Things To Not Do While Interning For The Senate Majority

Attempted “glitterbombing” of a presidential candidate–not advised.

The exceedingly weak failure of a “glitterbomb” occurs at 0:20.


The college student who threw glitter at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Denver on Tuesday night was fired from an internship at the Colorado legislature Thursday.

Twenty-year-old Peter Lucas Smith talked with 9NEWS about the glitter-bombing, which he says was intended to show solidarity with gay rights advocates.

Smith is a University of Colorado Denver student and had an unpaid internship working in the press office of the state Senate Democrats.

That’s cool, “show solidarity” all you want, though in this case you’re doing something the Secret Service has an easy time mistaking for an attack they should reply to with lethal force. Maybe it’s something you’ll tell your grandkids with pride someday, but in the meantime you’ll have to explain it to future employers–potentially less cool.

Anyway, if you ever get it in your exuberant college student head to pull something like this, and you just scored a career-opening legislative internship, either reconsider or resign first.


57 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronk says:

    Yes, it was unwise given his internship. Yes, he probably regrets it. Yes, the Secret Service has no sense of humor… or fashion sense, for that matter.

    But millions of people all over this country want to buy the kid a beer or a latte. I hope someone hires him soon — if nothing else, for his chutzpah.  

      • nancycronk says:

        I’m sorry I made the above smart-ass comment about the glitter. Clearly, I was being insensitive to the people who may have been frightened by the sudden movements of the Secret Service. My intent was not to belittle anyone’s fear.  

    • RedGreen says:

      Seriously, Nancy? Someone aggressively throws something at a presidential candidate and they’re supposed to know in a split second that it’s a harmless — and hilarious! — prank and not something, you know, that isn’t?  

    • Ralphie says:

      You don’t attack political candidates.

      With glitter or anything else.

      • Fidel's dirt nap says:

        at least he didn’t ask Mitt about his record with Bain.  They would’ve thrown his ass in Gitmo.

      • Sir Robin says:

        Politicians are attacked and do attack all the time. Glitter is harmless, and symbolic. It hardly fits into the category of an attack.

        attack [uh-tak] Show IPA verb (used with object)

        1. to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with: He attacked him with his bare hands.

        2. to begin hostilities against; start an offensive against: to attack the enemy.

        3. to blame or abuse violently or bitterly.

        4. to direct unfavorable criticism against; criticize severely; argue with strongly: He attacked his opponent’s statement.

        5. to try to destroy, especially with verbal abuse: to attack the mayor’s reputation.

        Attack is more appropriately used when police use pepper spray in the faces of peaceful protesters.

        • nancycronk says:

          The only fair game in politics is ruining someone’s entire life via baseless accusations made on television and paid for by anonymous, soul-less, shameless, greedy corporate executies, disguised as “Super Pacs”. That’s okay, but throwing harmless, sparkly dust in someone’s direction is considered “an attack”. Good thing it wasn’t feathers. The guy would probably have been water-boarded. I’m not condoning what the guy did, but for G-D’S SAKES PEOPLE, IT WAS GLITTER! (Like air, only prettier.)

          Down is up, up is down, and the world has gone mad.  

        • Wong21fr says:

          It seems to fit the second definition almost perfectly.

          Though I’m sure many would martyr the little shit if this had turned out a lot uglier than it did.

        • ajb says:

          How do you tell the difference?

          • droll says:

            which convicted a woman of assaulting her boyfriend with a lemon drop martini.

            I also can’t help but remember an incident during PMQs when a guy threw something hard at Blair’s back. It made some kind of dust when it hit, so everyone was thinking it could anthrax or worse. It turned out to be nothing, thank goodness.

            So yeah, you guys are right to point out these things.

            Further, can someone explain to me how the “glitter-bomb” isn’t a dumbass idea in any case? Sure, it’s a bit funny to see Mittens sparkly, but it strikes me as offensive. No one is going to think, “Hey, gays are OK! They love glitter!” All that’s done is a reinforcement that homosexuals are different than regular people. I suspect the thought running through any undecided/ambivalent/pro-traditional marriage (lookit, I’m being nice) is something more like, “See? That’s what I’m talking about!” Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like we should be beyond that. These people are our fellow Americans, our neighbors, our representation (for crying out loud), our friends. People. Regular people who deserve the same protection under the law as anyone else.

            Sorry, ajb. You didn’t ask for all that, nor is it directed at you (save the agreement). I just didn’t bother with posting a separate comment.

          • nancycronk says:

            We all get that. I don’t think anyone’s arguing it’s not better to be safe than sorry. He needed to be removed, and they needed to identify the substance. They were hired to keep the man safe.

            I think the question is, “Is throwing glitter at someone an attack?” If I called the police and said, “My neighbor threw glitter on me”, would the police arrest my neighbor? I don’t believe they would. Do candidates running for office (not people already in office — people running for office), have more rights than the rest of us do? I don’t know. Any lawyers here?

