A few weeks ago, we were reminded of the fact that "scandals" that seem almost tame to Miamians can appear absolutely shocking to the rest of America. At the time, we were discussing Marco Rubio's many mini-scandals: his coincidental sort-of connection to amateur gay porn, his spotty driving record, and other fun tidbits.
Well, this week we were reminded of that fact again when the internet learned that the lawyer representing Donald Trump's campaign manager once allegedly bit a stripper. That's old news down here, but apparently absolutely fascinating to everyone else.
Let's rewind. Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was formally charged with misdemeanor battery following a physical altercation with Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields at a Florida rally earlier this month.
To handle his defense, Lewandowski hired two prominent South Florida lawyers, including Kendall Coffey. That's not a huge surprise. Coffey is a boldface-named, bona fide legal star. He's the former U.S. attorney for these parts, after all.
Of course, it's the reason why he's no longer the U.S. attorney that has everyone in a tizzy.
Stories surfaced in 1996 that Coffey had gotten tipsy at Lipstik Adult Entertainment Club in South Miami-Dade, and after a stripper refused to kiss him during a private lap dance, he allegedly bit her arm.
Coffey had been appointed to the job in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. The story goes that Coffey was called up to Washington by Janet Reno and persuaded to resign so that the sordid affair wouldn't become an election-year issue. Indeed, the story didn't cause Clinton any trouble.
Oddly, now, 20 years later, it is something of an election year issue — except not for Clinton, but rather his wife's most likely opponent.
Granted, it's an election-year issue we'll probably all forget by next week, but Twitter and various liberal-leaning political sites are having fun with it today.
Well it's not even noon Eastern and Trump's campaign manager has been arrested for battery and hired a lawyer who once bit a stripper— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) March 29, 2016
Patriarchy (n.): When a misogynist's campaign manager hires an attorney who bit a stripper to defend him from charges of battering a woman— Zach Lipp (@zlipp) March 29, 2016
Look, who among us hasn't bit a stripper.— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 29, 2016
Of course, instead of following his namesake destiny of opening a java hut in Miami-Dade's southwest suburbs, Coffey continued to practice law in the town. In 1999, we even named him Best Attorney.
He was the attorney for Elián González's stateside family. He did work for the Al Gore campaign during the 2000 Florida recount. He got the results of the 1998 Miami mayoral election thrown out in a case that made national headlines. He has also regularly appeared as a legal analyst on most of the major news networks.
It's notable that even the stripper wasn't mad at him.
"I want to see him reinstated,'' the dancer's husband told the Sun-Sentinel in 1996 shortly after Coffey's resignation.
"It wasn't necessary,'' the dancer herself said of the resignation. "It is not what we wanted."
"He bit her, but not like a crazy man,'' the husband continued. "But he did break the skin."
In fact, the incident never even led to charges.
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So the stripper didn't really care much at the time. No one in Miami, where Coffey has continued to be a high-profile lawyer, has cared about it in ages.
Yet the internet gets a whiff of it and goes crazy.
Welcome to presidential politics in 2016, when everyone complains about how crazy it all is but then jumps on and amplifies any tangential bit of craziness.