Normally, the indictment of a formerly obscure member of Congress from New York wouldn’t cause much of a ripple out here in Flyover Country. Honest.
Michael Grimm, a Republican, isn’t just any obscure lawmaker. He’s one who was overheard and watched via YouTube threatening to throw a reporter “off the (bleeping) balcony” of the U.S. Capitol Building Rotunda for asking him a question about the allegation that has resulted in the indictment.
To his credit, Grimm did apologize to the reporter and the two of them reportedly shared a meal later.
A grand jury has indicted Grimm — apparently in secret — over campaign law violations. He has denied any wrongdoing, naturally. His spokesman said he’ll be vindicated when all the facts come out.
This is a pretty big deal, politically.
Grimm already is facing a stout challenge in his congressional district, which includes Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. An indictment gives fodder to his foes to use against him and it could cost him — and the Republicans — a seat that analysts considered to be “leaning Republican.”
The GOP hopes to expand its numbers in the House and it hopes to gain control of the Senate. Indictments of incumbents don’t sit well with voters. That this incumbent is a Republican could turn a red seat blue in a heart beat.
I’d bet real money now that Rep. Grimm is wishing he could return to obscurity.
However, this is the price he must pay for having a big mouth and a hot temper.