Alan Simpson and Grover Norquist Star In TIME’s ‘Lions and Tigers and Wonks’

TIME invited two adversaries to have a civil conversation at the zoo—and captured the wild things on video

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After watching Grover Norquist and Alan Simpson go after each other for years on cable news, TIME’s White House Correspondent Michael Scherer had a revelation. Why not invite the conservative wonk and former Republican senator to have a civil conversation in a disarming environment? And what’s more disarming than orangutans? As Scherer played moderator at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., TIME’s video team captured the wild animals on video (humans included).

Watch the video above to see the men mingling among bamboo, gaping at the primates and talking about how the day went in private exit interviews. Watch the video below to see Simpson’s unbidden digression on why President Obama is in danger of having a “failed presidency.”

Read Scherer’s take on the day, and an abbreviated transcript of the conversation, here. His article in the magazine, “Into the Wild,” can be enjoyed here for those with TIME subscriptions. Don’t have one? Click here to purchase your TIME subscription for $2.99 a month.


Taken to its illogical conclusion, Norquist "wholeheartedly endorses" the proposed immigration "reform" but simultaneously purports to cut off all revenue to the State. How can anyone possibly reconcile the creation of tens of millions of entitlements and refuse to raise the revenue to pay for them?

In an era of climate change induced "super-storms", coupled with unprecedented stains on our dwindling fresh water supply due to the GOP "tracking" agenda, how pray tell, is the State going to hold itself upright without more revenue- much less maintain our Military supremacy?

Notably, Norquist has yet to answer Simpson's threshold inquiry: where does Norquist receive funding?

(cricket, cricket)

"To know someone has a secret is to know half the secret itself." - Henry Ward Beecher

Oh, but look how nice they are...I mean, just palling around with the apes and monkeys.

[Meanwhile in Oklahoma]

How do you like me now?

/s/ the "new" Mother Nature 

“In law and government, what plea so tainted and corrupt/ But,
being seasoned with a gracious voice, obscures the show of evil.” –Shakespeare


Katy, did YOU shoot the video (knowing you do occasional photography work there)?


"...Correspondent Michael Scherer had a revelation"

If by revelation you mean the stupidest, least interesting thing ever, then yes, a revelation.