Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) decided she was going to leave a lasting impression as this year’s Democratic comedy keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Washington Press Club Foundation annual dinner.
She left a lasting impression, all right. After a skit featuring Edwards on video acting as character Olivia Pope from the TV show Scandal, showing Edwards having John Boehner as her lover on the side, Edwards decided to really target the GOP. In a speech purportedly written by the co-creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead, Edwards cried in an apparent reference to Mike Huckabee’s recent remarks in which he accused Democrats of telling women they’re helpless without “Uncle Sugar” and the government to control their libido. She said, “Come on, help me y’all: I want to give a really special shout out to Nancy Pelosi and all my sisters in the libido caucus–holla’!”
Edwards even attempted to be clever by displaying a picture of herself on a congressional trip with Tea Party stalwarts Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Steve Stockman (R-TX) and pointing out she was the only African-American, which gave her “Stockman syndrome,” a play on Stockholm Syndrome. She joked that she had spent so much time with the dreaded Tea Party members that she fell in love with centrist Republicans such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
That was gentle compared to other attempts at humor, where Edwards apparently likened the GOP to monkeys with typewriters who incessantly type “Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi.”
Referring to work she has done with Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Edwards decided to go graphic, intoning, “There are times when we still find time to work together. And when I say together, I mean in a Cialis commercial kind of way.”
But being vulgar wasn’t enough; Edwards decided to be truly mean-spirited. She mocked Flake for misspelling “shenanigans” during the National Press Club’s Centennial Spelling Bee last year. She proceeded to spell it out loud; “S-h-e-n-a-n-i-g-a-n-s.” Then she spelled it again, while looking over at Flake. To complete the trifecta of rudeness, she then bragged she had once won a spelling bee.
Attendees were either bored or offended. Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Memoli tweeted, “I survived the Donna Edwards #wpcfdinner speech of 2014.” Ed Henry, Fox News chief White House correspondent, retweeted Memoli’s tweet, then added: “#isitdoneyet?”
One congressional reporter said, “I think everyone in that room wanted to drag their fingernails across their face.” Another reporter quipped, “it’s okay to bomb” a voluntary comedy routine–“just wrap it up quickly and don’t let it drag on.” A third reporter concluded, “You can confidently say the urinals in the mens’ bathroom was full.”
Igor Bobic, assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, tweeted: “MAKE IT STOP” and “WHY DONNA WHY.”