Add Allen West to the Ranks of Crooning Congressmen

The Florida Tea Partier delivers a serviceable rendition of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman."

Well, this is something. Here's Allen West, U.S. representative from Florida's 22nd district, performing the Roy Orbison classic "Pretty Woman" at his birthday party. He's backed by the Second Amendments, a bipartisan congressional rock band featuring (among others) short-lived GOP presidential contender Thad McCotter on lead guitar.

West is a Tea Party stalwart with a well-deserved reputation for saying inflammatory things (about President Obama, about liberals, about Islam, etc.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, and former high-school teacher. Now he can add singer to that resume. West has a nice baritone in the middle of the range, but he struggles a bit with the higher bits, and it sounds like there's some sort of miscue at the bridge. Still, it's an impressive job for an amateur -- he didn't need to worry so much about someone taping it. It's safe to assume he won't be dedicating a rendition of the standard to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz any time soon: he doesn't think she's a lady, so it's unlikely he'd consider her a pretty woman, either.

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David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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