Norm Coleman

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But Have The Gifts Been Reported?

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Memo to Cullen Sheehan: YOU LOSE.

Or you win. It depends. If it's a contest for best campaign spokesman ever, you just came in last. On the other hand, if they're handing out nickel-plated turds for Worst Performance By An Apologist In A Non-Saying Role, then the seat-filler better get ready. You, sir, have an appointment with a podium.

One of the great tragedies of the World's Stupidest Presidential Campaign is that, like the war in Iraq overstretches our military, the Obama/Gramps fight overstretches my dumb-fighting resources. And the Darfur of my analogy has GOT to be the Coleman-Franken campaign, which has gotten mere lip-service from me despite being in my own backyard, pitting a professional comedian against one of my most hated sitting senators.

And it's a crying fucking shame, because it's gotten completely surreal. Basically, Coleman's spent the entire campaign defending against charges that Coleman loves being a Senator because people give him shit for free. Now, I find this hilarious, because I think it's about the least damning thing you can say about a politician. Given a choice between a rabid ideologue and someone who's just in it to steal really expensive pens for the office, I'll take Pen Guy every single time. As long as they keep it to the office, and don't start looting entire other countries, it's reasonably safe for democracy.

But Coleman's been hit with a barrage of stories about free shit. Discounted apartment rent. Free plane trips. Free vacations. Possibly a cushy job in risk management for his wife that she's completely unqualified for. All given by people who have an interest in seeing Norm Coleman stay happy. And the latest? Free suits.

I freely admit I have never paid attention to Norm Coleman's suits, due to the constant distraction caused by his mighty teeth, each of which is a miniature white monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey". But scuttlebutt says that ol' Norm has been getting pricey Neiman-Marcus suits as presents from local businessman and GOP doner Nasser Kazeminy. And when asked about it, Coleman has engaged in the clumsiest question-dodging I've ever seen, culminating in a press conference with Cullen Sheehan yesterday. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Rachel, the Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... The Senator has recorded every gift he has ever received... The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... He has reported every gift he has ever received, Rachel... Again they have disclosed everything they need to disclose on the Senate ethics forms... He does that every year as a United States Senator on his Senate disclosure forms... The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... The Senator has disclosed everything that he is required to disclose and recorded everything that he is required to record... The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received... The Senator has done nothing wrong and reported every gift he has ever received... And again whatever has been required to be disclosed about her income and what she does has been disclosed."

The quote above contains 163, or 73%, of the 224 words uttered by Cullen Sheehan during the press conference. The other 61 words were no more illuminating. And all he's done is made me crazy curious about what the fuck they're hiding so desperately and ineptly?! That's how bad a spokesman Cullen Sheehan is. He's created a scandal so juicy-sounding it's forced me to use an interrobang. Is he smuggling rare lemurs sewn into the linings of these suits? Could the suits be part of an elaborate coded transmission scheme based on lapel length? Free suits alone can't justify that many reiterations of "The Senator has reported every gift he has ever received."

Whatever the real truth is, I hope Coleman fesses up to it after he loses, because as a member of the voting public, I demand an answer.

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