During last year’s Senate campaign, Chris Coons was called a lot of things from a “bearded Marxist” to “the taxman,” but one thing he was never called was a comedian.
But that’s the role Coons was called on to play last night at the Washington Press Club Congressional Dinner in D.C. Coons spared no one in his eleven-minute speech. Vice President Joe Biden, members of the Washington press corps, his former opponent Christine O’Donnell, and even the state of Delaware were all fair game. Here’s some of Coons’ material.
Coons on Coons: “The organizers this evening asked me particularly to be short. I will be brief. I am always short.”
“As you may know, I am a lawyer with a degree in ethics. That’s sort of like if Superman had a degree in kryptonite.”
On the ‘Bearded Marxist’ quote: “During the campaign, someone dug up an old article I had written in a college newspaper where I referred to myself as a ‘Bearded Marxist.’ The proletariat made a great big deal out of this, but I told them, ‘Please, comrades, it was just a joke.'”
On Joe Biden: “Taking Joe Biden’s seat in the Senate is a challenge because he’s got really big ‘F-ing’ shoes to fill. Actually, I asked the Vice President what I would most like about service in the Senate, and he said, ‘You’re going to love the health care plan. It covers hair plugs.’ But you know, if I think if I really wanted to have a thousand little holes punched into my head, I should have gotten here before Rahm [Emmanuel] left the White House.”
On his ‘perfect hair’: “There are a lot of people who think [Christine O’Donnell] is really the only reason that I won. Well that, and my perfect hair. Folks, I’m not kidding, all of this is natural, and the reason why Scott Brown’s days as the sexiest man in the Senate will soon come to an end.”
On Democrats: “As some of you know, I just drove back up from Charlottesville where the Democrats are in retreat… I’m sorry, I read that wrong, where the Democrats are at a retreat.”
On Delaware voters: “I would like to start this evening by thanking the people who made it possible for me to be here in the United States Senate: the Republican primary voters of Delaware.”
“I thought it was important to be here because if I learned any one thing from the exit polls of the election in my state of Delaware it’s that there are thousands and thousands of Delawareans who really wanted a Senator who would say lots of laughable things.
On Delaware’s small size: “Ultimately though, I think my victory really was the result of good, old-fashioned retail politics. During the campaign, I did a bus tour all the way up and down my state. It took about twenty minutes, and cost $400 in tolls. Today I am tremendously proud to serve as a Senator from the state of Delaware. After all, it’s not the size of your state, it’s how you use it.”
On correspondents: “It was an honor to be invited this evening to address the members of my opposition research team, or were you my opponent’s communications team? Sometimes it frankly was a little hard to tell the difference.”
On bipartisanship at State of the Union: “Once again, all my friends were doing it, so I asked someone to the prom- I mean the State of the Union. My date was Senator Boozman of Arkansas. I got him a wonderful little corsage, something that went with his eyes, but not so well with his linebacker physique. Once we got through talking about how we’re both from chicken growing states, there was a lot of awkward silences. Just like at my high school prom. Actually, being there for the State of the Union was a high point for me. I was inspired by the way Democrats and Republicans sat together. And in that same spirit, Joe Lieberman sat by himself. And by the way, sitting all by yourself is not a euphemism for something Christine O’Donnell doesn’t approve of.
Coons wrapped up his remarks on a serious note, saying that the importance of an active free press has been highlighted in recent weeks by the events in Egypt. “We’ve seen individual examples of courage, bravery, and risking of one’s self to give a window into what’s really going on in the ground,” Coons said.
You can watch Coons speech in its entirety on C-SPAN’s website, c-spanvideo.org.