Bob Schieffer‘s final Face the Nation began with his first Face the Nation. The No. 1 Sunday public affairs show started with a clip from Schieffer’s debut on May 26, 1991.
Scheiffer’s final guests included probable GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush and CIA director John Brennan. When asked when he might announce his candidacy, Bush told Schieffer, “First let me say how much I just respect your service to our country, ‘Face the Nation’ is the go-to place. I appreciate everything you’ve done. Unfortunately you won’t be around for me announce my possible candidacy.” And because the CBS program only airs its full hour about in about 3/4 of the country, Schieffer’s reflection on his more than 50 years in the business, came at the end of the first half hour. Folksy as ever and filled with appreciation:
“As I prepared for this last broadcast as moderator of Face the Nation, I thought back to when I was in the 9th grade and saw my byline in the school newspaper I decided right then I wanted to be a reporter. I got a chance to do that. When I was young reporter I wanted to work for CBS because Walter Cronkite was my hero, and I got a chance to do that. And after I was here awhile I wanted to be the moderator of Face the Nation. And I got to do that, and did it for 24 years. Maybe it’s because I just love the news but at the time I thought every job I ever had was the best job in the world: going behind police lines, talking to cops and soldiers and then senators and even presidents. I tried to remember that the news is not about the newscaster it’s about the people who make it and those who are affected by it. I’ll be honest I’m going to miss being in the middle of things but one thing I will never forget is the trust you placed in me and how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years. That meant the world to me. It always will. Thank you.”
John Dickerson, who will be taking over as moderator, was a part of Schieffer’s final panel in the second half hour. “John, you’re gonna love this job.”
Schieffer closed his final show, flanked by his ep Mary Hager and Dickerson. “That’s it for us today as I say goodbye for this last time as moderator of Face the Nation. I want to you meet all of the people who have worked so hard to make this broadcast what it is over the years. Face the Nation was here long before I came to CBS, and I know I’m leaving it in good hands. I want to thank our team and I want to thank all of you for watching it takes a lot of folks to get this show on the air and I’m really proud of all of them.”