Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) won his race in November, began his term in the Senate, then checked himself into a hospital six weeks later to get treatment for depression. The 53-year-old had suffered a serious stroke over the summer, and his mental capacity and hearing were badly affected.
He was gone for a month and a half. So how’s he doing? Judging from this video clip from last week, not so good.
John Fetterman participates in a Senate Banking Committee hearing with the former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank. pic.twitter.com/uKILMfuilN
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 16, 2023
But the Associated Press, long a nonpartisan news agency that has gone hard to the Left in recent years, reports that Fetterman’s doing great.
“People close to Fetterman say his relaxed, comfortable style is a sign that the senator is making a robust recovery after six weeks of inpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where his clinical depression was treated with medication and he was fitted for hearing aids for hearing loss that had made it harder for him to communicate,” the AP said.
The wire service reported that conclusion based on the fact that the 6-foot-8 Fetterman wears hoodies and shorts in the Senate, even though male senators are expected to wear a jacket and tie on the Senate floor.
But for Fetterman, the rules don’t apply. He often casts his votes from the doorway of the Democratic cloakroom or the side entrance. And when he’s not on the Senate floor, he wears his hoodies and shorts, including during a press conference with four Democratic colleagues in suits last week.
The dress code in Congress isn’t formally in any rule book. But back in 2017, then Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a friendly reminder that members “should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearance on the floor may be,” Glamour reported.
Democrats, of course, are fine with Fetterman flouting the dress code.
“He’s setting a new dress code,” Sen. Peter Welch (D-VT) joked to the AP. “He was struggling. And now he’s a joyful person to be around.”
Others, though, say the rules are the rules.
“John Fetterman’s attire in the Senate perfectly summarizes Democrats lack of respect for Americans and our institutions,” conservative comedian Tim Young wrote on Twitter.
John Fetterman's attire in the Senate perfectly summarizes Democrats lack of respect for Americans and our institutions. pic.twitter.com/pvhJhcAFBy
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 22, 2023
“He was healthy. He could perform all of his job abilities normally according to doctor’s letter during the campaign. Now he must be accommodated and allowed to wear a hoodie and gym shorts or he will fall back into crippling depression,” Spectator contributing editor Stephen L. Miller wrote. “This is how you treat a five year old by the way.”
He was healthy. He could perform all of his job abilities normally according to doctor's letter during the campaign.
Now he must be accommodated and allowed to wear a hoodie and gym shorts or he will fall back into crippling depression. https://t.co/VuWI1bWjMo
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) May 21, 2023
“AP has an excuse for why Fetterman dresses like he crawled out of a dumpster and it’s a doozy,” cracked WABC radio host Bo Snerdley.
AP has an excuse for why Fetterman dresses like he crawled out of a dumpster and it's a doozy https://t.co/jPuza4Mybp via @americanwire_
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) May 22, 2023
“Voting from the doorway of the Senate chamber because you won’t give up your clown outfit (shorts/hoodie) is unprofessional and an insult to PA voters!” raged another user. “Resign NOW and let the voters select a better Senator.”
FETTERMAN IS NOT FIT TO SERVE IN THE SENATE! Voting from the doorway of the Senate chamber because you won't give up your clown outfit (shorts/hoodie) is unprofessional and an insult to PA voters! Resign NOW and let the voters select a better Senator. https://t.co/aTbcLWXZAY
— Wendy Rembowski (@exladycop86) May 22, 2023
But Fetterman’s speech is worse. And Fox News Digital found that Fetterman’s staff sometimes clean up his quotes from the Senate floor to make him sound less incoherent.
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“The Republicans want to give a work requirement for SNAP,” Fetterman said in a hearing this month. “You know, for a uh, uh, uh, a hungry family has to have these, this kind of penalties, or these some kinds of word — working uh, require — Shouldn’t you have a working requirement, after we sail your bank, billions of your bank? Because you seem we were preoccupied, uh when, then SNAP requirements for works, for hungry people, but not about protecting the tax, the tax papers, you know, that will bail them out of whatever does about a bank to crash it.”
But the quote, which a Washington Post reporter said was provided to him by Fetterman’s office, was very different, Fox reported. “Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more preoccupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers that have to bail out these banks.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.