Rep. Alan Grayson 2.0: Less fire-breathing, more self-restraint
WASHINGTON — Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida waited only hours after being sworn in to go on MSNBC, a forum he used to become a national figure during a tumultuous first go-around in Congress, and declare his return.
"As Steven Tyler would say, 'I'm back in the saddle again,' " Grayson smirked during the January appearance. And so he was off, ripping House Speaker John Boehner as "a weak, weak man."
But six months later, the self-styled "congressman with guts" has managed what seems like an impossible feat of self-restraint.
Gone (largely) are the volcanic floor speeches such as one in 2009 describing the Republican health care plan as "die quickly," and over-the-top sound bytes, such as referring to a female Federal Reserve adviser as a "K Street whore" or comparing former Vice President Dick Cheney to a vampire.
The antics led to Grayson's defeat in the 2010 GOP wave, but this comeback is less noisy, focusing on local concerns such as airport closures and housing issues.
"Alan Grayson? He's not here," said longtime Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, momentarily confusing him with the other Florida troublemaker to become a national figure. That would be ex-Republican Rep. Allen West, who also was defeated after one term and is now a paid contributor on Fox News.
"Oh, yes. Grayson," Brown said. "What's a better word for matured? He's picking his issues, I really like the new Alan Grayson."
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