From Yahoo News -- Oct 29, 2009
Earlier in the month, shortly after he burst onto the political scene by presenting his "Die Quickly" interpretation of the Republican health care plan on the floor of the House, we asked, "Is Alan Grayson the Democrats' Joe Wilson?" Lately the similarities are fading. Wilson has, for the most part, retreated after his controversial outburst during President Obama's prime-time health care address in September.
Rep. Grayson has proven himself to be no one-hit-wonder, making national news regularly with controversial statements about political opponents, as well as an emotional display on the House floor. He's garnered the labels of "the left's Glenn Beck" and "the Democrat's version of Michele Bachmann." Here's a recap of his recent headline-garnering moves:
Compares former vice-president to a vampire:
Last Thursday, Grayson appeared as a guest on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews." There he attacked Dick Cheney for criticizing, at a recent Republican event, the Obama administration's efforts in fighting terror. Saying that he has trouble listening to the former vice-president speak "because of the blood that drips from his teeth," Grayson went on to accuse Cheney of projecting hatred toward the president because he "doesn't shoot old men in the face." Grayson closed by asking, "When he was done speaking, did he just turn into a bat and fly away?"
Questions the patriotism of Fox News:
Appearing on "The Ed Show" on MSNBC, Grayson slammed Fox News and its "Republican collaborators" for being what he called "the enemy of America." While many prominent Democrats, including the president himself, have been vocal about what they interpret as political bias in Fox News' reporting, few have gone as far as Grayson.
After reportedly being turned down after several requests to interview Grayson, Fox News' Bill O'Reilly dispatched "O'Reilly Factor" correspondent Griff Jenkins to conduct an ambush-style interview with Grayson outside his Capitol Hill office. Grayson refused to answer Jenkins' questions, imploring him to make an appointment for an interview through his press secretary.
Has an emotional moment at the House of Representatives:
On Wednesday, hours before House Democrats unveiled their $900-billion health care bill, Grayson burst into tears numerous times during the course of a floor speech in which he read letters from people whose loved ones had died because they lacked health insurance. "There are 44,789 who die every year from lack of health insurance," Grayson said. "In the course of my speech tonight, there will be five more."
Grayson noted that he received the letters from ordinary citizens through a website called namesofthedead.com, which he launched last week out of the hope that "honoring them will help us end this senseless loss of American lives."
Though Congressman Grayson's recent actions as a political provocateur have turned him into a bit of a liberal lightning rod, it appears as if he could be a good bet for re-election in 2010, despite representing a swing district, Florida's 8th, that voted heavily for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Some think that his tenacious rhetoric, though controversial, has struck fear into the hearts of potential Republican opponents within the district who could challenge him for his seat. The situation is so dire that the Republican party seems to be importing candidates from other Florida congressional districts to challenge him. Meanwhile, Grayson has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars through his campaign website, congressmanwithguts.com, alone, giving financial support to his soapbox.