Nick Baumann

Nick Baumann

Senior Editor

Nick is based in our DC bureau, where he covers national politics and civil liberties issues. Nick has also written for The Economist, The Atlantic, the Washington Monthly, and Commonweal. Email tips and insights to nbaumann [at] motherjones [dot] com. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.): "Other Ethnicities" Are Not As "Straight-Forward" as Midwesterners

| Mon Oct. 31, 2011 12:01 PM EDT
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.).

It's a little surprising this comment last week from Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) hasn't gotten more attention. Here's Philip Molnar of the Express-Times:

[Local business leader Richard C. Spanier] said the best people to do business with are those in the American Midwest because of their "straight-forward" attitude.

"Other ethnicities are not that way," Garrett said. "They'll say yes to you constantly and then you'll realize they really didn't mean it."

Garrett said after the meeting he meant people in other countries.

The clarification doesn't really make this comment much less bizarre or offensive. (Since when do New Jersey congressmen lionize the honesty of midwesterners, anyway?)

Garrett is no congressional rookie. He was first elected in 2002 and is the "most conservative member of New Jersey's congressional delegation," according to the Almanac of American Politics. Today, he chairs the budget task force for the Republican Study Committee, which is basically a club for the GOP's hard-liners. He's also the chairman of the House subcommittee that's in charge of overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored mortgage giants. 

Garrett's district is around 80 percent white. No word on what percentage of those folks are "straight-forward."

Check Out This Crazy Photo of an Elizabeth Warren Volunteer Meeting

| Thu Oct. 27, 2011 10:13 AM EDT

This is a photo of a volunteer meeting for Elizabeth Warren, who is leading the race for the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Scott Brown (R) in Massachusetts:

Volunteers at an Elizabeth Warren rally in Framingham, Massachusetts.: ElizabethforMA/FlickrVolunteers at an Elizabeth Warren rally in Framingham, Massachusetts. ElizabethforMA/Flickr

This looks more like the kind of crowd you'd see at presidential volunteer meeting late in the campaign than a rally for a Senate candidate 13 months before the general election. It sure looks like Warren has her base fired up. That's not all: On Wednesday, Alan Khazei, perhaps Warren's strongest opponent in the Democratic primary, dropped out of the race, all but ensuring Warren wins the nomination and has a unified Democratic party behind her for an epic November 2012 showdown with Brown.

(h/t Daily Kos Elections)

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