Oklahoma State selects 'Flashpoint' commentator, former Regent as its President 

The Cowboy nation of Oklahoma went searching from shore to shore to find a new head honcho. Turns out, they didn't have to go far out of the valley to rope their own John Wayne.

 

V. Burns Hargis, a banker and political pundit, rode into Stillwater and lassoed the job. It's one he knows well.

 

An Oklahoma State University alum, Hargis had served on the school's board of regents until the summer, when he stepped down to pursue the school's president position. He becomes OSU's 18th president and only the second alum to hold the office.

 

The path to the Cowboy presidency has been an interesting one for Hargis. He first came to notoriety in 1990 when he ran for governor on the Republican ballot. Losing in the primary, Hargis didn't sit in the corner and lick his wounds.

 

Not long after the election, he teamed up with Democrat and former state Attorney General Mike Turpen and formed the statewide political television talk show, "Flashpoint."

 

For more than a decade, Hargis waved the conservative flag on the show and defended everyone from Newt Gingrich to Donald Rumsfeld. But he made it a point to highlight the common ground he shared with Turpen and Democrats.

 

Which leads to an interesting question: What will happen to "Flashpoint"? If it continues, will Hargis stay on as co-host, or will another Republican pundit have to take over?

 

Even if Hargis no longer continues with the gig, his jousting against Democrats may not end. Down the road from his Stillwater seat, a powerful statesman sits in the Norman version of his office " someone who is not used to losing political or academic contests.

 

University of Oklahoma president David Boren is quite adept at battling Cowboys and Republicans. A former U.S. senator on the Democratic side, Boren probably looks forward to working in a bipartisan way with his Republican counterpart at that school north of Interstate 40.

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