"Welcome to Face the Nation, I'm Bob Schieffer," said the newly minted host of the second oldest program on television on his first broadcast, May 26, 1991. The guest was Dan Rostenkowski, the Democratic Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee and the topic: the economy.
"Well, the good news is the Democrats came up with a plan this week to combat the recession, the bad news is this so-called action plan contains almost no details, has no timetable and no explanation for how to pay for what the Democrats want," said Schieffer in his introduction to that Sunday's show.
From the get go, Bob made his plans known. "Our aim is to going to be very simple here: to find interesting people from all segments of American life who have something to say and give them a chance to say it," he said that morning.
With 2011 marking his 20th year as moderator of Face the Nation, Bob figured out that means he's hosted more than one thousand shows which means there have been literally thousands of guests on the program and most if not all of them have had something to say.
Bob has interviewed some of the most important and noteworthy people in the world, including Presidents, Senators, sports figures and celebrities. From Governor Bill Clinton in October 1991 to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney in January 1992 and from Morgan Fairchild in April 1992 to Bill Cosby in January 1994, Bob has interviewed some of the most famous Americans. Ross Perot, Ollie North and Anita Hill have also been on Face the Nation.
Reminiscing on this past Sunday's Face the Nation, Bob noted that some of the guests have joined him from beyond our Washington studio. He interviewed then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama on the floor of the 2004 Democratic National Committee and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell from the endzone on Super Bowl Sunday, "our only broadcast that included a blimp shot by the way," he said. Another memorable broadcast: Bob took Face the Nation on the road to Hong Kong to interview Madeline Albright in 1997.
So to celebrate Bob's 20th Anniversary, we went through the files and looked at exactly who he's had on the broadcast. Here's a look at Bob Schieffer's 20 years at Face the Nation by the numbers:
Bob has interviewed:
Three presidents of the United States, four vice presidents, seven secretaries of state, six secretaries of Defense and 45 different cabinet members. He's also interviewed 123 senators and 109 different representatives.
Of those, a few notable names come up more frequently than others: Vice President Joe Biden has been interviewed by Bob on Face the Nation 46 times. House Speaker John Boehner, seven times. Former Vice President Dick Cheney has been on the broadcast 16 times, including this past Sunday's program. By far though, the number one guest of Bob's tenure as host of Face the Nation is none other than Senator John McCain who has been on the program 76 times.