Mister Kerrey Regrets

One of the highlights of her Cole Porter Songbook is the supreme rendition by Ella Fitzgerald of “Miss Otis Regrets,” extending a classic apology for an unanticipated scheduling conflict:

Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today, Madam,
Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
She is sorry to be delayed,
But last evening down in Lover’s Lane she strayed.
Madam, Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
When she woke up and found, that her dream of love was gone, Madam,
She ran to the man who had lead her so far astray.
And from under a velvet gown,
She drew a gun and shot her lover down.
Madam, Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.
When the mob came and got her and dragged her from the jail, Madam,
They strung her from the old willow cross the way.
And the moment before she died,
She lifted up her lovely head and cried,
Madam, Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to lunch today.

Lee Hamilton and Bob Kerrey played Miss Otis at yesterday’s 9/11 Commission hearing, walking out on the interview of President Bush and Vice President Cheney: “Dem duo disses Dubya in Oval Office walkout.” The New York Post reports:

In a stunning snub, two Democrats on the 9/11 commission yesterday abruptly walked out in the middle of the Oval Office interview with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Both early-departing panelists, former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey and ex-Indiana Rep. Lee Hamilton, insisted they had prior commitments – but their sudden slip out the side door of the White House left Washington and some fellow commission members in shock.
Kerrey dashed to handle a private business matter – lobbying Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) for more money for his employer, the New School University in Manhattan.
Hamilton bolted so that he could introduce the Canadian prime minister at a ceremonial event at the Woodrow Wilson Center, which employs Hamilton as its director.

These are not excuses that rise to the level of Miss Otis’s, but we wonder if these gentlemen don’t don’t deserve to share her fate in effigy.

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