By Jim Stanford on February 17, 2012
Move over, Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and the rest of the cast of the tragicomic reality show that has been the Republican primary.
Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind resurgence has thrust Jackson Hole’s own Foster Friess into the limelight. The financier and philanthropist, Santorum’s main financial backer, has burst onto the national stage, giving interviews to the networks nearly every day.
With his 100-watt smile, ardent faith and forthright honesty about his beliefs, Friess has become a star, outshining perhaps the candidate he supports. Talking bluntly and enthusiastically, the Teton County resident has endeared himself even to the so-called “liberal” media, winning kudos from Chris Matthews and a positive profile on the front page of the New York Times.
Anyone who knows Foster or has been to one of his annual “Robust Rooster” luncheons knows he loves to tell corny jokes. He even told a pretty funny one about Mitt Romney at last week’s conservative convention.
But yesterday, he bombed, as he often does (he is the first to laugh at himself). Only this time the entire country has been listening. On a day when a tone-deaf California congressman convened an all-male hearing on birth control, women especially didn’t find Friess’ remarks funny.
This clip has been replayed hundreds of thousands of times all over the Internet and was featured this morning on NPR. Friess has apologized and last night tried to explain his remarks in an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell. However intended, his suggestion that women can practice birth control by keeping a tab of aspirin between their legs (and hence not have sex) has sparked widespread bewilderment, if not outrage.
The Teton Dems Facebook page immediately lit up with responses. One Jackson woman has called on friends to bring bottles of aspirin to Friess’ office on Snow King Avenue. Occupy Jackson Hole is organizing a protest.
“Do not Foster This Person,” wrote a commenter on Gawker.
Even women who usually do not get involved in politics are riled up. One thing is for certain: Foster not only is propelling Santorum’s campaign; he is working wonders to re-elect President Obama!