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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 4, 1998. Interview C-0336-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Joking that ego launched his political career

Scott jokes that ego drove his political ambitions, also suggesting that his father's political career may have created a similar impulse, though latent, in himself. His sense of himself as a generalist, someone with wide interests, may have contributed to his interest in politics as well.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert W. (Bob) Scott, February 4, 1998. Interview C-0336-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

When you got these couple of telephone calls and this letter or two, however it was, that you saw as a mandate, and you decided to go around the state, there must have been in your mind at that time some idea that at least politics and public service was a career, something that you might enjoy and do. Is that a fair assessment of that statement, or—what caused you to get in that car and go around the state and talk to these people?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
Ego. [Laughter]
JACK FLEER:
Ego?
ROBERT W. (BOB) SCOTT:
No doubt, ego. No, I don't know. I really—Again, we come back to this business of was this a planned career or something like that, and I can honestly say that it was not. I'm the kind a person that's interested in a lot of things. Sometimes I regret the fact that I'm a generalist. I wish sometimes I could focus on one thing as a career. I had great admiration for a scientist who can stay in the lab and try to find a gene or something like that, spend their entire life doing that one thing. Or someone like you who has got a career, and you stick with—you write books about it and you're known in your field and respected and all that. Yeah, I'm out here, you know, I can carry on a conversation about a lot of things, but not in depth about very many things. That's kind of worried me in the back of my mind. So, going back to your question about—I guess it was the challenge, and it was there. Why do you climb a mountain? Because it's there. Why do you run for lieutenant governor? Well, it's there, you know. And there might have been a feeling, unconscious feeling, that this is family tradition again…