This House member is no stand-up guy
It's bad enough that Americans don't think much of Congress these days. Now, the citizens of Colombia have found reason to be unhappy with it.
Actually, the disdain is focused on a single House member --- David Dreier, the veteran Republican representative from the Claremont area in Southern California. Dreier, 55, was a power on Capitol Hill when the GOP ruled the roost. And he is well known in Washington for both good manners and a courtly style. But something went awry when he accepted an invitation to address his counterparts in Colombia during a trip in August to Bogota, the country's capital.
In delivering his remarks, Dreier assumed a pose that struck some of his listeners as overly familiar, and perhaps disrespectful. To wit, he plopped himself onto a wooden lectern, resembling more a folksy professor than a visiting dignitary.
The result was critical coverage in the local media, according to a Reuters story. The article reported that one Colombian lawmaker "called Dreier's behavior 'out of place' while another said it was 'funny but not malicious.' "
Dreier clearly was chagrined. The Reuters story quoted him as saying, "I meant absolutely no offense ... I simply wanted to demonstrate my warm feeling and affection."
Back in Washington, one of his aides offered this explanation to us: "There was a misunderstanding about where he was supposed to be standing. He apologized. ... He certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone."
-- Don Frederick
Photo: Rep. David Dreier gets comfortable atop a lectern in Colombia's lower house chamber; Credit: AP