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Are We That Bad?

“DeLay press flack Stuart Roy is almost non-descript. An elegant, trim, middle-aged white guy with close-cropped hair and an easy demeanor, he disappears into rooms dominated by his boss. But Roy has those rare qualities that distinguish the good from the great. He’s quiet, steady, certain, thorough and slow to anger. But most importantly, he’s the kind of guy who can stand in front of you and piss on your shoes while telling you with a straight face that it’s raining.”

“Tom DeLay runs his own show. Grella helps. A huge muscle of a man with a shaved head and a permanent scowl, Jon Grella stands at the east end of a long dining table. Without the coat and tie he’d look like a bouncer in a biker bar. When it’s time to get his boss to the House floor, or when reporters bore in with questions that are off the agenda, he signals that the conference is over. Although Grella plays the part of the enforcer, standing, scowling, arms folded across his chest, DeLay can take care of himself.”

For those who know Grella, it’s true. His head is shaved. But he looks more like a Nantucket prepster out of a Brooks Brothers catalogue than a biker bar bouncer.

Asked for his reaction to the upcoming book’s description of him, Grella almost swelled with pride. “Like my dad always said, “I’d rather be slapped by a wise man than kissed by a fool.”

Paul Kane and Mark Preston contributed to this report.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.

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