Monday, January 22, 2018
Politics

Only in Tampa: Randall the Honey Badger guy meets New York Times' David Brooks

TAMPA — It was the ultimate clash of high and low brow.

Randall, the voice behind the smash-hit YouTube video/Internet meme about the Honey Badger who doesn't give a you-know-what, and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

The men almost passed each other by Monday evening on Ybor City's E Eighth Avenue without recognizing the other — until a Tampa Bay Times reporter asked if they knew each other.

"No," Brooks said. "But he does." The columnist pointed to his 13-year-old son, Aaron.

Randall — that's what he calls himself and he declined to give his real name — gladly agreed to a photo with the columnist's son.

"One more," Randall said. "We have to do the claws, though."

Then Randall raised his hands and opened his mouth, baring his teeth.

"Claws up," he told the 13-year-old. "I'm going to bite your head off."

Then Randall invited Brooks to attend his 7 p.m. Tuesday press conference at the Roosevelt 2.0 at 1812 N 15th St. Randall will be announcing the Honey Badger party's official entry into the 2012 presidential campaign. (See www.honeybadger2012.com.)

"Honey Badger 2012," Brooks said. "Okay. I've heard of this."

Hilarity ensued.

"I can't make it," Brooks said.

"Oh, are you here for the RNC?" Randall asked.

"Is that here?" Brooks dead-panned.

But that's okay. Other media outlets are already lining up to hear about the Honey Badger platform — although "media" in this case refers to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

But Randall, who has recorded a series of amusing animal videos, said his message about preserving the environment is no joke, and said he's finding a receptive audience among the conservatives he has met here for this week's Republican National Convention.

"The more we keep destroying this planet, we're destroying ourselves," he said. "I take it very seriously but I'm going to do it with humor because people will laugh and then they'll realize: .... He's making sense! We have to do better for this world."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3404.

Comments
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Congress sped toward reopening the government late Monday as Democrats reluctantly voted to temporarily pay for resumed operations. They relented in return for Republican assurances that the Senate will soon take up the p...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER — By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows he’s now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Here’s what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Here’s what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Published: 01/18/18