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Why Kwame Brown's boat is called 'Bullet Proof'

Bullet Proof

"Monkey Business." "Duke-Stir." And now "Bullet Proof."

Woe to the boat-owning politician, who must withstand the scrutiny of owning such a luxury indulgence. Further woe to those -- like Gary Hart and Randy "Duke" Cunningham -- who feel they have to give their boats some clever name that ends up biting them in the rear.

So woe now to Kwame Brown, at-large council member and chairman candidate, whose 38-foot Chris-Craft yacht figures deeply in the $700,000-plus in personal debt that's now become a campaign issue.

One question is left unanswered: Why "Bullet Proof"?

Seizing on the violent connotations, opponent Vincent Orange has called the name inappropriate, noting to WRC-TV that sports owner Abe Pollin "changed his team from the Bullets to the Wizards" back in 1997 "because it's about image, it's about perception."

Brown insists the name is "not about violence."

Rather, Brown said in interviews that his wife, Marcia, named the boat. He was somewhat fuzzy on the precise inspiration, but he said it was a reference to President Bill Clinton -- "a comedy type of thing" involving either Chris Rock or Saturday Night Live. (Brown has worked in the federal Commerce Department during the Clinton administration.)

I suspect Brown speaks of a somewhat famous 1999 cold-open SNL sketch from just after Clinton was acquitted of impeachment charges.

The sketch sadly seems not to be posted online, but I remember it well: It depicts a West Wing party hosted by Clinton, played by Darrell Hammond, who is struggling -- and failing -- to present a somber face after surviving the months-long impeachment drama.

The staffers are drinking beer, not champagne, Hammond-as-Clinton notes -- and "it's not even good beer -- it's Pabst Blue Ribbon."

His climactic line, encapsulating the final triumph of a preternatural politician over his destructive personal foibles, is unforgettable: "I. Am. Bulletproof."

It may turn out to be a pretty clever name for Brown's boat after all. We'll know Sept. 14.

By Mike DeBonis  |  July 19, 2010; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  DCision 2010 , Kwame Brown , The District  
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Kwame just should have said that he's always liked the George Clinton song "Bulletproof" and its anti-war, pro-funk video.

Posted by: hungrypug | July 19, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

write in jack evans for chair! these chumps are going to wreck the city!

Posted by: onthecontrary | July 19, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Who cares Michael Debonis.

Posted by: 1tenforall | July 19, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This story is pure rubbish.

Posted by: rkayblock1 | July 19, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Here we go again, damn the boat and Brown personal debt. I know one thing! I will not be voting for Orange, he should be debating the issues. How was his Ward 5 political track record? Again, stick with the issues, tell me what you are going to do for the voters (tax payer); most District residents are concern about more taxes, affordable housing, unemployment, District workers keeping there jobs (RIF), what programs are going to be cut in this recession. STOP all this bull, Washpost this is not a 2-day story, so wonder I stop my subscription. If we ALL had to do a background/credit check, it would be a lot of unemployed people. Who haven't spent or went in debt for our wants instead of needs. Who else is running! Can you tell me that Washpost? Wow....

Posted by: drfields | July 19, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I bet that's precisely what Mrs. Kwame was thinking of when she named the boat.

Don't forget the final line of that skit.

After saying he's bulletrpoof, "Clinton" leaves the podium, stops, leans back to the microphone and says:

"Next time you'd better bring kryptonite."

Posted by: Georgetwoner | July 19, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

drfields - Maybe we should ask that our elected officials pass a background check. At least then we know who we are really getting. This is not about everyday people, its about people that want the responsibility of overseeing a city - a major city at that.

I wish people would look at the facts and which position these people want to hold. You can defend your candidate all day long, but in the end, you know just as well as I do, Kwame Brown is fiscally irresponsible and would be a danger to the fiscal integrity of Washington DC.

Kwame Brown has been lying to his constituents for six years. Do you not realize that? What else is he lying about? Has he doled out earmarks to friends and family? I would not put anything past him.

And once again, he throws his wife under the bus - she named the boat - why include her in your troubles??? COWARD!

