When you need more Cao bell…

TheTimes Picayune has more onwhat’s next for the GOP’s newestshooting star, Representative-electJoseph Cao. (Some of the following T-P quotes have been excerpted out of order. It’s pronounced “Gow”, btw.)

“Joseph” Cao, R-New Orleans, spent Monday accepting congratulations for
his stunning victory over nine-term Democratic incumbent Rep. William
Jefferson, andplanning his
first trip to Washington this week for an orientation session for new
members of Congress offered by the conservative Heritage Foundation and
featuring such enticing workshop titles as, “Dealing With the
Entitlement Tsunami.”

Cao’s father survived a
re-education camp in N. Vietnam, so hopefully he can give his son some
pointers on how to deal with this Heritage Foundation workshop.

“CongressmanSteve Scalise [who has been in office 9 months] has offered to be my mentor,” Cao said.

Steve “the mentor” Scalise
can probably impart all his useful Congressional wisdom to Cao in a
five minute meeting. So after that takes place, to which senior GOP figure will
Cao look for further direction?

“My recommendations
to any freshman member is not forget what they did to be elected and
remember the folks back at home,” said Rep.Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman. “Just don’t stay in Washington any longer than you have to and go back to Louisiana as much as you can.”

Guh!Not Rodney! Take advice fromanyone but Rodney!

By midmorning Cao was interrupting an interview to take a call from former House SpeakerNewt
Gingrich, who offered good wishes and, Cao said, counseled him “to
reach out to the African-American community.” Cao said Gingrich offered
to act as a go-between.

Perhaps I spoke to soon.

Did I read that correctly?Newt Gingrich
wants to be Cao’s ambassador to the African-American community of
Greater New Orleans? Really? Umm, don’t Cao and Gingrich have some
other things to sort out before Gingrich becomes Cao’s point man in New
Orleans? For example, on Cao’s pet issue ofbilingual education, Gingrich has previouslysaid that:

American people believe English should be the official language of the
government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in
English so people learn the common language of the country and they
learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a


“[bilingualism poses] long term dangers to the fabric of our nation”


“allowing bilingualism to continue to grow is very dangerous.”

does Gingrich want to work with Cao, when he has made it plain that
Cao’s views are “dangerous” to the “fabric of our nation”?

Anyway, theT-P article has more:

Had [Cao] heard from House Minority Leader John Boehner?Probably, he said, but he’d heard from so many members of Congress he wasn’t sure.

That’s pretty funny. He wasn’t sure if he’d heard from GOP House
Minority leader John Boehner, who is already saying“the future is Cao”. I’m sure that wasn’t an intentional slight, but it almost sounded like one.

[Cao] had not yet heard from [Rep. Bill Jefferson] whose career he cut short.

you have a number for him?” asked Cao, who said he wanted to call and
offer words of solace and sympathy. He said he knows Jefferson, who
faces trial on corruption charges next year, has a tough road ahead.

“He’s been around a long time. I feel happy for myself but bad for him,” Cao said.

Sunday about the possibility of a transition meeting, Jefferson, who
has never met Cao, said it’s not like a presidential transition in
which the incoming and outgoing officials get together.

Jefferson’s refusal to congratulate or help Cao is so lacking in class. What a selfish prick.

because of his late election, which came after the lottery for House
office space, Cao will inherit Jefferson’s prime spot in the Rayburn
House Office Building for the next two years.

Ooh, plum digs!

Monday his wife, Hieu Phuong Hoang, who goes by Kate, celebrated Cao’s
victory by calling Walgreens, where she worked as a pharmacist, and
quitting her job.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

who has two young daughters, said “I’m planning to move my family up
[to D.C.]” and make solo trips home to New Orleans. That way they will
have more time together andhis wife “can keep an eye on me and keep me in line.”

forget Vitty-cent, Cao. He’ll be up there too, and can keep you on
the straight and narrow so that you won’t embarrass yourself with any
[Sen. Vitter, by the way, has resumed his active role as lector at his
church in Old Metairie– standing by the altar, reading the Bible
to the sinful masses below.]

This week, Cao said, he will stay with his sister and her husband in Falls Church, Va., outside Washington and, he suggested, maybe ride a bike into the city. Warned that could be a cold trip this time of year, he agreed to a more conventional approach.“Maybe I’ll take mass transit.”

Earlier, Imentioned
a “babe in the wilderness” quality to Cao, and that concern is perhaps
growing. As a (likely one term) Congressman, will he begin to view the
GOP, rather than Congress, as the key to his professional future? What yucky unforeseen
consequences will eventuate from that? How naive is this guy? That’s
the big question. Is it naive or cool that he wants to bike into D.C.
from Falls Church in December? Is it naive or cool that his immediate
Plan B is “mass transit”?

The T-P tries toreassure us that Cao’s a discerning, thoughtful chap.

a refugee from Vietnam, is the unlikeliest of political figures:
slight, soft-spoken and self-effacing, a seemingly guileless figure,
yet one with a sharp sense of humor and degrees in physics, philosophy
and law and six years of study to be a Jesuit priest that suggest he is
nobody’s fool.

