Goodtime Charlie takes a hike: He's a hawk who loves chicks. And he's flying the coop.
Rep. Charlie Wilson, the 12-term Texas Democrat who almost never met a Communist he liked or a weapons system he didn't, said late last week he won't seek re-election. "Goodtime Charlie," as he is known, left quite the mark, calling Bella Abzug "Toots" and Pat Schroeder "Congresswoman Babycakes," even as he pushed the feminist agenda.
At age 62, Wilson still swears in public, guffaws rather than laughs and routinely commits candor. One colleague remarked that Wilson is "the only man I've ever met who can strut sitting down." In the '80s, he used his Appropriations Committee power to persuade colleagues to give millions to anti-Soviet Afghan rebels.
Despite Wilson's legendary love of women, he is no Bob Packwood. "He treats his female staffers like we were his daughters or his sisters," said press secretary Elaine Lang.
He remains a festive fellow, lamenting today's "deadening and leveling" of any conduct that approaches eccentricity, fun or political incorrectness. He has little use for feminists who decry his endearments.
Former Texas governor Ann Richards once said the divorced Wilson is "in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest midlife crisis."
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