The Democratic senators planned for the usual drill; asked fifteen-minute questions, which were actually lectures, hammered the evil executive, and concluded with how they were saving the little guy from corporate greed. Their strategy had worked in the past, but it didn’t that day.
Lee ran intellectual circles around the committee blowhards.
Frustrated, the senators sank to slightly veiled personal attacks.
Though not using the words, Lee’s meaning was clear. He told the senators they were full of crap, and he didn’t have to put up with their baseless accusations.
Lee packed his briefcase, got up from the witness table, and began walking toward the exit. The flustered senator from Vermont demanded that Lee return and reminded him he had been subpoenaed.
Lee, without stopping, yelled back over his shoulder, “Call my lawyer!”
The Senate hearing made Lee an instant American hero. He was one of the first to stand up and publicly fight the Administration.
Nobody could have predicted the public’s response. Three days after the hearing, one poll showed Lee as more popular than President Thorpe.
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