BY KENNY BELFORD
After eight years of Republican Gov. Frank Keating constantly inserting his foot in his mouth we thought we’d heard enough absurdities from the Keating clan.
That was until May 9. On that date Martin Keating, brother of Frank, and a self-proclaimed “role model” had a letter to the editor published in The Tulsa World.
I have hesitated recounting this for a host of reasons, but, now, it’s time.
In 1995, my brother Frank was governor of Oklahoma when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was blown up by an evil man. Weeks later, the two of us stood together and alone, two blocks away, when the building’s remains were imploded. Clouds of dust boiled out and enveloped us. We both cried.
President Bill Clinton telephoned my brother and asked if he could attend the initial memorial ceremony. Frank, appropriately as governor and as the gentleman he is, said yes. Frank called me and asked if I would accompany him to Tinker Air Force Base to pick up the president. I said no. Frank was silent. I told him I could not shake hands with a man who had betrayed his marriage and his country by lies and not felt any remorse. Frank said he understood.
I am not a man without faults or sins. However, I am, as the president is, a role model. I must remember that what I do sets an example for others. I hope that most of the time I make the right choice. I do not regret my decision that day.
Just in case the dates are muddled, the Murrah bombing took place in April 1995. The Monica Lewinski scandal didn’t surface until 1998, two years after Martin Keating took his bold stand.
He ended his letter with the comment, “I do not regret my decision that day.”
I wonder if he regrets his decision to make a fool of himself today.
– Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer