She's never done anything to impress me before, but by golly she's done it today, and not once but twice: Congresswoman Ileana Ross-Lehtinen hung up on the president-elect when he phoned her on Wednesday. For good measure, she also hung up on chief-of-staff designate Rahm Emanuel when he tried to convince her that it was really, really Obama. Finally, Rep. Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, managed to convince her, first, that he was Berman, and, secondly, that Obama's calls were not a hoax, as she had originally supposed. When Obama phoned a third time, she finally spoke to him. Imagine if Obama had not been so persistent and given up on the first or second try? In any case, I am sure that Obama will not soon forget the name Ileana Ross-Lehtinen.
The (unintentional) snubbing of Obama could make Ross-Lehtinen into the new sweetheart of the GOP. Well, not really. She is a liberal on social issues and wouldn't appeal to Palin's supporters. Also, she has short hair.
I suspect Obama was calling Ros-Lehtinen to offer her a post in his administration, one that has been vacant for 48 years: the ambassadorship to Cuba. He probably thought better of it when she hung up on him the 2nd time. A close call for Ileana, but she handled it with credit to herself and our community.
If only she had hung up on George Bush every time he called her to elicit her help in sticking it to Cubans here or on the island, we might actually admire her; but eight years of the "Dry Foot/Wet Foot" policy and the gutting of the embargo are also part of her legacy. Getting tickets for Val and Ziva to attend last year's May 20th fête at the White House falls somewhat short of the potential of her office. Maybe in the opposition she will finally feel inclined to pay more than lip service to the cause of Cuban freedom.