Sweet blog special. Rep. Rahm Emanuel's comedy club. Gridiron speech transcript.

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House Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was the Democratic speaker at last Saturday's Gridiron Club dinner.

Emanuel is know for his crude language. In the skit the club performed before Emanuel spoke the lyrics went like this--"Who is that frickin dude? And why is he so crude."


And this zinger from Emanuel:
AS A TEENAGER, I WAS WORKING IN A RESTAURANT AND ACCIDENTALLY SLICED OFF THE MIDDLE FINGER ON MY RIGHT HAND. OF ALL THE FINGERS TO LOSE! I COULD NOT EXPRESS MYSELF FOR MONTHS.


Emanuel’s comedy writers includes David Axelrod, the Chicago media consultant who is one of Emanuel’s key advisers: Paul Begala, the CNN commentator and Democratic strategist who has known Emanuel since they worked together in former President Clinton’s first campaign in 1992 and Jeff Nussbaum, with experience in pairing pols with comedy.


this from Emanuel....
RAHM EMANUEL
GRIDIRON SPEECH
FINAL DRAFT FOR DELIVERY
3-31-07
2:30PM

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME HERE TONIGHT AND LET ME SAY WHAT AN HONOR IT IS TO SHARE THE PODIUM WITH SUCH A DISTINGUISHED GROUP OF JOURNALISTS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS.

I KNOW WHAT MANY OF YOU ARE THINKING—HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO THE GRIDIRON? THE REPUBLICANS SEND A TOP TIER NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT. THE DEMOCRATS SEND YOU NANCY PELOSI’S VALET.

WHEN I GOT THIS INVITATION, I WAS A LITTLE CONCERNED BECAUSE A LOT OF YOU MAY NOT KNOW MUCH ABOUT ME…SO LET ME TAKE A MINUTE AND TELL YOU ABOUT MYSELF.

WHO IS THE REAL RAHM EMANUEL? I’M KNOWN AS A STRAIGHT SHOOTER. JUST LIKE JIM WEBB.

I AM A MAN WHO HAS BEEN CALLED TEMPERAMENTAL, VINDICTIVE, FOULMOUTHED AND MEAN. AND THAT’S JUST MY MOM BRAGGING ABOUT ME.

FRIENDS CALL ME TOM DELAY – EXCEPT WITHOUT THE WARM, CUDDLY SIDE.

IN MY DEFENSE, IF I SOMETIMES SEEM TOUGH, IT’S BECAUSE I’VE FACED SOME REAL ADVERSITY IN MY LIFE.

AS A TEENAGER, I WAS WORKING IN A RESTAURANT AND ACCIDENTALLY SLICED OFF THE MIDDLE FINGER ON MY RIGHT HAND. OF ALL THE FINGERS TO LOSE! I COULD NOT EXPRESS MYSELF FOR MONTHS. I HAD TO LEARN TO TALK WITH MY LEFT HAND.

LATER IN LIFE I WORE A MILITARY UNIFORM. I DID A STINT IN THE ISRAELI ARMY DURING OPERATION DESERT STORM. YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW ANYONE IN THE TEXAS NATIONAL GUARD.

I USED TO BE A BALLET DANCER, TOO. TO CLEAR UP THE RECORD, EVEN BEFORE I STARTED DANCING, MY NICKNAME WAS “THE NUTCRACKER.”

AND YES, I’M THE GUY WHO ONCE PUT A STAMP ON AN ENVELOPE AND MAILED A DEAD FISH TO A POLLSTER. AND LET ME SAY, I WOULD NEVER DO THAT TODAY. I HAVE FRANKING PRIVILEGES.

OH. BEFORE I FORGET, I WANT TO TAKE A MINUTE AND WISH A HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AL GORE WHO JUST TURNED 59. IT'S A MIXED DAY FOR AL -- ON THE ONE HAND HE REFUSES TO HAVE BIRTHDAY CANDLES BECAUSE THEY CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING. ON THE OTHER HAND, HE REALLY LOVES CAKE.

I KNOW WE'RE ALL DISAPPOINTED THE PRESIDENT COULDN'T MAKE IT. BUT AT LEAST WE GOT THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF WITH US TONIGHT. GOOD TO SEE YOU, MR. VICE PRESIDENT.

