Ted Kennedy gets knighted - Nancy Pelosi goes airborne
Well, great. What kind of a rip-off is this? Ted Kennedy gets knighted and you can't call him Sir Ted? But you can call Elton John, Sir Elton?
Rules are rules.
It's kinda like in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Remember when Brad admonishes Jeff Spicoli and his stoner friends for not wearing the appropriate attire in the fast food joint?
"No shirt, no shoes, no dice!" Spicoli said reading the sign.
It's the same thing. Except different.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was in Washington, DC today and it felt a lot like President Obama's remarks to Congress last week.
He too addressed a Joint Session of Congress. And as soon as the Prime Minister paused (just like last week), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sprang to her feet like a rocket.
The reason for Pelosi's overabundance of joy?
Senator Ted Kennedy is becoming a member of British nobility. He's getting knighted. And it's not just a nicety or anything. Brown credits Kennedy with some big achievements.
"I know that you will allow me to single out for special mention today one of your most distinguished senators, known in every continent and a great friend," Brown said. "Northern Ireland today is at peace, more Americans have healthcare, children around the world are going to school, and for all those things we owe a great debt to the life and courage of Senator Edward Kennedy."
"And today, having talked to him last night, I want to announce, awarded by her majesty the Queen on behalf of the British people, an honorary knighthood for Sir Edward Kennedy," he said (bending the rules).
Although some are reporting that Pelosi jumped to her feet so quickly this last time that she was actually airborne and recorded a hang time of 4.5 seconds, we embedded the YouTube video below and do not see the evidence.
Kennedy was not present for the honor but released a statement calling it "moving and personal."
"I accept this honor in the spirit in which it is given, with a continuing commitment to be a voice for the voiceless and for the shared ideals of freedom and fairness which are so fundamental to the character of our two countries," he said.
Other Americans who have been knighted but cannot be called Sir include Bill Gates, Rudy Giuiliani, Ronald Reagan, George Bush (41) and Alan Greenspan.
Oh yeah, why can't Americans be called Sir?
The London Times explains, "Unlike British citizens honoured by knighthoods, Senator Kennedy will not be given the title 'Sir Ted', which is not permitted for foreign recipients. Instead, he will simply be allocated the initials KBE - Knight of the British Empire - after his name."