Could it be? Has it finally happened? Our governor, the governor of the great red state, is actually cool?
Well, after saving the day from what was going to be a "did we really do that" moment, Gov. Brad Henry has officially been declared cool.
The moment came after the state House of Representatives balked at the chance for frostiness and rejected a bill naming the official state rock 'n' roll song. Oklahoma's own Flaming Lips were to have their 2002 hit "Do You Realize??" enshrined as the state's rock song. This came after a panel was commissioned " by that same state House, mind you " and a statewide vote was held. Getting the official stamp from the Legislature was supposed to be a mere formality.
But the coolness moment turned to red-faced embarrassment when the House fell short of the needed 51 votes to approve the measure. More than a third of the 101 House members voted against the bill for reasons unknown, while 14 other members skipped the vote. Two members, Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Corey Holland, R-Marlow, voiced objection to the Lips for using foul language and also for one band member wearing a Commie shirt in the House.
This was about to become an embarrassment of enormous magnitude. The bill was to be the culmination of a year's work and national media were to be on hand for the bill signing ceremony. All was lost.
But wait! Marching over the median on 23rd and Lincoln was Gov. Henry with a plan. Screw the Legislature, the gov-in-cool can sign an executive order to officially label the song.
This move was so cool, wildly popular liberal talking head Rachel Maddow proclaimed Henry one cool governor.
"The governor's love for the band is so strong he next plans to name himself Yoshimi and battle a pink robot," Maddow said.
Now to Henry's admirers and loyal staff, the governor's coolness has probably never been in question. But we need to remind the public how unexpected it is to use Brad Henry and cool in the same sentence. Recall his early days running for the office in 2002? Where did Henry gain notoriety on the campaign trial? In the aisles of Wal-Mart stores barnstorming the state with an RV. It was also the governor who promoted the phrase "Read y'all" to get more Oklahomans into literature.