AND IT’S NICE TO SEE THE VICE PRESIDENT BACK ON HIS FEET. I KNOW HE WAS AT THE HOSPITAL LAST WEEK. BUT HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS, IT WASN’T A BLOOD CLOT.

HE HURT HIS LEG KICKING A PUPPY.

YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HIM, BUT THE VICE PRESIDENT IS ACTUALLY EXCITED TONIGHT BECAUSE THE INSURGENCY IS IN ITS FINAL THROES. JUST TWO PROFESSIONAL US ATTORNEYS LEFT.

IT’S TRULY IS AN HONOR TO BE HERE WITH YOU AND A SPECIAL HONOR TO BE INTRODUCED BY MY GOOD FRIEND BILL NEIKIRK, THE DEAN OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE'S WASHINGTON BUREAU. BILL, YOU'RE DOING A FINE JOB AS GRIDIRON PRESIDENT. ALL THE REVIEWS ARE GREAT. YOUR PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN CITED AS A MODEL FOR FUTURE PRESIDENTS OF THE GRIDIRON. WHICH CAN ONLY LEAD TO ONE CONCLUSION: ALBERTO GONZALEZ IS GOING TO FIRE YOUR ASS.

WHEN I CALLED FOR DETAILS ABOUT TONIGHT ALL BILL WOULD TELL ME IS THAT YOU START OFF IN THE DARK, AND ACT OUT A SERIES OF ARCANE RITUALS THAT HAVE GROWN UP OVER GENERATIONS, THAT HAVE NEVER CHANGED. TO ME, IT SOUNDED LIKE A MEETING OF THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN.

WHAT A YEAR IT’S BEEN...IT’S A YEAR, IF I COULD DESCRIBE IT IN ONE WAY, IT IS A YEAR OF INCONVENIENT TRUTHS…

--IT’S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH THAT THERE ARE MORE PICTURES OF RUDY GIULIANI IN A DRESS THAN OF HILLARY

--IT’S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH THAT SPRING BREAK JUST HASN’T BEEN THE SAME SINCE TED KENNEDY AND CHRIS DODD STOPPED GOING TO LA BRASSERIE

--IT’S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, DICK CHENEY’S LEGAL BILL IS HIGHER THAN HIS MEDICAL BILL.

-- IT’S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH THAT THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS ARE JOE BIDEN SPEECHES.

--IT’S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH THAT AL GORE’S OSCAR IS ACTUALLY TALLER THAN DENNIS KUCINICH

BUT YOU KNOW THE REAL INCONVENIENT TRUTH FOR REPUBLICANS?—IT’S THAT I AM ACTUALLY IN THE LEADERSHIP.

I’M THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS CHAIR, WHICH MEANS I’M NUMBER FOUR IN POWER. IT’S LIKE BEING MARVIN BUSH.

HOW DO I BEST DESCRIBE MY BOSS NANCY PELOSI? SHE’S A 67 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER WHO RESERVES HER ANGER FOR THE ONE MAN WHO OPPOSES HER ON A DAILY BASIS—STENY HOYER.

YOU CAN TELL THERE’S A CHANGE IN THE CAPITOL. JUST LOOK AT THE NEW LEADERSHIP. NANCY PELOSI, STENY HOYER, JIM CLYBURN, XAVIER BECERRA, RAHM EMANUEL -- WE LOOK LIKE YOUR LOCAL EYEWITNESS NEWS TEAM.

THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP? THEY LOOK LIKE THE CAST OF GRUMPY OLD MEN.

ACTUALLY, NANCY GAVE ME TWO VERY IMPORTANT TASKS AS SOON AS SHE BECAME SPEAKER: SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.
I GOT PRETTY MAD –I SAID, NANCY -- THERE IS ONLY ONE WOMAN IN MY LIFE WHO CAN ORDER ME AROUND LIKE THAT.
HILLARY CLINTON.

AS CAUCUS CHAIR MY TYPICAL DAY BEGINS WITH A MEETING WITH NANCY, STENY AND JIM. OR AS PRESIDENT BUSH CALLS US, THE AXIS OF EVIL

I DO FEEL FOR THE PRESIDENT. RIGHT NOW HE’S DEALING WITH THE U.S. ATTORNEY SCANDAL. THERE ARE E-MAILS TYING ALBERTO GONZALEZ TO THE U.S. ATTORNEY FIRINGS. THERE ARE E-MAILS TYING THE WHITE HOUSE TO THE FIRINGS -- WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WOULD LOOK BACK AT MARK FOLEY’S E-MAILS AS THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

TO HIS CREDIT, PRESIDENT BUSH IS STILL WORKING HARD AND MAKING THE TOUGH DECISIONS.

