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Lisa de Moraes TV Column: Why'd DeLay Put Away Dancing Shoes

DeLay's Jittery Shuffle

On Tuesday night, Tom DeLay was wheeled to a hotter-than-expected interview with Jimmy Kimmel by Maksim Chmerkovskiy, left, Cheryl Burke, center, and Debi Mazar.
On Tuesday night, Tom DeLay was wheeled to a hotter-than-expected interview with Jimmy Kimmel by Maksim Chmerkovskiy, left, Cheryl Burke, center, and Debi Mazar. (By Mitch Haddad -- Abc)

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And, while we're on the twinkle-toes topic: Why did ABC late-night comic/host Jimmy Kimmel conduct the interview with DeLay that should have been conducted by ABC News -- while ABC News asked DeLay the kind of questions we would have expected to have been posed by a comic/late-night show host?

Kimmel traditionally interviews the prime-time dance show's booted celebu-dancers on the same night they are evicted. Semi-washed-up-actress/dancer Debi Mazar, who was given the hook Tuesday after receiving the fewest overall points, appeared on Kimmel's show with DeLay. He was brought out onstage in a wheelbarrow, wearing orthopedic booties.

"Do you think this will inspire other indicted politicians to dance?" Kimmel asked him.

"It keeps you out of jail -- that's for sure," responded DeLay, a smile frozen on his face.

(In case you've forgotten, DeLay had a relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials, in a deal that required Abramoff to cooperate in an investigation into his dealings with members of Congress. After stepping down as House majority leader, the Texas Republican gave up his reelection bid in 2006. He is under indictment in his home state on charges stemming from a campaign finance investigation. He has pleaded not guilty and the case has been mired in procedural challenges.)

"But if, God forbid, you wind up in jail, it's not going to be a good thing for the inmates to see on reruns," Kimmel continued.

We think this may have been Kimmel's best interview.

Ever.

"No. Probably not. I'll switch with Donny Osmond," DeLay joked. (See Osmond's antics above.)

This was clearly not the line of questioning he'd been expecting after the kid-glove treatment ABC News had given him when the network announced DeLay was going to be one of the competitors on this round of "Dancing With the Stars."

Back then, ABC News's Chris Cuomo asked DeLay:

"Why are you doing this?"


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