Soon enough, this will officially not be happening, so let's enjoy the possibility while we can. According to multiple reports, Dallas' Pete Sessions has decided that he wants to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, assuming Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, whom Sessions would support, doesn't toss his hat into the ring. That's just fantastic news. Sessions has been in Congress since 1997. Over the 19 or so years he's served, he's done almost nothing laudable — he deserves credit for batting back a primary challenge from Tea Partier Katrina Pierson, but very little else — but he's consistently amusing. There's a reason the Washington City Paper published a bunch of words investigating whether or not Sessions was "stupid" in 2010. Here are four actual things that a man who thinks it would be a good idea if he were third-in-line for the presidency has done or said.
1. Sessions is not sure who killed Kennedy, nor does he know for certain what happened on 9/11.
These revelations come to us courtesy of a deeply weird Q&A session between the congressman and a group of students at Richardson's Berkner High School in December 2013. After being asked by a teenage 9/11 truther about the possibility the federal government was withholding important information about the attacks, Sessions made a reference to Kennedy followed by a couple of statements that were more than a little cryptic.
"Do you think that Oswald is the only person to shoot Jack Kennedy?" Sessions asks rhetorically. "I don't know. You know if they go down there and re-create it, it's really hard for a guy with that rifle to pop, pop, pop, pop."
After telling the kids about his FBI director dad getting asked who actually killed Kennedy, Sessions concluded:
"I don't know. I was in Washington. I wasn't close," he goes on. "But let me tell you, that plane did land at the Pentagon."
2. Sessions hates exposed breasts unless they are raising money for him.
Sessions helped lead the charge against the debauchery that was the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. When Justin Timberlake helped Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, Sessions fumed that the duo was imposing "their liberal values upon the rest of the country." Three years later, Sessions was busted for holding fundraisers at a burlesque club in Las Vegas. We're not moralizing, but that's just not a smart move for a dude who wants to be on camera during the next State of the Union address.
3. Sessions was responsible for one of the best earmarks in U.S history.
During his time in Congress, Sessions has helped lead the fight against earmarks — the practice of tacking funding for otherwise unrelated projects to sure-to-pass bills in order to curry favor with the representative whose district gets the earmark money. Before the Republican controlled Congress ended earmarks, Sessions called them "a symbol of a broken Washington to the American people.” That didn't stop him from pushing a $1.6 million 2008 earmark for blimp research through to an Illinois company that had never before done blimp research.
Jim G. Ferguson & Associates, the company that got the cash, employed Adrian Plesha, a former Sessions aide, though, which is good experience to have for dirigible research.
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When Sessions submitted the request for the earmark, he said Jim G. Ferguson & Associates had a Dallas address, but the address Sessions provided belonged to a friend of one of the company's leaders.
4. Sessions has partially credited House GOP strategic tactics to the Taliban.
Here's the full quote:
"Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban," Sessions said in 2009. "And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes. And these Taliban — I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban. No, that's not what we're saying. I'm saying an example of how you go about [sic] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."
He's not saying the Republican Party is the Taliban. He also didn't say it wasn't.