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Jim Cooper Wins Friends and Influences People in His District

The hallmark of Jim Cooper’s personal style is arrogance–he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. He builds on his 16% approval rating on health care with Democrats in his district (TN5) by charming local doctors:

Some of Nashville’s physicians are outraged at Jim Cooper and circulating an email accusing the congressman of "arrogance, disdain and disregard" for the healing profession. Oh my! They say Cooper treated them rudely during a private meeting about health care reform.

According to the email, Cooper unleashed his inner Don Rickles, throwing one insult after another at the physicians, who are members of the Anesthesia Medical Group. A sampling of his remarks (all of which his office confirms he made):

* "Your Washington lobbyists are obviously doing a very bad job for you or you wouldn’t be so misinformed."

* "[I] never cease to be amazed at how poorly informed physicians are about the health care system."

When asked about the meeting on a local radio show, Cooper said that he thought doctor-patient confidentiality applied in the situation. But his outrage at the doctors was prompted by the AMA’s support of the the House bill–H.R. 3200–which includes a public option. He thought they were dumb as dirt for not knowing that.

I have no doubt that a room full of doctors can be, er, opinionated, but these are constituents from Cooper’s district. At one point Cooper knew he had to take care of business at home, but he’s jumped the shark. The first hallmark of a defeatable politician? They start taking constituent relations for granted.

Ripe for a primary.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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