By Christina Wilkie - 09/29/10 09:50 PM EDT
Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) was presented with a huge bag of baby-bottle nipples from the National Organization for Women (NOW) on Wednesday morning in an awkward confrontation, and one that nearly didn’t happen.
NOW President Terry O’Neill waited for Simpson, who co-chairs President Obama’s fiscal commission, outside a Dirksen Senate Office Building meeting room for nearly 20 minutes in order to present him with the bag of nipples, part of a NOW protest over insensitive comments Simpson made a month ago in an e-mail to National Older Women’s League Executive Director Ashley Carson.
“Each [nipple] represents a $5 dollar donation made to NOW in the month since the senator made his verbally abusive comments,” O’Neill told reporters gathered outside the front door of the meeting room. Simpson’s comments, she said, prove “[Women] are not in his world.”
But as O’Neill talked to the cameras, her target emerged from an elevator 20 feet behind her and slipped into the hearing room through the back door.
“Look, Simpson slipped the nipples!” exclaimed one punny observer.
O’Neill turned and, spotting the commotion, made her way quickly into the hearing room, trailed by a stream of reporters.
Standing on one side of the dais, O’Neill presented the bag of nipples to Simpson, who didn’t take them, but just smiled and said, “You should send that to a children’s hospital.”
Simpson may be on to something: O’Neill told ITK she had yet to decide what to do with the approximately 1,500 baby-bottle tops.
After declining to pledge that he would leave Social Security benefits exactly as they are, Simpson kindly sent O’Neill, and the pack of press, packing. “Good luck,” he said on the way out.