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Tom DeLay, Hammer No More

He used to be known as the Hammer, for running the House of Representatives with a iron fist. Nowadays, though, former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is Mr. Congeniality.

According to folks who were there, DeLay couldn't have been sweeter to his former Democratic enemies at a small political book fair on Capitol Hill this week sponsored by The Hill newspaper. ('Course, being an author and trying to hawk books can turn even the snarliest of partisan pitbulls into a party-blind kitten.)

The first odd sign came when the Man Formerly Known as the Hammer gave a copy of his book, "No Retreat, No Surender: One American's Fight" to Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.). That would be the Kennedy who filed a RICO lawsuit against DeLay back in 2000, alleging the Hammer's fund-raising activities violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

As if that weren't enough to make one wonder if there may truly be a bipartisanship conspiracy afoot, DeLay yucked it up and chummed around and traded books with Terry McAuliffe, an icon of the Democratic Party and campaign chairman for Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

According to an eyewitness at the authors' schmoozefest (the event drew very few book buyers), McAuliffe signed a copy of his book "What A Party!" to DeLay with the inscription: "My favorite right-wing nut. Keep up the fight and get ready for President Hillary Clinton."

DeLay, the former House majority leader who resigned amid a federal corruption investigation and under indictment in Texas, signed a copy of his book to McAuliffe, saying, "I bet we win in the end."

And, oddly enough, the organizers of Wednesday's book fair put DeLay, a devout Christian, next to journalist Christopher Hitchens, author of the runaway bestseller "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything."

But even those two hit it off, finding common ground on their passion for fighting Islamofacism (or waging the "war on terror" as it used to be commonly called before the phrase fell out of fashion). "These colors don't run!" the British-born Hitchens shouted several times, though without a convincingly red-white-and-blue Americana accent.

Discussion of God's involvement in blessing the troops and the flag was studiously avoided. Instead, Hitchens advised DeLay on people and places to visit during Mr. Congeniality's planned trip to London next month.

Also assiduously avoided: talk of the ongoing Jack Abramoff public corruption probe, whose tentacles have reached deep into the DeLay Inc. operation, ensnaring several former top DeLay aides, including the former chief of staff to the former Hammer.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  October 19, 2007; 2:13 PM ET
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Next: Pete Stark's Mea Culpa


Mary Ann:
The question remaining is; has DeLay been indicted and if so when is his trial?
We have all been waiting for months to see him skewered in court

Posted by: Professor Emeritus P. Bagnolo | October 22, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy and DeLay being (feigning) "congenial?!?" I am constantly amazed by the Soap Opera that politics has become. Next we'll find out that they were twins stolen from their real parents (Strom Thurmond??), separated, and raised by circus clowns. Thanks for continuing to point out the more subtle absurdities that don't make it into the paper.

Posted by: Doral | October 22, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but I cannot get very interested in what any politician says. Whatever comes out of their mouths you can bet it is to make them look better or make money.
They are so sleazy!!! No wonder their ratings are below 15%. They don't vote for what is best for America or Americans but what will benefit them.

Posted by: Topsy | October 22, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is DeLay not in jail??

Posted by: azbirds | October 22, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

DeLay was everything that is evil about Congress. He is the Anti-Christ. We should not have to read about him in the press except when he is convicted.

Posted by: zrie014 | October 22, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I think that this sweat shop operation being ran in the South Pacific and maybe protected by Delay, while he was running the house, amount to 21st century slavery. Someone need to go to jail.

Posted by: Dewey | October 22, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Just remember, if this guys lips are moving, you know he's lying---is he still
walking free ?

Posted by: Steve Raab | October 23, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

In case no one heard or read, the texas charges were dropped. No evidence to back up the charges. The Democrats simply wanted him out of the way.

independent(like me) democrat, republican, voters, are we not all tired of the smear campaigns? I am. i want some one, doesn't matter what party, race, sex,who will stand up for our country, we have some very, very serious national Security items that are not even being talked about, let alone being debated. We all better wake up. Both parties are simply wasting time in congress back East. We need some real leaders who will follow the constitution and up hold our laws.

Posted by: Denny Taylor | October 23, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Denny Taylor, you're not fooling anyone. You're more republican leaning..or you wouldn't have misrepresented the "charges being dropped," because the more serious charge of money laundering against Delay are still ongoing:
"After DeLay moved to dismiss all charges, trial judge Pat Priest dismissed one count of the indictment, which alleged conspiracy to violate election law. However, Judge Priest denied DeLay's motion to dismiss the more serious charges of money laundering and conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and the prosecution is proceeding on those charges." Wikipedia,

As my mom says, where there's smoke there's fire, and reading delay's history, there's so much smoke, that the fire must be huuuuge.

Posted by: Destardi | October 23, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: tmac1938 | October 23, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

remember seeing Tom stroll thru the halls with a sneering look of arrogance ? Remember Tom sending Homeland Security after fleeing states Democrats to force them to vote? the guy is now more like what he was originally; a cockroach

Posted by: cleve | October 23, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The "Media" continues to try to protray poiticians in favorable lights no matter the party, a crook is a crook. Tom DeLay unfortunately has been the roll model for a majority of politicians.

What makes a doctor, lawyer or business man (professinal politician), give up their job that pays more than 1 million dollars a year to take a job that pays 157 thousand dollars a year?

Examples are every where in congress. Trent Lott, Republican Senator from Missippii has never done anything but work for the federal government. Lott is a millionaire.

Why do we keep electing crooks like that? My US congressman, Congressman Phil Gingrey, Republican from Georgia gave up a medical practice that paid him over a million dollars a year to become a congressman.

Why do we do that? He will continue to be elected until he dies. Georgia is so racist that it continues to support anyone who claims to be a republican.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the pure defination of insanity. (Einstine (sp))

Posted by: Hugh Rudd | October 24, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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