Mrs. Duke-Stir Dishes Dirt


So Kitty Kelley's dishy tell-all with Duke Cunningham's wife in The New Republic is something. First, The New Republic? What, Commentary wasn't buying? Yeah, when we think gossip, we think "pedantic, robotically contrarian Israel apologists." Second, Duke Cunningham's a jackass, but we hesitate before lending too much credence to the machinations of his bitter, somewhat crazy might-soon-be-ex-wife (like a character in a Jane Austen novel, she calls him "Mr. Cunningham". Also like a character in a Jane Austen novel, she steals bread from restaurants.). Come on, didn't you see My Super Ex-Girlfriend? Jilted ladies can Start. A. Ruckus.

Yeah, we didn't see it either.

Still, it's a pretty funny and fascinating read. Nancy portrays the Duke-stir as an arrogant, homophobic egomaniac, a cross between The Great Santini and Ron Popeil:

[H]e sold Top Gun merchandise, including lithographs of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, books by Cunningham, speeches by Cunningham, tapes by Cunningham, plus a Top Gun official organizational ball cap--a huge seller after the Tom Cruise movie. The most expensive item offered was "The Randy 'Duke' Cunningham Fighter Ace Kalinga Style Buck Knife." Packaged in a hardwood case lined with blue satin, it cost $595.00.

And despite Nancy's best efforts at reining in her husband's, er, machismo ("I made him promise to stop gay-bashing in public"), Duke was a man's man through and through, which meant gay-bashing:

[H]e objected on the House floor to a pro-environment amendment. He said it was supported by "the same people that would put homos in the military." When former Colorado Representative Patricia Schroeder rose in objection to the remark, he told her, "Sit down, you socialist."

And woman-leering:

There were many times when Mr. Fun Ball, as I called him, was just too friendly with women--so overly friendly that it was humiliating.

Nancy's final word on Washington?

If you strip away their power, all you've got is a bunch of fat old men with white hair who look like Newt Gingrich and Baby Huey.

Best line ever. Nancy, want a guest editing stint on Wonkette? Seriously, call us. You've got the goods.

Duke Cunningham's Wife Tells All [TNR]


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