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Sen. Vitter's Tantrum History

Turns out, last weeks' alleged airport rage incident isn't the first time Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has been known to lose his cool. He has a history of throwing temper tantrums, according to one of the senator's former Tulane Law School moot court participants and fellow conservatives.

That would be Quin Hillyer, the conservative writer, who recalls in this column in the American Spectator how Vitter once called him, cursing and yelling into the phone, "like he was absolutely unhinged."

David Vitter
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill March 11, 2009. (AP/Harry Hamburg)

At the time of the alleged telephone tirade, in 1991, Hillyer was writing a column called "Scuttlebutt" in the Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. Vitter was making his first run for state office. Hillyer says he wrote an innocuous item in his column about Vitter's aggressive canvassing efforts passing out glossy campaign literature, an item Hillyer says that "by any objective criteria made Vitter look good."

But how did Vitter react? Here is what Hillyer writes:

Imagine my surprise, then, when I got a phone call from David where he literally was yelling and occasionally cursing into my ear -- so loudly that I literally had to hold the phone away from my head, about six inches from my ear -- like he was absolutely unhinged. This went on for something like seven or eight minutes straight. Why was he so upset? Because, he said, my use of the word "glossy" -- hey, uh, David, that is a type of paper, dude, as in do you want your photos glossy or matte? -- was a deliberate attempt to insinuate that he was "slick and insubstantial." How DARE I? I was a dirty, rotten, bleeping yellow journalist. Or so he yelled, or words to that effect.

As I said, he sounded unhinged. It was truly, 100 percent bizarre. And this was from a guy for whom, if I had lived in his legislative district, I probably would have voted (before this incident) because his credentials seemed stronger than the other good and worthy candidates in the race. But he was convinced that I was out to get him. Weird. Very very very very weird, and thoroughly unpleasant.

In that light, his tantrum at the airport does not surprise me one bit.

And, by the way, the Sleuth thinks it's worth pointing out this little irony: Vitter sits on the Aviation Operations, Safety and Security subcommittee of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee.

Shouldn't he know better?

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 13, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
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Next: Biden's F-Bomb On Live Mic Was a Joke


Its all Obama's fault and you know it.

Posted by: hayden1 | March 13, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

So Senator Vitter goes all chimpanzee at Washington National, breaks at least one law by breaching a secure door, then runs off. Why run off? The more I learn about Vitter, the more I smell the distinct aroma of alcohol around him.

Posted by: TexasJim | March 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

As I said in another similar article, the truth will out eventually.

Posted by: Skye1er | March 13, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Good to know he's doing his part for his party. Hopefully we can turn this economy around--with or without Republican support--and actually focus on solving the deeper, systemic issues for why we're in this situation. Obviously bad banking's a good place to start, but there are other issues, like global poverty, that have huge economic and geopolitical ramifications.

The Borgen Project ( has some interesting insight into addressing the issues of global poverty, something we can remedy easily and sustainably.

Some interesting figures to ponder:
$30 billion USD: The annual shortfall to end global poverty.
$550 billion USD: The annual US defense budget.

Posted by: concernedcitizen1111 | March 13, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

The last couple of days europe told Obama basically they think his plan is horrible and they won't be increasing government spending.

Today China warned us our lack of coherent and economy gaining measures means they might stop investing in treasury bills. They voted no-confidence on Obama.

How long will it take Obama to get the hint from the global economy that increased government spending and taxes is the 180 from the correct thing to do.

China, Europe and other countries are cutting taxes and helping private industry not crippling it.

Posted by: Cryos | March 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile you suckers are stuck on political side shows. Vitter is up for re-election in 2010 so the democrats and media are starting their attacks now.

The american public is officially a bunch of dumb sheep for whom "hope" is the only pathetic ruse left.

Posted by: Cryos | March 13, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Arrogance. A sense of entitlement. Unwillingness to abide by society's rules when it's inconvenient to do so. Intense rage when frustrated. Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in patient DV ?
Regrettably, such a condition does not automatically disqualify one from the pursuit of political office. What would disqualify DV would be the presence of a conscience among LA voters.

Posted by: DoctorB | March 13, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

This twisted dude should be sent to Gitmo! Diapers are acceptable wear there!!

Posted by: jpm001 | March 13, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

That is pricely. A Republican (Cryos) lauding Europe and China for their economic policies. Worth printing and framing.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 13, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If loving you is wrong. I don’t want to be right. If being right means being without you…I’d rather live a wrong doing life. Yo momma and daddy say’s its a shame…it’s a down right disgrace. But, long as I got you by my side. I don’t care what your people say. Your friends tell you, its no future in loving a married man. If I can’t see you when I want you. I see when when I can. If loving you is wrong…I don’t want to be right. If loving you is wrong…I don’t want to be right.


And am I wrong wrong… so deeply in love with you. Lord, I got a wife and two little children depending on me to. And am I wrong to hunger for the gentness of your touch. Lord I got someone else at home that needs me just as much. If loving you is wrong..I don’t want to be right..If loving you is wrong..I don’t want to be right…

Posted by: opp88 | March 15, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse


Meanwhile you suckers are stuck on political side shows. Vitter is up for re-election in 2010 so the democrats and media are starting their attacks now.

The american public is officially a bunch of dumb sheep for whom "hope" is the only pathetic ruse left

Posted by: opp88 | March 15, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Vitter is a typical republican, don't do as I do, do as I say. These people are so ego bound, they cannot see beyond theirselves.
Do hope intelligent people remember their pompous, party first, lack of concern about the future of our country in the next elections.

Posted by: kathlenec | March 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey Quin & MAA: "Developing" news on Vitter just on the wires!

Posted by: nickthimmeschearthlinknet | March 16, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it's all obama's fault. watch funny and sexy videos at

Posted by: roverfind | March 16, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

That is all that Vitter is-gloss. Only in Louisiana could someone win election promising a social security lockbox twenty years after the idea was scrapped with derision. A little gloss covers a whole lot of gross eptitude. He should wear his gloss with pride! To put it in biblical terms, he should gird his loins with it! It is the thickest covering he will find in the melee to come!

Posted by: cebowman | March 17, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey Akers, You are quick to report Republican shortcomings but how about Democrats and their short comings? Like Charlie Rangel and his GD remarks. Are you maybe just reporting Republican Boo-Boo's because you are playing the Media Bias game. If you are then you are not a fair reporter. There seems to be an agenda if this is the case. Don't you think Newspapers should report all news? That was a stupid question. Of course you don't. If you did then we would see non biased reporting. So you do practice media bias! Just another Yankee with an agenda. Shame on you.

Posted by: poptoy1949 | March 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Vitter’s interpretation of word “glossy” indicates his ability to make an issue out of a non-issue based on his lack of knowledge. Sounds like the story of his political career. If Vitter would use less time condemning others and educate himself, he might learn that the word glossy connotes a type of paper normally used by magazines to enhance color in photos. Like the columnist said—it was a compliment Vitters rather than a snide remark. The paper is actually more expensive because the paper requires extra processing with a special coating compared to regular 10% cotton paper. Instead of preaching the moral ideals of his family values, I wish Vitters would focus on his own personal development of becoming a leader with moral character. Learning how to contain his immature outburst is a start.
This story reminds me of the time a caller on C-SPAN phoned in to the morning show complaining to Brian Lamb that he should reframe from using the term “Minority Leader” when referring to members of Congress.. The caller said it was a disgrace to single out African Americans in discussing political leaders. The host tried to explain the term “Minority Leader” but the caller hung up in disgust. A funny moment in C-SPAN viewing.

Posted by: judith-cooper | March 17, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

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