Bil Browning

That Time Sen. Dan Coats Made Hoosiers Proud

Filed By Bil Browning | April 07, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: committee hearings, Dan Coats, Indiana, stupid mistakes

Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats is one of the legislature's biggest jokes. Originally elected to the House of Representatives in 1981, he was appointed to finish Dan Quayle's Senate term in 1989, served through the 90s, and retired in 1999. In 2011, with a lackluster Democratic candidate for Senate, Coats ran for the seat again even though he lived in Virginia - and won.

You can still hear grumbling about Coats' victory in Indiana. Not only had Coats shunned the state since he left the Senate, but he was never considered one of the legislature's brightest bulbs. He was a step up from Quayle, but not a very high one.

Now Coats is making the Hoosier state proud once again. Last week he slipped into a committee hearing, started to read prepared notes and gave the witness kudos for responding promptly to a letter he had sent. The only problem? He was in the wrong hearing.

After being told of his gaffe by a staffer, Coats announced to the room "I'm at the wrong hearing." You can hear the witness, David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, say clearly "Well, that would explain why I didn't know anything about this letter."

After Republican state legislators spent the last session working on anti-gay legislation opposed by the majority of Indiana voters, Hoosiers should be wondering, "Why did we elect these jokers? Do they have any clue what's going on in the real world?"


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