As Obama Addresses Grieving Nation, Boehner Hosts Fancy RNC Cocktail Party

Last night, while President Obama was delivering his impassioned memorial to the victims of the Arizona massacre, the new Speaker of the House was partying.

As the country tried to heal a bit in the wake of the tragedy and 14,000 gathered in Tuscon for a national prayer, John Boehner and 168 RNC members were having a prescheduled cocktail fete sponsored by the Speaker's PAC, imbibing and politicking at the fancy National Harbor resort in Maryland. And while Boehner's grief over Giffords has seemed sincere, and his spokesman said he would leave the party to watch the speech, not canceling on an apparently festive event at a bourgeois location during an event for mourning seems a little... uncouth. Politico:

“It is disrespectful for Speaker Boehner to skip joining the President’s and bipartisan congressional delegation to the Tucson Memorial so he could host a Washington D.C. cocktail party for RNC members,” said a Democratic leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

On Tuesday, President Obama invited Boehner to attend the memorial on Air Force One, but he turned him down, citing the RNC event. The party was thrown for former House GOP aide Maria Cino, who's hoping to head up the RNC.

According to Roll Call, an aide emphasized that the event was previously scheduled. But House Republican Buck McKeown, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, managed to cancel a meet-and-greet for the committee because he felt “it would not be appropriate.” Correct.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 13, 2011, 3:40am

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