Rep. Ralph Hall isn’t the type of guy you’d expect at a LGBT advocacy event. Yet, the 90-year-old Texas Republican—the House’s oldest member and a staunch defender of the Defense of Marriage Act—was spotted last week schmoozing at an event for Victory Fund, an LGBT political action committee. Were we witnessing a late-career change of heart for the lifelong conservative? Not so fast: It quickly became apparent that Hall wasn’t a convert to the LGBT cause—he was just a little lost. The Houston Chronicle on what really happened:
As it turns out, Hall and his staffers were under the impression that they were attending an event for a fellow congressman, an event scheduled for that same day. After being welcomed into the event and offered refreshments, Hall inquired about the congressman whom he was there to support. After being told that he was indeed in the wrong place, the longtime conservative quickly left the premises — that is, as quickly as a 90-year-old can physically leave a premises.
“At that moment I realized that this was not the reception I intended to attend, and I put down my glass, thanked the sponsor, and told him we would be leaving,” Hall said. … “Many of those in attendance probably were surprised to see me walk in, but were not surprised to see me leave quickly” …
Naturally, Congress-watchers had a field day with the mix-up. Roll Call’s gossip column was the first to get in on the action, writing a piece headlined “Ralph Hall Lets His Hair Down,” to which the Texan responded: “I would just say that while I do have a good head of hair for a 90-year-old, I do not have the quantity of hair, nor the inclination, to let it down.”