The flap over the racist name of the hunting lodge that Texas Governor Rick Perry's family leased is not the first time hunting and racism have conspired to tar a politician.
In 2007, a New York Daily News photographer spotted a Confederate flag hanging inside the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club garage while Vice President Dick Cheney was happily blasting away at its pheasants, ducks or Hungarian partridges. (Management wouldn't say which he was shooting.)
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the New York civil rights leader who recently became an MSNBC host, demanded that Cheney "leave immediately, denounce the club and apologize for going to a club that represents lynching, hate and murder to black people." Cheney did none of the suggestions though his spokeswoman, Megan Mitchell, said neither Cheney nor anyone on his staff saw such a flag at the hunt club.
Many remember Cheney's 2006 Texas hunting mishap in which he shot 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington in the face instead of a quail, but fewer know about his hunting when he hits his targets.
A fan of canned, put-and-take hunting, Cheney sank 70 pheasants (his hunting party sank 417) and an undisclosed number of ducks during a 2003 trip to Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, PA. And the next year, on the day of the 2004 presidential election, the Veep treated himself to a victory pheasant hunt in South Dakota --that wasn't.
Cheney was on his way to Pierre, SD on Air Force One--thank you tax payers- where a motorcade sped him to an unnamed Gettysburg area hunting lodge, even before Sen. John Kerry's concession speech. But, Cheney's defibrillator couldn't keep up with the thrill kills and he had to be rushed to George Washington Medical Center in Washington DC where he was hospitalized for shortness of breath. (Late night comics say he had a reserved parking space at the ER.)
"Sorry we ruined your Saturday," Lynne Cheney told reporters, who probably also had reserved parking spaces. The excursion cost local law enforcement officials $32,000 to protect Cheney's motorcade--which included 15 sport utility vehicles and an ambulance, no jokes please--divert school buses and guard his hotel, reported local papers.