America’s Next Top Tea Partier is Black

January 31, 2011  |  

(Daily Beast) — As far as Republicans go, Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams is pretty easy to recognize. There usually aren’t too many African-American men sporting a giant bowtie and cowboy boots speaking at conservative gatherings.  The boots are easy enough to explain. “Well, I’m from Texas,” Williams told The Daily Beast in an interview, his bass-heavy drawl reverberating from the phone. The bowtie? It started as a bit of a prank while he was serving as a White House education official under President George H.W. Bush. After being called up to testify in front of a hostile audience of Senate Democrats, his staff suggested he try to cut the tension and stand out from the crowd with some offbeat neckwear. “I wanted to bring a light moment to the hearing, be humorous,” he said. “We had a very confrontational hearing anyway. But I had bought all these bow ties…” Soon he had a trademark.

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