Guest post by Ebbtide
Luke Sharrett for The New York Times
On Monday I attended the Carolina African American Heritage Foundation Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Corporate and Community Awards Breakfast. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry were there (along with Rep. Tim Scott). I was at the table right in front of the dais.
Newt (uglier and pastier in person, if that’s possible) just sat in his seat on the dais until it was his turn to speak. When he spoke, it was such a pandering lecture about Dr. King, it just about made me puke. He
tried to stress his “Southern” connection to King, and how he co-sponsored the MLK Day bill. He stayed for the food, then left. He brought his PA siblings with him, but apparently the Ice Maiden decided that breakfast at a predominantly black recreation center was just not her cup of tea.
Perry (better and younger looking in person) was glad-handing all around the room and barely made it to his seat in time for the program. His speech was so odd—he was much more like a preacher than a
presidential candidate. Spoke AT LENGTH about how he appointed the first African American Supreme Court Justice in Texas and how his is such a champion of civil rights (yeah, right.) When he talks, you can almost see the thoughts rolling around in his head before the words come out. He left before the food was served.
Then Tim Scott (black Republican “Rock Star” Rep) got up to bloviate for what seemed like an eternity. In his introduction, he acknowledged the Republican Party, the Tea Party and the NAACP for being in attendance, but never mentioned that there were Democrats present in abundance. He decided to walk around the room while he talked, and of course, spent most of his time standing about 1 foot away from me. He went on and on and on about the importance of education for all (naturally, he’s a big voucher guy.) Then, he tried to take the mantle of John Lewis and wrap himself tightly within it. At that point, I had to sit on my hands so as to not jump up and smack him. It took all the control I had to keep from pointing out that his teaparty friends had spit on John Lewis just last year.
Timmy, like Perry, was more like a preacher than a politician. If they happen to show him on any national tv and you see a woman sitting directly in front of him, scowling and looking like she’s about to
vomit—that will be me!
I would also like to point out that while all of these repulsive Republican politicians were speaking about the great advances African Americans have made in this country THEY NEVER MENTIONED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S NAME—NOT ONCE.
After a break, a gentleman did a wonderful re-enactment of the “I have a dream” speech, totally from memory and extremely moving.
All in all, an interesting morning.
UPDATE: The debate is now over, and as I anticipated, the crowd made complete fools of themselves, cheering for Newt’s racist commentary (and booing the Golden Rule—yeah, that was so appropriate.)
My friend who went to the debate said there were NO rules established for the crowd or the candidates, that people were just wandering around and shouting out. She has been to 6 previous debates and never seen anything like it. (But she DID say, they served good Scotch at the reception!)
UPDATE - BREAKING NEWS:
TPM Livewire just reported:
In an interview with Wolf Blitzer that will air today at 5:25 pm E.T. on CNN, Newt Gingrich said he will ask Sarah Palin “to play a major role” in his administration if elected President. Gingrich’s remarks come a day after the former Alaska governor and vice-Presidential candidate made waves by offering a quasi-endorsement of Gingrich on Fox News. “I want to see this thing continue because iron sharpens iron,” Palin told Fox’s Sean Hannity. “If I had to vote in order to keep it going, I would vote for Newt.”
So it turns out that Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have been plotting behind the scenes. Is Sarah Palin really irrelevant, as many people believe? Well, now she is in the news again on a daily basis, like an evil little duracell bunny - that's maybe not really what one should call "irrelevant." She might be one of the most unpopular politicians in the USA, but her vindictive streak is alive and kicking - for example by trying to damage Andrew Sullivan's credibility and integrity by labelling him a "Trig Truther" and a "kook."
Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin might be unpopular - but together they are a nasty "couple." A match made in hell, so to speak.
Here's the clip from CNN - Newt Gingrich, the old elephant of the Washington establishment, now claims that he is "a tea party reform conservative."
I am Santa Claus, by the way.