This video is making the rounds, and it’s a must-watch for those of us who follow Montana politics. Congressman Dennis Rehberg (I see the Tester campaign is now calling him, accurately, Lobbyist Dennis Rehberg) responds to a question from some kid with a Sony by flipping the bird.
Although unsurprising, this is a pretty remarkable reaction from Rehberg for two reasons.
One, Rehberg’s floundering campaign is trying very hard to reinvent Dennis Rehberg as some sort of likable, cool-headed cowboy—which is a herculean challenge when all you have to work with is an angry, lazy land subdivider who loves booze and wants to return to the lobbying business.
Rehberg’s handlers know we Montanans see their boss as “that guy who sues firefighters” and puts his staffers on speedboats with drunk drivers. That attempted nice-guy makeover? It just went out the window with one raised middle finger. Dennis Rehberg just can’t keep his cool.
Two, Rehberg’s bird is a setback in his lifelong pursuit of winning a seat in the Senate. Sure, in the U.S. House of Representatives, maybe it’s just fine to flip off kids and pregnant constituents (Yes, Rehberg made headlines for lewdly offending a pregnant Montanan) and fall off horses drunk and sue firefighters. But senators are supposed to be statesmen and women. Rehberg’s default mode is more than just a loose cannon. It’s just not becoming of the Upper House of Congress.
As a lobbyist, however, he’ll probably do just fine.