We salute Trib reporter Josh Richman for trying to get Congresswoman Barbara Lee to say something interesting in his recent Q&A, but that's like pulling teeth outta someone trying to pull someone's else teeth. Lee just walks through the safest possible nonanswers, offering nothing but blandness and blah. We understand; it's what she does. But no one says you have to read it. As a service to our long suffering readers, we've reproduced Richman's questions below, along with a handy-dandy summary of what the good congresswoman said in response.
Richman: As chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, your caucus members chair four crucial House committees and have a role in House leadership even as the country's first African-American president takes office. How do you think this administration will affect your chairmanship and vice versa?
Lee: Oh, we'll do a buncha good, don't you worry. We're all one big happy family. Now, have some warm milk and go to sleep.
Q: What do you expect you'll be feeling and thinking as you watch the inauguration?
A: You kidding, Josh? You really gonna let me hit that softball outta the park? Okay, well, great!. Ahem. We'll be so proud and inspired on this historic day, ever mindful of the sacrifices so many suffered to get us here. Oh, and we're humble, too. Always humble.
Q: National issues aside, what are your top priorities for the 9th District and the Bay Area in the next two years?
Q: Despite rhetoric from both sides of the aisle, you've always maintained that "earmark" isn't a dirty word, and you'd strive to bring home to your district whatever federal help it needs and deserves. Do you have any problem with new House rules requiring lawmakers to post earmark requests online for all to see?
A: Not really. I like pork, and don't care who knows it.
Q: You recently published a memoir, "Renegade for Peace and Justice," which contained some very personal revelations. Has having these experiences made public affected how you see your job, or how others seem to see you?
A: Thanks for not going into what those revelations actually are. If my constituents wanna dish, they'll have to read my book. $16.47 on Amazon, bitch!
Q: Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums recently said he wouldn't rule out accepting a job in the Obama administration, which some see as a possibility given his early, ardent support of Hillary Clinton, now the secretary of state designee, and later of Obama himself. Have you talked to the mayor, or to the Obama administration, about such a job offer?