Few mysteries among the Capitol Hill gossip set were more unsolvable, not to mention trivial, than that of the 2007 Lincoln Navigator with Texas license plates reading "WTF 44" situated in the Longworth House Office Building parking lot. Why would this Texan motorist be so perplexed over the current and 44th president of the United States as to solicit answers, vulgarly, with his vehicle's registration tags? Who is this curious land-tank operator?
Mother Jones finally singled out the owner yesterday, however: It's Scott Graves, legislative director for Republican Rep. K. Michael Conaway! Just as we all thought, maybe. But Graves denies that the plates have anything to do with President Obama, and he ordered new plates when he "realized the meaning could be misconstrued." The rest of his staff has, in Mother Jones' words, been "playing dumb" about what other meaning could be gleaned from the vanity plates.
But Conaway's office seems worried about press attention now that it's been called out, according to this report from a San Angelo Standard Times reporter who was accidentally cc'd on an inter-office email:
In an email addressing [press secretary Sam Ray] but also sent to the Standard-Times' Washington correspondent and Graves, Chief of Staff Richard Hudson referred to "KMC"-Kenneth Michael Conaway, saying: "Give KMC a 'heads-up.' When she talks to KMC next and she asks him about it, he just needs to decline to discuss his employees' personal vehicles. Or say something like, I didn't know about the plates, but I understand he's changed them."
[Image via Mother Jones]