hat at the door, personally greeting each guest as they entered. Having never met Schieffer, I appreciated that personal touch a great deal and we had a nice chat. I told him that I would have happily undertaken his "St. Paul Theme Song Challenge" had I known it was open to non-residents; watching "Face the Nation" on Sept. 7th, it seemed like the only people who had submitted were from outside the city.

Schieffer, a native of Forth Worth, Texas, was particularly sensitive to being the second city in a you're-close-enough hyphenate, feeling the pain of St. Paul residents who forever follow Minneapolis just as Forth Worth always comes after Dallas. Here was his starter lyric for his viewers:

Minneapolis, Minneapolis,
We think you are just fabulous.
But if you wanna have a ball —
Come around to old St. Paul!

I promised him that I'd come up with something in honor of his book, and after having enjoyed the bounties of both cities during the conventions, I now feel qualified to offer this take (even if I did tweak the meter slightly):

Oh, St. Paul and Minnie,
Your not-really-all-that-close twinnie,
You're both delightful, welcoming and cute;
But next time someone dares mention
Using both for one convention —
Please remind them that it's a REALLY ANNOYING COMMUTE.

Not that I would have traded in one of those $40 cab rides for the wonderful experience of enjoying both cities! But it was either that or write about the super-zealous local police. Anyhow — convention memories! How long ago they seem, now that Sarah Palin has actually, you know, talked to the press. We talked to some press, too, but not so much as to interfere with their enjoyment of delicious BBQ ribs, oven-roasted macaroni & cheese, smoked chipotle deviled eggs, hearty coleslaw, chips and guacamole, or salty margaritas. Attendees included CBSers like Sean McManus, Katie Couric, Sean McManus,Andy Rooney, Andy Heyward, Jeff Greenfield (I told him I was a fan of his daughter, Casey, and he said he agreed), plus Lloyd Grove, Richard Leibner, Liz Smith, Mika Brzezinski (with her delightful girls!), Richard Cohen and others I might have spoken to had the macaroni not been so delicious and plentiful. I am a sucker for both.

Also delicious: This lyric from Schieffer and his band, who performed their new politically-themed hit, "Pistol Packin' Palin": "As we heard from a little bird, she's a better shot than Cheney." You just know that's true. Crack FishbowlNY reporter Glynnis MacNicol has the video; in the meantime, please enjoy a few photos from the event!


Schieffer tips his hat to his guests.


Book 'em! One free copy of Bob Schieffer's America for every giant rib-rack consumed!


Liz Smith came dressed for the fun, complete with rhinestone-studded belt. After I took her photo, I showed it to her for sign-off, and she looked at approvingly and said, "Great! I'm still alive!"
And kicking, we might add.


"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric chats with HuffPo media editor Danny Shea and CEO Betsy Morgan, formerly of CBS. Let the record reflect that we last week referred to Couric's "convention bounce," prior to David Carr's similarly-themed column in Monday's NYT business section, which did not contain a certain word which shall go unmentioned in this blog post, too.
But it may rhyme with "schmerky."


Former CBSer Mika Brzezinski returns to the fold with her two blonde, bubbly, charming daughters. At least she said they were her daughters, it's sort of hard to tell. That's Richard Leibner behind them, wearing his special jamboree shirt. (Unless that's his special regular-workday shirt, which is just fine, too.)


Lloyd Grove and Richard Cohen reminisced about their days together at the Daily News, and then repaired to the macaroni.


Eggs: Nutritious AND delicious. Never forget it.


TVNewser caught the least interesting part of my conversation with Couric. I'm just sayin'.