Billionaire gasbag “T Boone” Pickens has made a bold attempt over the last year to transform his image of oil-greased rightwing godfather to grandfatherly wind energy guru, endlessly blowing his hot air at bipartisan audiences in Washington (and reminding everyone outside the beltway that money can buy you anything in the Imperial City, even a new personae)
That’s why it’s refreshing when a senator steps up and reminds everyone that the emperor (in this case, audacious Texas oil man and corporate raider) has no clothes. Or maybe Sen. Al Franken is still too new to know when to keep his mouth shut. Or maybe he just cannot stomach the thought of a man who helped elect George W. Bush twice and funded Swift Boat Veterans for Truth over $2 million to torpedo a decorated Vietnam veteran’s presidential candidacy and reputation, getting the VIP treatment from his Democratic colleagues:
Five years after he put his money behind the Swift Boat ads that helped tank John Kerryâ€™s presidential campaign, Senate Democrats gave T. Boone Pickens a warm welcome at their weekly policy lunch Thursday.
Or at least most of them did.
Kerry skipped the regularly scheduled lunch; his staff said the Massachusetts Democrat â€œwas unable to attend because he had a long scheduled lunch with his interns and pages.â€
Sen. Al Franken managed to make time for the lunchÂ â€” but then let Pickens have it afterward.
According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of â€œThe First Billion Is the Hardestâ€ stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended
Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaireâ€™s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.
According to a source, the confrontation grew heated ….