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Posts Tagged ‘chance encounters’

Julian Bond popped up Saturday night over dinner.  Today, having lunch at Eastern Market, I caught Congressman Steve Cohen.  Sadly I don’t have a camera on my phone, so you’ll have to trust my judgement.  Cohen is a unique-looking character, and was also wearing an orange lapel pin, so I’m certain it was him.

In case you don’t know him, Steve Cohen is a Jewish guy from Memphis who claims to have “the voting record of a black woman” and tried to join the CBC.  Cohen represents Tennessee’s only black-majority district.  He won his his 2006 primary amidst a split with a dozen black candidates, and then defeated corporatist Jake Ford (of the corporatist Ford family) who ran in the general as an independent.

In 2008, equally corporatist Nikki Tinker challenged Cohen in the primary.  Her anti-Semitic ads (and her surrogates’ worse ones) gained national attention and were condemned by Barack Obama.  Cohen, running on his solid record, promptly kicked her ass six ways to Sunday.

Cohen’s a strong liberal voice.  He’s also a snappy motherfucker.  Witness his response to Governor Palin’s dig at community organizers:

Best of all, his co-sponsorship of the Isaac Hayes Bill allows me to re-use the “Shaft Among the Jews” tag.

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So, over a massive plate of paella at Banana Cafe & Piano Bar in Eastern Market tonight, Mischa and I spotted Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP:

I know it’s an awful photo, but it’s the best I could do on my iphone without being obvious. Trust us, it was definitely him.

Personally, I think he looks oddly like Orrin Hatch in person. He seemed amiable enough, though he did sort of scowl at me when I smiled at him on my way out. Props to Mischa for being the one to actually spot him.

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Speaking of Joe Lieberman….

That would be me on the left. Long story short, I was interning at the airport this summer and I was on my daily trek to Cosi when I spot none other than Monsieur Lieberman shaking hands with the employees of Dunkin Donuts. As Mischa said “if you put ‘ballin’ in urbandictionary, you get a picture of Joe Lieberman smiling next to a black service-sector employee at an airport’. To clarify: this quote made a lot more sense in context on gchat and Mischa is in fact not a hipster racist.

His daughter (granddaughter?) seemed annoyed to be asked to take yet another picture, but obliged nonetheless. In retrospect, he is taller than one might expect. And no, that is not a bathrobe–that’s the ‘hoodie alternative’ I got at J.Crew.

Later that same week I met Mike Gravel in Shirlington. It is a point of bitterness for me that all the other interns I know got to shake hands with Barack this summer and all I was the rejects of the Democratic party.

Its ok, all I have to do is look into the eyes of young Howard Dean and know the DNC still loves me.

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