Oh what a tangled web of ass remarks Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) has woven for himself in the past few weeks.
In what is a most unusual twist to this story, news of the congressman’s “large posterior” remarks at a church bazaar was on the verge of being broken by the Journal Sentinel. The reporter, Daniel Bice, had an on-the-record eyewitness account of Sensenbrenner’s chat about first lady Michelle Obama at St. Aiden’s Episcopal Church in Hartford, Wisc. Unfortunately his editors made him sit on it (pun intended) to gather more information.
“I talked to the woman in this post — and others — late last week,” Bice told FishbowlDC this morning. “My editors wanted me to try to get a recording and to try to reach the other four guys at the table where the conversation occurred. I struck out, so I just called Sensenbrenner’s office yesterday morning to get his version. Sensenbrenner was talking to his aide about how to respond to my request. Your source overheard that conversation.” He added, “You ended up scooping me on a story I had been working on.”
Asked how he felt about it, Bice said, “I’m not angry or annoyed. OK, a little annoyed. But anyone who has spent a minute with Sensenbrenner knows he is a big man with a big voice that travels far. I’ve been a columnist at the Journal Sentinel for the past 13 years and a reporter here the previous six. Twice won National Headliner Award for best column. I break a lot of news in the column about Gov. Walker, local politics, etc. You may remember that viral video of Herman Cain‘s confused response on Libya. I was the guy quizzing him off camera.”
Indeed as fate would have it, on Wednesday as Sensenbrenner sat on his duff in the Delta Crown lounge at Reagan National Airport, he aired out Bice’s story on his cell phone with one of his aides. The congressman and his aide were deciphering what to say to Bice. Some may recall how that all went down: “The operative said it sounded like he was on the phone with a staffer who was telling him that someone in the media would likely write about his comments (concerning something) to which he said it was heresy and just liberal media bias to print gossip. But ‘he stands by his remarks.’”
In his story that published early this morning, Bice reports on the pub’s No Quarter Blog that Sensenbrenner “took several swipes” at the first lady. He sources Ann Marsh-Meigs, a 72-year-old retiree, who was on hand and offended by the congressman’s remarks.
An excerpt: “He then talked about how different first ladies have had different projects – Laura Bush and literacy – and he named two or three others,” Marsh-Meigs said in an interview last week. “And then he said, ‘And Michelle Obama, her project is obesity. And look at her big butt.’
Sensenbrenner spokeswoman Amanda Infield reiterated to Bice that her boss plans to phone the first lady’s office to apologize.