SOME OF YOU IN THIS ROOM REPORTED THAT HE COMPARES HIS PRESIDENCY TO HARRY TRUMAN’S. I CAN SEE THAT. BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW, THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES.

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE SAID TRUMAN LOST WHEN HE REALLY WON... AND BUSH WON WHEN HE REALLY LOST.

THIS PRESIDENT KEEPS HIS “BUCK STOPS HERE” SIGN ON THE VICE PRESIDENT’S DESK.

FINALLY, TRUMAN WAS A HABERDASHER…PRESIDENT BUSH DOESN’T THINK HABERDASHERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GET MARRIED.

EVEN THOUGH THE PRESIDENT IS NOT HERE, MITT ROMNEY IS HERE. MITT HAS A REAL PRESENCE, YOU CAN SENSE IT THE MINUTE HE ENTERS A ROOM—ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE ALLERGIC TO HAIRSPRAY.

I ADMIT IT, I’M WORRIED HE’LL BE THEIR NOMINEE. A YEAR AGO, MITT ROMNEY WAS THE PRO-CHOICE GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, BUT HE JUST ANNOUNCED AS A PRO-LIFE CANDIDATE FROM MICHIGAN. MITT, YOU'RE A LITTLE CONFUSED ABOUT THIS MORMAN THING -- IT'S MULTIPLE WIVES, NOT MULTIPLE LIVES.

LET’S BE HONEST, MITT IS THE ODD ONE IN THEIR PARTY. IMAGINE! A GOP CANDIDATE IN 2007 WHO’S MARRIED AND FAITHFUL TO HIS FIRST WIFE.

THINK ABOUT IT:

RUDY: MARRIED 3 TIMES, HAD AN AFFAIR.

MCCAIN: DIVORCED AND ADMITTED TO A WILD PAST.

NEWT: MARRIED 3 TIMES, HAD AT LEAST 2 AFFAIRS.

DO YOU REALIZE THAT WITH A FIELD LIKE THIS, BILL CLINTON COULD RUN AS THE FAMILY VALUES CANDIDATE?

FORGET BANNING GAY MARRIAGE—THE GOP SHOULD JUST BAN STRAIGHT MARRIAGE.

I GIVE CREDIT TO MITT. I COULD NEVER RUN FOR PRESIDENT – I’M WAY TOO ABRASIVE. I CAN’T BE CHIEF JUSTICE – I WOULD NEVER ALLOW A DISSENTING OPINION. AND I CAN’T BE SPEAKER— BECAUSE I’M AFRAID TO FLY IN A MILITARY JET.

SO I’LL DO WHAT I THINK I DO BEST-- GIVE ADVICE TO ALL THE CAMPAIGNS.

FIRST OF ALL LET ME SAY RIGHT UP FRONT, THIS IS A TOUGH PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY FOR ME.

ON ONE HAND I HAVE TO BE FOR HILLARY, ON THE OTHER HAND I HAVE TO BE FOR BARACK. IF ONLY I WERE JOHN KERRY, I COULD BE FOR HILLARY AND AGAINST HER.

PEOPLE THINK THAT HILLARY AND I ARE REALLY CLOSE BUT THE TRUTH IS, I WASN’T IN THE ROOM WHEN SHE DECIDED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. I DIDN’T KNOW HER IN 1948.

HILLARY GREW UP IN PARK RIDGE WHICH IS RIGHT NEXT TO MY DISTRICT…AND SHE WAS LIKE EVERY OTHER YOUNG GIRL FROM PARK RIDGE GROWING UP IN THE 50’S -- JOINING THE GIRL SCOUTS, WALKING TO SCHOOL IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD, DREAMING OF WORLD DOMINATION.

I’VE TALKED TO BARACK ABOUT THE CONSERVATIVE RIGHT MAKING A BIG DEAL OVER THE FACT HIS FULL NAME IS BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. I TOLD HIM THAT’S THE REPUBLICANS WORST NIGHTMARE. THEY GET RID OF ONE HUSSEIN AND GET BEATEN BY ANOTHER.

