John Schwada, the unfiltered L.A. TV news reporter who recently got jettisoned from the local Fox affiliate, has come ashore at the L.A. Observed blog. Here he is reporting on City Council President Eric Garcetti’s mayoral dreams at a boozy garden party. And here, in a report on Fresno sad sack Cruz Bustamante’s comical efforts to get appointed ambassador to India, Schwada stumbles upon a redistricting scuffle featuring the always entertaining Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks):
My most vivid recollection of Sherman is when, running for congress in the 1980's, he handed me several [“]Sherman for Congress" combs. Kissing babies, potholders, complimentary combs. All part of the election shtick. But Sherman is and was at the time a dome-top. Pretty much bald. The combs were supposed to be a joke.
Anyway, is this Bustamante-for-ambassador plan cut from the same cloth of humor? Not according to insiders who say Sherman is dead-serious. With redistricting having thrown him into a seat that is decidedly thick with Latino voters, Sherman has calculated that he needs help from a Latino (read - Bustamante) if he's going to survive next year's election. That election won't be the usual cakewalk for Sherman because redistricting has put him in the same bailiwick as his Democratic seatmate, U.S. Cong. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys. This is - how shall we say it? - one too many congressmen in one district. You get the picture. One of them has to go, and Bustamante is now a pawn in this game.
At a post-Obamacare-vote town hall a few years ago, I was also impressed by Sherman’s mastery of an essential political skill – the ability to engage people in their own bullshit:
Sherman showed why you can't spell Brad without R-A-D. Whether you're desperately seeking a copy of President Obama's long-form birth certificate or you're just a building demolition expert who wants the truth about the collapse of Building 7, the San Fernando Valley stalwart can engage you at a level that puts other politicians to shame… [Discussing an attendee’s questions about] weather manipulation in China, Russia and Venezuela, Sherman responded with a surprisingly learned critique of snowmaking, algae-seeding and other frontier sciences.
But when this same questioner mentioned in passing that the president we know as Hawaii-born Barack Obama is actually some other person (I think it was Barry Rapaport from Flushing, but the audio isn't clear), Sherman launched into a full-steam stemwinder about children born to parents serving overseas. It was a great moment in post-meaning politics, with the crowd cheering and Sherman extemporizing about our service people and the audacity of those who would deny citizenship to our service people.
I have no idea what children born on military bases or in the Panama Canal Zone have to do with the president's birth certificate (excuse me, his certificate of live birth). But by the time Sherman wrapped up I was ready to punch a birther in the mouth for the way they're disrespecting our men and women in uniform.
I do recommend that Schwada make use of some of the state-of-the-art search and spell-check tools that provide services previously performed by comely assistants. While there is a w in the neologism "hisw," there is not one in "his," which I think was the intended word in the Garcetti post. Also it's Jan Perry, not "Jan Parry," who is running in the already crowded race for L.A. mayor. Though no doubt Jan Parry would be an improvement.