Posted: April 21, 2015


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Dancing babies go viral. Dancing congressmen do not.

John Carney gave it the old congressional try, but it is like Joe Biden and the aviator sunglasses. Cool came and went.

Carney, the three-term Democrat who is Delaware's lone congressman, busted his moves in the line of duty. Also in a white shirt and red tie.

He wanted to bring attention to a bill called the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, which he introduced last week in the House of Representatives to protect a 300-mile stretch along the waterway from the Catskills in upstate New York to the mouth of the Delaware Bay.

Tom Carper and Chris Coons, the state's two Democratic senators, are sponsors of the Senate version of the legislation, which also has the bipartisan backing of other regional representatives and senators from New York and New Jersey.

Carney distinguished himself as the one who thought it was worth dancing about.

He did it to "All About That Bass," the song by Meghan Trainor, although for this purpose it was transformed to "All About That Basin."

Carney's dancing was immortalized in a video clip at #AllAboutThatBasin on Twitter. Roll Call, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, called it "a classic middle-aged white guy dance."

The video lasts 15 seconds, but Carney did not get any 15 seconds of fame out of it. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was retweeted only 38 times.

This is not exactly up there with Stephen Colbert, who bragged about winning Twitter when he was given the first "Golden Tweet Award" for all of the retweets of his tweet after the BP oil spill -- "in honor of oil-soaked birds, 'tweets' are now 'gurgles.'

Whatever, it was just about what people expect from a congressman. A little song and dance.

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Franklin Roosevelt saddled every officeholder who came after him with the impossibly high standard of the first "100 Days" accomplishments of his presidency.

Matt Denn did not flinch. He talked about his first "100 Days" as the new Democratic attorney general in a speech Tuesday during the Law Day ceremonies of the Delaware State Bar Association.

Denn did not save the banking system, set a minimum wage, put people back to work, give relief to farmers, authorize the Tennessee Valley Authority, appoint the first woman to the Cabinet or have a fireside chat with the country, as FDR did, but he was not elected president, either.

It is enough that Denn's early tenure has brought a downturn in violent crime in Wilmington, and the sting has lessened from that embarrassing "Murder Town USA" name Newsweek magazine slapped on the city just before he took office.

As awful as it is, at least people do not go around saying "Hands Up/Don't Shoot" or "I Can't Breathe" about Wilmington.

In remarks to about 80 judges and lawyers at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Denn ascribed the improvements to police foot patrols he called for, along with the city's redeployment of patrol cars, in high-crime areas.

He also stepped up the prosecution of juveniles carrying illegal guns, and his office is working with police agencies on protocols for police body cameras as a means to recording evidence of crimes and building public confidence. Still to come: programs to get at the underlying causes of crime.

"In the first 100 days on the law enforcement front, it's been productive," Denn said.

"We're not going to police our way out of the crime problem. We're not going to prosecute our way out of the crime problem."

Denn's speech was not supposed to come with sound effects, but it did. For a few moments, a police siren yowled outside. No surprise there.