SENATOR OBAMA AND I DON’T JUST SHARE A HOME STATE. WE ALSO SHARE EXOTIC NAMES THAT WERE GIVEN TO US BY OUR FATHERS. BARACK, WHICH IN SWAHILI MEANS “BLESSED” AND RAHM, WHICH, ROUGHLY TRANSLATED FROM HEBREW, MEANS “GO SCREW YOURSELF”.

BUT THE CAMPAIGN HASN’T BEEN EASY FOR HIM. YOU CONSTANTLY HEAR THE COMPLAINT THAT BARACK OBAMA ISN’T BLACK ENOUGH. AND THE WORST PART—THE COMPLAINT IS FROM BILL CLINTON.

I’VE ALSO TALKED TO RUDY GIULIANI ABOUT HIS CAMPAIGN. WHICH BY THE WAY, DISTINGUISHES ME FROM HIS KIDS.

I TOLD HIM HE COULD BE PRESIDENT BECAUSE THE VOTERS THINK OF HIM AS ANOTHER FDR IN A TIME OF CRISIS. BY THAT I MEAN HE MARRIED HIS OWN COUSIN.

JOHN MCCAIN AND I HAVE TALKED ABOUT HOW EVERYONE MAKES A BIG FUSS ABOUT HIS 5 YEARS BEING TORTURED BY CRAZED COMMUNIST IDEOLOGUES. BIG DEAL, I SHARED AN OFFICE WITH SID BLUMENTHAL.

LET ME THROW IN THIS CAVEAT--I’M NOT REALLY GOOD AT GIVING ADVICE TO REPUBLICANS. IT’S JUST SO DIFFERENT ADVISING A REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE THAN IT IS ADVISING A DEMOCRAT.

WHEN WE WOULD TALK ABOUT A SURGE, A LIGHTNING QUICK THRUST AND AN EARLY WITHDRAWAL, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT SWORN TESTIMONY IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE.

I’LL NEVER FORGET THE SCANDAL AND THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL. I REMEMBER ONE SUNDAY NIGHT, MY WIFE AMY AND I WERE HOME IN BED WATCHING TV, I TOOK THE REMOTE, SWITCHED IT OFF, LOOKED AT HER WITH BEDROOM EYES AND SHE SAID “DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BRING YOUR WORK HOME WITH YOU?”

I BEGAN THIS SPEECH TALKING ABOUT SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS. BUT THERE IS ONE TRUTH THAT I’M PROUD TO POINT OUT TO YOU: AS JEFFERSON TAUGHT US: “THE FREE PRESS IS THE DEADLIEST ENEMY OF TYRANNY.”
AMERICA SIMPLY WOULD NOT BE FREE TODAY IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE FREE PRESS. AND, YOU KNOW, THAT OLD SAYING IS TRUE: FREEDOM REALLY ISN’T FREE. 115 JOURNALISTS HAVE DIED COVERING THE WAR IN IRAQ.

AND SO AS WE REMEMBER THE 3,236 AMERICAN SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE GIVEN THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION, AS WE PRAY FOR THEM AND THEIR LOVED ONES, WE SHOULD ALSO SAY A PRAYER FOR THE 115 JOURNALISTS WHO HAVE FALLEN BRINGING THEIR STORIES TO THE WORLD.

THAT’S WHY I DO CONSIDER IT A HIGH HONOR TO SPEAK TO THE OLDEST AND MOST REVERED JOURNALISTIC ORGANIZATION IN WASHINGTON.

TONIGHT REMINDS US THAT DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US IN THIS ROOM SHARE A LOVE FOR THIS COUNTRY AND A DESIRE TO KEEP THIS NATION WHAT IT HAS BEEN FOR 231 YEARS, AN INSPIRATION TO ALL WHO LOVE LIBERTY, FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.

AND THAT’S A TRUTH THAT’S NOT IN THE LEAST BIT INCONVENIENT.

2 Comments

Anytime you see a government pass laws against "terrorism" you can be sure that government is in the process of doing things for which "terrorism" is the only recourse: http://deanberryministries.net

Emanuel deserves credit for being a self-made man (before he entered politics) in an era when most candidates are merely shaped and pawned by big business.

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Lynn Sweet

<Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 4, 2007 9:58 AM.

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