Donald Trump made a special effort last Saturday, to give a heart-felt thanks to an unlikely hero; Jim Bridenstine. Jim recounted the phone call on Monday, to Pat Campbell, of KFAQ Radio.
"I'm grateful for your support.", Trump said.
At a time when so many Republican congressmen were abandoning the colorful nominee, Jim Bridenstine became a powerful surrogate to national news media.
The cable news networks were "loaded for bear" in the days immediately after the Access Hollywood video where live audio was caught even when two men thought they were having a private "locker room" chat.
Bridenstine kept moving the message back to the critical impact of who appoints the next few supreme court justices.
This track of Bridenstine's, to get behind a party standard bearer, is something he is becoming respected for. In 2013, the Republican Tulsa mayor was facing a very powerful challenge from a Democrat former mayor who had limitless money from her multimillionaire husband. Mayor Dewey Bartlett jr. would later choke up tearfully as he described the great loyalty of Jim Bridenstine.
No Oklahoma congressman has the uncanny instincts of Jim Bridenstine. He stays solidly connected to the values of the voters who put him in office by wide margins. The resources Bridenstine put into the mayor's race immediately after a bitter primary where his fellow Republican city councilman broke a promise to support the other, left the Republican base skiddish about Bartlett. Bridenstine's leadership initiative changed all that and it made Bartlett a very strong and appreciative ally in Republican politics. In fact, Bartlett's own brother-in-law had mounted a challenge to Bridenstine, in 2014. But when Dewey told him; "You can run, but I'm endorsing Bridenstine", his relative ended his bid.