Tacky Move by Keith Ellison
While his fellow incoming freshman were attending a private White House reception with President Bush Monday night, Rep.-elect Keith Ellison had what he considered a more important appointment to keep.
"I went to the AFL-CIO reception, because I wanted to meet and greet leaders of labor, and get to know them," Ellison, D-Minn., said in an interview during a break from freshman orientation Tuesday. "Those are the people who I came here to support."
"It wasn't even a close call," added Ellison, who is replacing the retiring Rep. Martin Sabo, a Democrat. "Maybe one day I'll get to meet the president. He's the president, and I respect him in his role as the president, but I have exceedingly sharp differences with him on a policy level."
Ellison is one of four new lawmakers who will represent Minnesota next year. He'll be the first black lawmaker from Minnesota, and the first Muslim to ever serve in Congress.
I'll be writing Keith Ellison about this one.
Even on the leftist Democratic Underground, not all were happy with Ellison over this one:
It isn't about picking Bush over the Unions - it is about diplomacy and having to still work with the White House to get things done.
Keith Ellison is a newly-elected freshman congressman and this reception is a traditional event that the White House hosts for the incoming electeds.
What I am concerned about is that he was the only one to not attend and I think that makes him look bad - he is the new kid on the block with no political capital to be spending and his first act is to reject a friendly gesture just because he doesn't agree with them - especially in this new era of cooperation and bipartisanship. I am all for taking a stand - but pick your battles man - it is a long fight and he will long outlast Bush and this administration.
So I my gut is that it was easier to go hang out with the AFL-CIO folks than the White House and is this how he will spend his tenure?