Republican Was Criticized for Making Same Gaffe as Biden

Posted: Sep 10, 2008 10:43 AM

Missouri conservatives I talked to this morning provided some interesting background regarding Chuck Graham -- the Missouri state senator in a wheelchair who was asked by Joe Biden to stand up yesterday.

Though Democrats are quick to forgive Biden for this embarrassing gaffe (let's be honest, it was obviously a mistake), it is interesting to note that when a Missouri Republican Rep. named Cynthia Davis made the same mistake, she was mercilessly mocked for it.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"You could have heard a pin drop on the floor of the Missouri House during a recent mock debate to train freshman legislators after newcomer Rep.-elect Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, committed the first gaffe. Davis cited the House rule book to prevent current Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, from continuing to speak. Davis said members "cannot be recognized on the floor to debate unless they are standing, and I don't believe he (Graham) is standing." Graham, a six-year vet of the House, has been in a wheelchair since a car accident 21 years ago. Rep. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, waited merely seconds before he told Graham to proceed."

This Republican endured months of ridicule from the media as well as liberals for making the same mistake Biden made.

Missouri conservatives also tell me they are concerned that Graham might be turned into a victim because of this episode.  They remind me that Graham has sued the University of Missouri, and was also arrested for a DWI last year (when a debate broke out over who had custody of his urine sample).