Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: The Annotated Joe Walsh

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joe Walsh ran his first TV spot of the fall campaign on Sunday, during the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics. Ward Room was watching. (To see The Who, not Joe Walsh.) After studying the script, we’ve written a guide to what Joe Walsh said in the ad, and what we think he was really trying to say to voters in the 8th Congressional District.

    What he said: I’m Joe Walsh. You’ve probably heard a little bit about me.
    What he meant: “I scream ‘It pisses me off!’ at Town Hall meetings and say outrageous things about Muslims and my opponent’s war wounds to get my name on TV and in the newspapers.”

    What he said: I was born and raised in the Northwest Suburbs…
    What he meant: “Unlike President Obama, I’m not from Chicago.”

    What he said: …in a big old Irish Catholic family of nine kids.
    What he meant: “I’m white. My parents were so pro-life they wouldn’t even use birth control.”

    What he said: I raised my own family here.
    What he meant: “Until I got divorced.”

    What he said: In Washington, I sleep in my office.
    What he meant: “I’m cheap. Also, I owe a lot of child support, so I can’t afford an apartment.”

    What he said: I come home every single weekend, and I’ve hosted almost 200 Town Halls.
    What he meant: “I love to hear myself talk, and I love even more to hear myself talk in a crowded room.

    What he said: Because I don’t want you paying for my benefits, I turned down my Congressional healthcare and pension, and because I’m sick of career politicians, I’ve limited myself to no more than three terms in office.
    What he meant: “There’s no way I’m getting re-elected, so I won’t be eligible for a pension. I also won’t have to keep that three-term promise myself.”

    What he said: You see, I didn’t go to Washington to make friends or worry about my next election.
    What he meant: “My personality is so obnoxious I can’t even make friends among a collection of nerds and wonks like Congress. And, as I said, my district will never re-elect me.”

    What he said: I went because I’m scared we’re leaving our kids and grandkids an America less free and less prosperous. We’re better than that. We should demand a government that lives within its means and stays out of our way.
    What he meant: “I’d be a much freer and more prosperous American if I didn’t have kids. I wish my ex-wife would live within her means and stay out of my way.”

    What he said: We don’t want to bankrupt future generations, do we?
    What he meant: “Just pay your child support, like I did.”
     

     

    This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $2.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.