Stranger In A Strange Land

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THE PLANK MAY 14, 2007

Stranger In A Strange Land

Watching the Republican presidential candidates torture themselves to fit some image of red-state manliness is endlessly sad to watch--think Mitt Romney and the "varmint"-hunting fiasco. But this abortive effort by Sam Brownback may be the worst:

The Kansas Republican drew boos and groans from the audience at the [Wisconsin] Republican Party convention Friday evening when he used a football analogy to talk about the need to rebuild the family. "This is fundamental blocking and tackling," he said. "This is your line in football. If you don't have a line, how many passes can [non-Green Bay Packer] Peyton Manning complete? Greatest quarterback, maybe, in NFL history." ... Realizing what he had said, Brownback slumped at the podium and put his head in his hands as the crowd expressed its displeasure. "That's really bad," he said. "That will go down in history. I apologize."He tried to recover, saying former Packer Bart Starr may be the greatest of all time, but the crowd was still restless. "Let's take [Brett] Favre then," Brownback said. "The Packers are great. I'm sorry. How many passes does he complete without a line?""All of them!" more than one person yelled from the back."I'm not sure how I recover from this," Brownback said. "My point is we've got to rebuild the family. I'll get off this."

--Eve Fairbanks

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