An offhand joke by conservative Democratic Blue Dog Rep. Bobby Bright during an appearance in Alabama has turned into a major headache for the congressman thanks in large part to the conservative and highly-trafficked Drudge Report, which is featuring his comment.
Bright was appearing in Montgomery yesterday when he was apparently asked whether he would support Nancy Pelosi as House speaker if reelected, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
After listing a number of things that could happen between now and that vote that could make the question moot, "he suggested, jokingly he insisted to his audience, that Pelosi could fall ill and die in coming months," according to the newspaper. The comment drew laughter from the audience.
The Advertiser did not include the quote, so the Washington Post's Greg Sargent called reporter Cosby Woodruff to ask what Bright had said.
"He had been asked a question from the audience about his support for Pelosi," Woodruff told Sargent. "He said, `Let's wait until that comes up. He listed a long list of reasons why Pelosi might not run for Speaker of the House. The last one was, `heck, she might even get sick and die.'"
Sargent concludes that "Bright must have decided that Pelosi is pretty toxic in his district," and while that may be true - he has taken heat in his conservative district for supporting Pelosi for speaker and is facing a tough reelection campaign - it strikes Hotsheet as something of an overreach to extrapolate too much from one offhand comment.
But in a 24-hour, Internet-driven news cycle, such an offhand comment - one that, while obviously inappropriate, seemed so unimportant to the reporter covering it that he didn't bother to include the quote in his report - can sometimes become big news.