"Don't you know who I am?"
Drawing courtroom sketches with Cynthia McKinney.
I've drawn numerous judges, juries, lawyers and witnesses... even Pittsburgh Steelers - but this particular day I had a memorable brush with non-greatness in former (haha) US Representative Cynthia McKinney. You may recall Rep McKinney got herself in some hot water several years ago during a run-in on capitol hill. She allegedly punched a cop who didn't recognize her or let her pass without a congressional security pin. That scuffle is not the focus here.
Now for my story: One day, I was drawing TV courtroom sketches at a federal trial in Augusta, Georgia. The case had to do with redrawing the borders for the local voting district ... or some such thing. Ho hum racial stuff - no murder or mayhem details like other trials I've covered. This trial attracted politicians and media pundits alike since one of the districts had gotten Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich elected.
I was outside during a recess when a well dressed black woman approached me to inquire about buying my sketches after the trial. I said it might be possible as long as the TV station was through with them. She then looked somewhat puzzled and said the following words: "Don't you know who I am?" I shrugged and shook my head innocently as she handed me a card. "I'm Cynthia McKinney, I sit behind President Clinton during the State of the Union". I smiled and almost made a crack like "Good that you sit behind him instead of...'" but wisdom prevailed as I held my tongue and handed her my card.
Subsequently, I never heard from her again. The trial ended with what was probably an outcome unfriendly to Ms. McKinney's position (behind president Clinton).