In Which I Do the Inconceivable and Rise to the Defense of the Otherwise Indefensible Illeana Ros-Lehtinen

My Congressperson, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, hung up on President-elect Obama — twice and then issued an error-filled press release about it.

A Florida congresswoman — convinced she was being prank-called by a Barack Obama sound-alike — hung up on the actual president-elect Wednesday.

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was told by an aide that Obama wanted to speak with her. According to a statement released by her office, the Republican congresswoman cut off the caller, telling him she thought “this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks.” She then hung up.

Much as it pains me, I think I'll have to defend IR-L from some of the inevitable jokes, at least if the call was during morning drive-time. I can just see the local 'zoo format' jocks pulling a stunt like this.

And, anyway, think about it — on any rational calculation doesn't President-elect Obama have about eight million better things to do than call Ileana Ros-Lehtinen? As she herself apparently admitted:

When an amused Obama called again, Ros-Lehtinen he was either “very gracious” to reach across the aisle by contacting her, or “had run out of folks to call, if you are truly calling me.”

Indeed.

But it does make you wonder how many people Obama has called in the last month who have had the same reaction. I bet it's not a small number.

(Note that I'm not defending Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's office's inability to spell the President-elect's name — and that of his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel — in the press release she put out about the incident. If only that were the only thing IR-L gets wrong….)

I do hope that Obama is not under any illusions that he owes anything to Miami's revanchist Cubans when it comes to normalizing relations with Cuba. It's now clear from the latest poll that a even a majority of Cuban-Americans in South Florida want to end the embargo.

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3 Responses to In Which I Do the Inconceivable and Rise to the Defense of the Otherwise Indefensible Illeana Ros-Lehtinen

  1. Randon says:

    “It’s now clear from the latest poll that a even a majority of Cuban-Americans in South Florida want to end the embargo.”

    Ergo, the majority of Cuban-Americans support the notion of a deified leader who guides the people towards Progressive Enlightenment through his Wisdom. This sentiment will surely capture the rest of the populace when the Mighty O takes power!

    Michael, the Party now hereby elevates your classification to Deep Thinker. Deep Thinker is a coveted award, previously awarded to only two others, Sean Penn and Steven Spielberg. The Party knows it will take some time to sink in, but yes, you are indeed as wise as Sean Penn.

    All Hail the Mighty O!

  2. Another Michael says:

    What does it say about the state of our democracy when a senior congressperson not just doesn’t expect, but refuses to believe that the next president is reaching out to her?

  3. luis says:

    Sigh. You’re right, of course. But I was really hoping to see you rip into her entertainingly.

    (On the plus side, I had not previously seen the spelling errors. Some day, some day…)

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