Posted by: Yikes3 | July 19, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

He's a good person (to those he likes and can derive something from), charismatic (fake and disingenuous), and friendly (whatever he needs to be to whomever he is conversing with at the moment); in total, he is a LIAR!!!!!

Watch the Council hearings on Workforce Development in October thru December of 2009, where he "claims" to have gotten a family employment and taken credit for it....THEY ARE NOT WORKING and have not been working since October 2009 and it has not been for lack of skills or tenacity in their efforts; it has been the inability and uncaring nature of this Mayor and members of this Council do not look out for DC residents by enforcing the "first source agreement" legislation. Further they DO NOT hold DOES accountable for not employing DC residents.

Mr. Brown continue to paint DC residents as unemployable, lacking in skill sets necessary for today's job market, and undereducated and uneducated. Now is this more of a falsehood than anything when DC and the surrounding Metro area is listed as the most EDUCATED jurisdiction in the NATION........this is a sad story to read when so many people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, to put food on their tables, and take care of their kids. HE TRIED TO COMPARE HIMSELF TO FAMILIES who are near homelessness and single mothers and fathers who do all they can daily to keep the lights on, the food in the fridge, the kids in school, a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs) and this dude is comparing ballet lessons and yatchs to public schools and bus fare.

Everyday survival for citizens who are layed-off or terminated without cause without warning is so sad; chosen debt of Mr. Brown making over $120,000.00 per year is NOT!!!!

Posted by: lacairaine | July 20, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Lacairaine I agree with you about first source, but I'm not sure that this is what the story is about.

I always love your comments, but disagree with you on this one.

Here is my issue. If for six years we haven't seen this man funnel money or let's say give $83 million to frat brothers Inc. Then I say he's proven that his personal issues haven't become intertwined with his job. For God's sake he's Chair of Economic Development and between that and the Finance Committee this would be the two areas that politicians could have exploited for personal gain and I haven't seen evidence of that.

Now Jack Evans aint no angle either. He’s a part time councilmember making bank. “ Evans, who chairs the council's finance committee -- Thomas and the two Browns are also members of the committee, interestingly -- makes an estimated $250,000 per year as a lawyer at Patton Boggs, one of the city's most well-heeled and connected law firms. He's been accused of conflicts of interest related to his two jobs, but those seem more widely accepted than, say, whether one of his colleagues was a slightly liberal with his credit card”

Posted by: thelildiva4u | July 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Councilmember Brown cannot be trusted to be the Chairman of the Council considering that person must be able to review and analyze financial data of agencies and determine whether the services required and the funds (billions of dollars) are sufficient for the agencies to carry out their mission and statutory mandates in the District of Columbia.

Additionally, this is the type of politician who would shake down contractors for under the table funds to support his bad spending habits.

It appears that if the article in the WP sunday edition regarding Councilmember Brown's home being self valued at $850,000 was false, he committed credit fraud which is a violation of federal law, since no homes in his block or surrounding blocks are valued at that figure. His home was worth about $400,000 at the time of the loan.

Little lies lead to bigger ones with more serious ramifications in betraying the public's trust.

Posted by: dcgovcorruption | July 20, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Yikes3 posted

Maybe we should ask that our elected officials pass a background check. At least then we know who we are really getting. This is not about everyday people, its about people that want the responsibility of overseeing a city - a major city at that.
Human Behavior! Do we really know or could trust if every politician would be treated fairly. Surely, some folks wouldn't have to worry about a background check, not when their family has run the agency (FBI). They are politician they ALL color the truth, tell us what we want to hear to get your vote or are liars. When politicians win the elections there politics changes, that's the records or debate that needs to be challenge! What’s Kwame Brown record? They all hook up their friends, what politician hasn’t done this, did they break the law. Do you know if his wife didn't name the boat? I guess this black man shouldn't be driving expensive vehicles, living in Hillcrest and purchasing Yacht's & joining exclusive clubs. How dare Kwame on his salary! Now, we gotten past all that give me some political facts and not personal feelings! I haven’t decided but I surely haven’t heard any good arguments or debates. What’s Orange position, anybody else running? Washpost can you tell me that?

Posted by: drfields | July 20, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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