If you’re from Kentucky, there are few things more irksome than being mistaken for a guy from California.
So when Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) suffered this slight last week, he had
no choice but to fire back.
The mixup occurred during a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing Friday on the Korean free trade agreement, and the culprit was an authentic West Coaster, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.).
In his opening remarks, McDermott noted that up in Washington state, “We catch a lot of fish,” but that in California, “where Mr. Davis and [Rep. Wally] Herger [R-Calif.] live … unemployment is 12.3 percent.”
Still, it’s easy to see how some people might confuse Davis with a Golden State native: Blue-eyed and tawny-cheeked, he is one of the few naturally blond men in Congress, along with Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
To his credit, as soon as McDermott realized his faux pas, he went a long way to fixing it.
“I want to begin by apology,” the ranking member said as soon as he had a chance to speak. “I moved Mr. Davis from Kentucky to California.
“And that is … that is a severe insult to him, and I apologize publicly. I meant [Rep. Devin] Nunes [R-Calif.].”
Davis smiled and expressed his appreciation, though he couldn’t resist the chance to get a laugh at California’s expense.
“Well, I thank the gentleman for pointing that out. I remind — I reminded folks [that] I live in the United States, not in California.”