U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, as the Advocate's Bryn Stole reported in Sunday's paper, is becoming a bona fide media star and appears to be loving every moment of it.
His senior colleague, well, not so much.
Before Kennedy's self-consciously folksy political takes starting showing up in national story after national story, Bill Cassidy had his own moment. It came last year, when he was leading Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and decided to piggyback on talk show host Jimmy Kimmel's viral tale of his newborn son's open heart surgery. Going through the ordeal reinforced Kimmel's belief that no family, regardless of means, should be subject to lifetime limits on health care coverage, and that nobody should be denied affordable coverage based on pre-existing conditions, he tearfully explained. The health care law passed on former President Barack Obama's watch put both those beliefs into law, and Cassidy insisted that any replacement would pass what he dubbed the "Jimmy Kimmel test."
WASHINGTON — As the junior senator from Louisiana descended an elevator in the U.S. Capitol’s basement on a mid-October afternoon, a swarm of …
WASHINGTON — A late-night skewering by comedian Jimmy Kimmel of the health care overhaul being pushed by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and the sen…
The brief, beautiful friendship broke down, though, when Cassidy wound up sponsoring a version of the health care repeal that would have allowed states to decide on many of their own rules. Kimmel angrily pointed out that doing so would lessen existing protections and could leave some families like his, but less well off, out in the cold. Cassidy angrily pointed out that Kimmel had consulted with Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's office for research.
Now Cassidy says he's through with Kimmel and will never return to his show, according to an interview he recently did with CBS News. Not that he'd be invited.
Kennedy's mostly avoided public spats with celebrities — Lindsay Lohan being a noteworthy exception — but Cassidy took a big risk in invoking the much more famous Kimmel to promote his own agenda.
How naïve to think that Kimmel would have nothing to say about the matter.