Celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman is on it: Tagg Romney, Mitt’s oldest son, versus Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC’s lowest-rated nighttime show, The Last Word. O’Donnell’s challenging Romney to a fight is a ploy for ratings and publicity, and Philly’s own Feldman is happy to oblige.
Let me set up this unseemly and unlikely rumble between aristocrats for you. Tagg Romney was on the Bill LuMaye talk show on WPTF-AM in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Tagg was asked what it’s like sitting in the audience at the debate when President Obama calls his dad a liar. “Well, you want to jump out of your seat and rush down to the stage and take a swing at him,” Tagg said without hesitation, quickly adding, “You can’t do that. First, because there are a lot of Secret Service agents between you and him, but, also, this is just the nature of the process.”
It was a son defending his dad. Too candidly? Yes. Unartfully? Definitely. Forgivable and forgettable? I think so.
Lawrence O’Donnell doesn’t think so. In what can only be described as a bizarre display of mock machismo, O’Donnell took offense to the comments, as if Barack Obama is his dad. “Okay, Taggart, let’s have a little talk just you and me,” he said, the camera pushing in closer. “When I hear you talking about taking a swing and taking punches, why do I get the feeling that you never have taken a punch?” Testosterone was dripping from the set as O’Donnell made fun of Taggart’s name.
Then O’Donnell dramatically stood up and walked at the camera, as if walking at Taggart to challenge him to a good, old-fashioned bare-knuckled barroom fight. I kid you not. “You want to take a swing at someone, take a swing at me,” O’Donnell said.
After hearing the exchange, I called Damon Feldman, who told me on my IQ 106.9 radio show that he has already reached out to both parties. “I got a feeling O’Donnell will back out. It was just for show,” lamented Feldman. “But I will do the whole thing for charity.”
For the record, O’Donnell is 61. Taggart is 42. Both look in pretty good shape, and they are probably in the same weight class.
I think Feldman is wrong. O’Donnell would do anything to help his failing TV show, and he proved it with this stunt. I have no doubt he will put on the gloves. I think Taggart will take a pass on the grounds that “celebrity boxing” is unbecoming for a member of the possible first family.
So I reached out to my favorite Mormon to take Tagg’s place. NBC 10 sportscaster, former Philadelphia Eagle, and former Golden Glove boxer Vai Sikahema has agreed to step in as a substitute for Romney. In fact, he challenges O’Donnell to a fight on behalf of Tagg.
Sikahema once famously knocked out Jose Canseco in the first round of a Feldman celebrity fight.
This could get very interesting if anyone at all is serious about this. I have been asked to be the ring announcer and eagerly agreed. Heck, I would have paid for a ticket.
Your move, Lawrence. Anytime, anywhere.