U.S. Sen. Tom Carper gave Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett a chance to take a dig at former Tulsa Mayor Jim Inhofe on Wednesday, and Cornett didn’t hesitate to grab it.
Carper, D-Delaware, well aware that Inhofe, now a U.S. senator, had served as mayor of Tulsa, asked Cornett at a committee hearing in Washington:
“Thinking of the past mayors of, like, larger cities in Oklahoma, have any of them ever turned out well? Can you think of anyone who ever amounted to much?”
Apparently thinking Carper was just referring to Oklahoma City, Cornett said, “I’m fortunate to have a long string of promising mayors that preceded me, absolutely.”
Carper said, “Alright, alright. How about over in Tulsa?”
Cornett replied, “I can’t remember Tulsa ever having specifically any good mayors.”
As Carper and others in the hearing room laughed, Cornett said, “You’ll forgive me. That rivalry is extremely strong, senator.”
Well, Carper said, Inhofe had “turned out ok here.”
“Yes he’s done well for himself,” Cornett said.
Inhofe decided to jump in at that point.
“Let me respond to that,” he said.
During former President Ronald Reagan’s second term, Inhofe said, the president named a low-water dam in Tulsa as the “greatest single public project, totally privately funded, in America.
“My case rests.”
The jokes came at the end of a hearing in which Inhofe repeatedly complimented Cornett and Oklahoma City for the revitalization of the city’s core over the last several years.
The two posed together before the hearing started.
Photo by Matt Dempsey of the Environment and Public Works Committee staff