Tag Archives: politics

What Can’t David Plouffe Do? Draw A Giraffe.

David Plouffe

David Plouffe (wiki|twitter) is the reason why Barack Obama is President of the United States. He’s also the top political strategist of our time having steered Obama’s underdog campaign from Iowa to Election Day. All of this he details in his best-selling book, The Audacity to Win.

In addition to building, according to Barack Obama, “the best political campaign … in the history of the United States of America,” Plouffe has also served as the Senior Advisor to the President (2011-13). He is now a contributor to ABC News. He has better things to do than draw giraffes.

David Plouffe's Pretty Awful Giraffe

[Special Thanks to Andrew Showalter who ran into Plouffe in Cannon Falls, MN, August 2011].

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Giraffe Art By U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI-D)

Senator Tammy Baldwin (Web|Twitter) is the junior U.S. Senator for the cheesy state of Wisconsin. Prior to her 2012 election, she served seven terms in Congress representing Wisconsin’s 2nd district. A progressive champion, she is also the first openly-gay U.S. senator in history, which is pretty cool. I guess.

On April 20, 2013, Senator Baldwin was the keynote speaker at the Second Annual Humphrey-Mondale Dinner in Minneapolis, MN. Following her speech, I squeezed through the crowd where I nervously made the holy ask. To my surprise, without any hesitation or question whatsoever — BOOM!

Seriously, she was completely unfazed.

(Eh, but then again I’m sure she’s seen it all — she’s from Wisconsin, let’s not forget).

Senator Baldwin’s press team did not respond to my requests for comment.

U.S. Senator Al Franken’s Bad Giraffe Drawing (And That Time Con. Peterson Turned Us Down)

The following comes from a friend of mine, Dillon “The Boots on the Ground in DC” McBrady, and for this I am very appreciative. Unfortunately, the last time I had an opportunity to talk with Senator Al Franken back when GDBPWSNBDG was but a threat he thought it was hilarious and a great idea, which is presumably the reason why he has been working so passionately on net neutrality issuessince I am 90% positive this website is the only thing standing between freedom, liberty and ‘Merica, and the Soviet Union [citation needed], but I forgot to make the ask and thus for the longest time Senator Franken was “the one that got away.” But not for long.

U.S. Senator Al Franken

Luckily Dillon happened to make one of his constituent breakfasts in DC, which just goes to show that we will hunt you down, and was able to solicit a drawing. Naturally, this would be the part of the article where I devolve into a long tale of trial and triumph, comedy and life friends made, but there really is not much to say. Dillon asked and he received. That’s it. Not a reference was made about the fact that Franken is well known around the state for his ability to draw a map of the United States from memory or Senator Jeff Sessions from still life.

Nothing.

But where the story of Senator Franken ends the story of the Wall of Shame grows and now I have the great burden of announcing the following: former Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee Collin Peterson, and territorial representative of GDBPWSNBDG, has turned us down. Dillon writes:

It was a normal constituent breakfast. Al Franken was making the rounds shaking hands, but when he stood up to make his usual speech, he pointed out the Representative Collin Peterson was in the crowd. My heart raced. Could I perhaps get two giraffes drawn from important Minnesotans? Peterson looked like such a nice, old gentleman. He even said, “Hi, how ya doing?” and gave me a pat on the back as he walked by me. After getting the Franken giraffe, I had the confidence to approach Peterson:

“Hi, my name is Dillon McBrady, I attend college at the University of Minnesota, Morris. I have an extremely random question for you, would you draw a giraffe for me, please?” I politely handed him a piece of paper and a pen.

He took it into his surprisingly large hands.

“A giraffe, huh? What for? Will this end up on the internet?” His eyes narrowed, looking down at me suspiciously from his 6-foot-something advantage.

“In all probabitlity, yes.” I said, smiling hopefully.

“Then no, I don’t draw too well, and don’t want to be embarassed by some awful giraffe picture I drew.” He gave me back the pen and the empty piece of paper.

After some witty repartee, I walked away. Shamefully disappointed that Colin Peterson had let me down.

It doesn’t tarnish his reputation, but it did break my heart.

These kind of things happen and all we can do is shrug our shoulders and move on with our lives (and definitely not send Peterson, who happens to be a part of the House Art Caucus, an email regarding his decision from zip code 56267). But, on the bright side, at least Dillon was able to walk away with a nice “Caraffe” that only makes me think that I should soon open up a sister website called “Camels Drawn By People Who Should Not Be Drawing Camels” since it’s apparently pretty popular.

But alas, who would read that garbage?

It has a penis.

Robert Bruininks' Pretty Awful Giraffe Drawing

President of the University of Minnesota Robert Bruininks

As you will find on his Wikipedia page, Bruininks has been working with the University of Minnesota since 1968 and was named the 15th president of the system in 2002. In May 2010 he made his intentions clear that he would be stepping down as president, which led the creation of a search committee that eventually selected president-designate Eric Kaler of New York. So with that said, it must be made clear that of everyone I have approached asking for a drawing, my confrontation with President Bruininks had to of been not only the least fruitful (he drew an amoeba and labeled it “Bob’s Horse”) but also the most awkward.

I found myself in the Twin Cities campus in the McNamara center on February 10, 2011, for a luncheon with the Board of Regents to discuss the state of the university financially, the direction it would be moving down the road, how students could work with the administration, etc., and happened to run into the president. While I have seen him at several functions, my personal interaction with him has been light to say the least; even so, my few interactions with him have been nice to say the least. So I did not think this would be that big of a deal (it certainly had not  been so with other folks), but after making the pitch all the president could do was stare at me.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” He asked.

I repeated myself, trying to maintain my confidence; this is after all a serious business.

“I guess I can do that,” Bruininks says, taking the pen and paper from my hand and using a nearby table for a flat writing surface. Compared to those who use a single, solid line to create an outline, I see that he uses the pen to scratch a half-inch long head followed by a peanut body, which is then given legs and a tail (?). Out of the desire to be polite I try to bite my tongue – this is the worst thing I have ever seen; absolutely no effort – and can feel my tongue shed blood when declares, “It’s not much, but I’ll call it ‘Bob’s Horse.'”

He then signs it and hands it to me.

I die a little bit inside.

Robert Bruininks' Pretty Awful Giraffe Drawing

This is not a giraffe.