Indeed, Cao has seen things you people
wouldn’t believe. Saigon during the Vietnam war; the slums in Mexico
City and China; the ravages of hurricane flooding on Venetian Isles …
C-beams glittering in the dark nearTannhäuser Gate.

So, with all due respect to the “spiritual warfare” waged by Louisiana’s Governor, this dude has actually livedin a war. He willingly visited various pits of hell around this earth, to help the poor, and hasstruggled,
philosophically, with that experience. He’s not an idiot. I don’t think
he’ll let the GOP mold him into something he isn’t. But they could. I
think, though, that it’s equally likely thathe could play the GOP as much as they play him. Consider:

Committee assignments will be made by the Republican leadership in January.

hoping to get onto the Appropriations Committee and Ways and Means,”
said Cao, listing two of the most powerful committees in Congress and
unlikely perches for the most junior member of the minority party.

Was that a joke? Or is Cao trying to leverage his newfound celebrity?

added that he would like to be on the committee to elect the first
Vietnamese-American president. “That’s a joke,” he explained, helpfully.

but was the first comment a joke? If not, it’s either naive or
brilliant… or both. Hell, if he thinks he has the juice, he should
shoot for the moon. Ask Boehner for a chairmanship!

I would give my left testicle to see a C-Span clip where House Goopers are addressing a “Chairman Cao”.*

seriously, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato
said, “The House Republican leadership would be politically foolish if
they didn’t put Cao front and center, give him good committee
assignments and make sure he gets some tasty pork for the district.”

Cao was asked whether he was disappointed about anyone he hadn’t heard from. Angelina Jolie, he said. And the pope.

That’s funny, and it will clear up confusion amongsome folks who mistook Cao for a new pope. Cao’s not a pope, he’s a former community organizer… which makes him closer to the devil, I suppose, to many in the GOP.

The next two years will be interesting. Iendorsed
Cao over Dollar Bill Jefferson, and am glad he won. Despite my
disagreement with Cao on perhapsmany issues, removing Dollar Bill was
the overriding concern. (I’m convinced that electing Cao was in
the long term interests of the local and state Democratic parties, as

*Dillyberto gets credit for that one.

10 thoughts on “When you need more Cao bell…

  1. If this guy is any good the people of NOLA have to convince him to become an independent because the stink of the rest of his caucus is going to be too much for him in the 2010 election. Lincoln Chafee got thrown out of office in RI with 60%+ approval ratings just for being in the GOP caucus and his family was beloved in the state. I wish this guy all the best but the best thing that Cao can do is be 100% his own man and avoid the other Republicans like the plague.

  2. *fume* Anybody who’s against bilingual education (at least at the beginning levels of language-learning) has never learnt a second or foreign language themselves. Pure immersion doesn’t work, unless you’re still really young, phenomenally linguistically talented, or want to wind up speaking the same kind of quasi-broken English/whatever that native speakers who have never learnt grammar wind up speaking.
    If “I seen” and “I ain’t got” are your high standards, go with immersion every time. Of course it works. Native English speakers all learn by immersion, and every native English speaker speaks flawless English, of course.
    Me, I’m working onfive languages now, and I’venever taken a language course that doesn’t start out mostly in English. There is no such thing as “common sense,” because “common” would imply either that there were a lot of it, or that ordinary people had it, and neither of those things are true.

  3. I would give my left testicle to see a C-Span clip where House Goopers are addressing a “Chairman Cao”.
    Ya couldna said it nicer, Oyster. I’m glad Dollar Bill is gone. It was a stupid way to get him out, but he had to go.
    Cao is at best a naif and at worst a fool.
    Adrastos, I’m optimistically going for naif, a naif who’s a quick learner. I can hope.

  4. [[“My recommendations to any freshman member is not forget what they did to be elected]]
    So Gao should run for re-election two years from now against an indicted incumbent who had stashed thousands in cash in his freezer. Good luck with that.

  5. Good language tips Interobang. If you could share a quick paragraph on ‘How an adult should learn a foreign language’ I’d love to hear it.

  6. This is late, but it is TOTALLY cool that Cao is considering biking to work. GO CAO! I am thinking of finding out how to contact him, even though I am not a constiuent and giving him cold weather biking tips…
    Oh, and interrobang? Yes, total immersion DOES work and really is the best. I went to a language school in France as an adult where we spoke nothing but French in class. I remember distinctly the teacher preventing me from telling a fellow student what a word meant in English. I had to describe it in French. Talk about expanding my vocabulary…

  7. I’m glad dolla Bill is gone too, but can someone answer something for me?
    What is it with the first name hating among Louisiana’s mixed-heritage citizens? We’ve got Piyush “Bobby” Jindal and now Anh “Joseph” Cao. Is it because they think the varied constituency of the state are too redneck/racist/stupid to vote for someone who doesn’t have a name like Toby or Cory?
    Frankly, I’m not sure either.

  8. “The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,”
    Thanks, Newt. My grandfather, a Republican who was an active member of CODOFIL in Lafayette and who was beaten as a child for speaking his native language (Acadian French) would be real proud of you.
    Be honest, Newt. You just hate, HATE hearing Spanish because you think those dirty little bastards are talking about you, hunh?

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