One of the crappy things about being a D.C. politician is the fact that there’s not much room to move up. It wasn’t that long ago that Gov. Martin O’Malley was a councilmember in little ol’ Baltimore. Now the guy’s occasionally named a possible presidential contender.
In D.C., the mayor’s office is about as good as it gets. Unless you’re the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, who served as D.C.’s former non-voting representative in Congress for 20 years before unsuccessfully running for mayor in 1990 and now finds himself in the middle of history in the making.
Fauntroy is currently in Tripoli, Libya, the latest country to see experience revolution during the Arab Spring(/Summer) where he was on an apparent peace mission with evangelist K.A. Paul.
Paul, who has been referred to as the “world’s most popular evangelist” and “the Billy Graham of India” and has been known to jet around to international hot spots in a 747. If the Libya mission was like any of Paul’s other peace missions, then Fauntroy and Paul were probably trying to get a one-on-one with Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi to “bring God’s fear” to him, as Paul did with former Liberian dictator (and totally crazy dude) Charles Taylor.
The mission apparently went FUBAR, and Fauntroy was held for a bit at a hotel by Gaddafi gunmen along with western journalists. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton reports that Fauntroy is now safe and sound in the care of the International Committee of the Red Cross and plans to return to the District shortly.
After the jump, a transcript of Fauntroy on CNN last night.
WOLF BLITZER: Walter Fauntroy, this is Wolf Blitzer — do you hear me — in Washington?
REV. WALTER EDWARD FAUNTROY, FORMER DC DELEGATE (via telephone): Yes, I can hear you.
BLITZER: Congressman, tell me what you’re doing — what have you been doing in Tripoli. Why are you at the Rixos Hotel?
FAUNTROY: As the Reverend Congressman Fauntroy 20 years in Congress, I had joined Dr. K.A. Paul here in an effort to work out a non-violent solution.
Right now, we are in a precarious situation with some of our friends from the media, because we fear that unless we are able to relocate that we may all be in danger.
As a minister who believes in the fervent effectual prayers of the righteous, I have joined with Dr. K.A. Paul, and on appeal of the people who know the will of the prayer to pray for us, and to pray for deliverance for not only us but the press corps with whom we have been quartered here in the effort to carry out our peace mission.
BLITZER: Congressman, you spent 20 years in the United States Congress as the delegate from the District of Columbia and I met you on several occasions, but I have to ask, how long have you been in Libya right now? It’s a highly extraordinary situation for to you show up there. I know you wanted to do some good, but obviously, this is an amazing development.
FAUNTROY: Yes, it was. I came here over a week ago now, and have been working on a long-term effort to rally the genuine spiritual leaders of the world, to become, in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, for Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Desmond Tutu, a spiritual leader, and Nelson Mandela, a political leader, to work out a peace agreement.
We have come to a point where we’re now in a precarious situation and we call upon people who know the work of prayer to pray for us and for the members of the press corps who need to actually be relocated I think in the interests of preserving our lives.
BLITZER: So, Congressman, how scared are you right now for your life?
FAUNTROY: Well, I’m not scared at all. I’m here on a mission, as I’ve been all of my life, to serve the lord, and I just believe in the word of prayer and make that appeal.
And Dr. K.A. Paul joins me in that appeal. He is one of the well-known evangelists from India and has assembled a group of political leaders as well as spiritual leaders from around the world who are working with us in an effort to affect a peaceful situation in the problem that confronts us right here, right now.
BLITZER: Well, we’re praying for you, Walter Fauntroy, we’re praying for Matthew Chance, all of our fellow journalists who are at the Rixos Hotel. We’re going to check in with Matthew later. Good luck to you, appreciate your joining us here on CNN.
Let me get some quick reaction from the Libyan ambassador.
You just heard this former congressman — you didn’t hear him?
AUJALI: I was hearing something else.