This Week: James Traficant
James A. Traficant, Jr. may not be a household name, but his outrageous “one-minute” speeches on the House floor raise political eyebrows throughout the Beltway. Sporting polyester, double-blend bellbottoms with skinny ties, the Democratic Representative from Ohio delivers delectably provocative sound bites on issues ranging from NAFTA to Air Force Lt. Kelly Flynn’s discharge. Journalists flock to capture a juicy Traficant tidbit such as, “I say there should be some permanent brain surgery for these permanent politicians performed by some permanent proctologist; permanent this, China.”
Is Traficant simply an outspoken, old-fashioned stiff from the Rust Belt ruffling Capitol Hill’s well-oiled feathers? Or he is just another media-savvy smooth operator searching for extra C-Span coverage?
Decide for yourself below.
Ted Rueter is the author of several books on politics, including The Newt Gingrich Quiz Book and The Rush Limbaugh Quiz Book.