Florida Congressmen Alan Grayson stormed into yesterday's meeting of the Progressive Caucus apparently thinking he was Beyoncé armed with a baseball bat in the "Hold Up" video ready to righteously smash things up with a devious smile on his face. Metaphorically at least. He was looking for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and when found him he ended up screaming Destiny's Child lyrics at him.
"Say my name, Senator," Grayson reportedly yelled in front of dozens of his fellow congressmen and their staffs. "Say my name."
It's just the latest explosion of both Grayson's war with the Democratic establishment and the Senate candidate's notorious temper.
Grayson, a multimillionaire with a strong progressive voting record, is running in the Democratic primary to replace Marco Rubio in the Senate. The establishment has instead rallied around his opponent, Rep. Patrick Murphy, a milquetoast moderate. There are the obvious political differences between the two, but Grayson also has a fiery temperament and lingering ethics questions over how he operated a hedge fund.
Earlier this year, Reid, who is nearing retirement and not looking to make new friends, called on Grayson to drop out of the race. Reid cited a report claiming that Grayson may have misused his position as a congressman to benefit his hedge fund. Grayson didn't take kindly to the suggestion.
Reid met yesterday with the Progressive Congress, of which Grayson is a member, and went around the room addressing each member and soliciting questions. When he got to Grayson, the congressman asked the Senator if he knew who he was. Reid said he did.
According to Politico, that's when Grayson started shouting.
"Say my name, Senator. Say my name," Grayson said.
This was a little too much for Grayson's colleague Rep. Keith Ellison, (a Minnesota Democrat who is, incidentally, one of the most liberal members of the House). Ellison tried to shut it down, but Grayson pulled out a copy of the statement Reid made calling for Grayson to drop out of the Senate race. Grayson angrily stated that Reid's accusations about his hedge funds
"Why’d you say that?” Grayson said.
While reportedly keeping his cool, Reid calmly responded, “I want you to lose. It’s true.”
That's when the rest of Grayson's progressive colleague shut down the confrontation.
Though, the fight continued to play out in the press.
“Alan Grayson decided to be disruptive, to the embarrassment of his fellow colleagues," read a blunt statement from Reid's office sent to The New York Times. "Senator Reid took the opportunity to express his low opinion of Congressman Grayson to his face.”
“Let’s face it, I’m not the establishment candidate. The establishment wants somebody who is a callow tool,” Grayson told reporters afterwards. “As far as I can tell, the only criteria that the Democratic establishment has among Senate candidates this year is obedience. In that regard, perhaps I fall short.”
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“The Progressive Caucus is a place to fight for progressive values, not fight for Alan Grayson’s narcissistic desire to hear someone say his name,” read a statement from Murphy.
"If Alan Grayson is trying to prove that he's a lot like Donald Trump, he's succeeding," he added.
Well, in any event, this is probably the most entertaining and explosive primary fight of the year that doesn't include Donald Trump.