            • Mr. Toodles says:

              It is an attack by the first (1st) and second (2nd) according to the definition provided by Sir Robin. And I bet if you called the police and demanded that your neighbor have charges pressed against him or her for the exact same thing and you had it on video or a room full of witnesses then they would probably issue a citation if not an outright arrest.

              I heard on the radio that he is being charged with throwing a missile. Why anyone would hire some kid who did something so irresponsible and stupid in such a public way against such a public figure deserves an employee who is reactionary, short sighted, and wholly immature.  

      • nancycronk says:

        I didn’t.

        I wouldn’t.

        I haven’t.

        But you are kidding yourself Ralphie, if you don’t think millions of people watched that across the country and thought it was a heroic act. People who have been persecuted by churches for decades just for being gay, people who lost their jobs because of robber-barons like Romney and people like him, people who pay much more in taxes percentage-wise than Romney ever did. To the vast majority of Americans, the guy is no celebrity, moral leader or important official — far from it. To most Americans, he’s just another rich white male bozo running for office.

        I’m just telling it like it is. Don’t shoot the messenger.

        And yes, if I were there, I would treat him with the same respect I treat every other human being on this planet whether they are a US Senator, a former Governor turned candidate, a school-kid on the playground, or a homeless person wearing smelly clothes at a bus stop on Colfax. They are all treated exactly the same — with dignity. I suspect the respect would not be returned because I am not a donor, however. I’ve met these types before — if you are not someone their “shadow” whispers to them is a big donor, they look right past you.  

        • droll says:

          You’re giving your opinion on how you think a bunch of people think. Millions even!

          • nancycronk says:

            There are approximately 146,000,000 registered voters, according to… .

            Given that I saw the Romney clip on CNN, MSNBC and several local news channels — and the fact that more than two-thirds of Republicans (even) voted against Romney in their caucuses — yeah, I’m more than comfortable with using the word “millions” to describe how many people have a visceral reaction to Mitt Romney.

            • droll says:

              That’s the line. You know we can scroll up, right? You have no fucking clue how all those people think. Looking at just this board so far, the majority of the comments are written by folks who don’t care for Romney, support equal rights and think this kid is jerk, not “heroic.” So your number gathering is off, you’re not looking at the right ones.

              You’re comfortable with it because you’re an egotistical ass.

              • nancycronk says:

                I’m saying I believe a lot of people probably were okay with it.

                I don’t think it was right for the guy who invented the word “Santorum” to actually put it on the internet and make a webpage out of it, but millions of people googled it, deliberately increasing its search engine ranking. It’s one thing to laugh and joke about it, but what that guy did was very organized.

                Do you honestly think there are millions of people who would do that, but not millions who think glitter-bombing makes a point? If you and I disagree, I’m cool with that.

                You won’t draw me in to name-calling, Droll.

        • RedGreen says:

          So what? Millions think the Olive Garden is the height of culinary magnificence, but that doesn’t make it so.

          I was there, Nancy, and I witnessed this failed glitter-bombing from about 15 feet away. I can guarantee you it didn’t look heroic, it looked momentarily scary and enduringly stupid.

          There are times and places where glitter bombs have the intended effect, but in closed quarters when the target is surrounded by Secret Service — not one of them.

          And progressives who defend this particular cloddish “stickin’ it to the Man! with Glitter!” activity do some serious damage to the progressive brand. It makes progressives look as out of touch with reality as the tea party.

          • nancycronk says:

            progressives who defend this particular cloddish “stickin’ it to the Man! with Glitter!” activity do some serious damage to the progressive brand. It makes progressives look as out of touch with reality as the tea party.

            I already said I didn’t think it was a good idea.  

        • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

          But the point is, there’s no way to tell at the moment of impact if it was harmless. If your neighbor threw glitter at you, there’s almost no chance it would be part of an international (or even domestic) plot to take your life. I despise the TSA and the national security state in general, but there are a few people who do need protection, preferably performed by incredibly paranoid and meticulous agencies with no sense of humor, and presidential candidates are among them. Was it terrorism? No. Was it incredibly stupid? Yes.

          I could have even gotten behind something that was just a ploy for attention, like streaking covered in glitter or something like that. But momentarily mimicking an assault is just pure, unmitigated idiocy in this context. There’s an argument for stunts intended wholly to draw attention to an issue  even at the cost of making advocates for that issue look like obnoxious jerks. But those stunts should not, even for half a second, look like an attempt to assault a presidential candidate. That’s taking a huge risk of tragedy. I admire this kid’s chutzpah, and I can’t even hate on his desire for attention, but I wish he’d directed it toward something less likely to get him or someone around him hurt.  

          • nancycronk says:

            mimicking an assault

            I can definitely see how that would apply to someone bringing a toy gun to an event (or to a school, etc.).

            There have been dozens of instances of glitter-bombing in the past few years, and they’ve all made the news.

            I have a hard time thinking anyone actually feared it was something dangerous, but I confess I may be wrong. There are probably still some people out there who have not heard of it as a symbolic act of disrespect.

            I would still like to know, from a legal point of view, why Mitt Romney (or any other candidate not currently in office, or a celebrity) has more rights than the rest of us have. If my neighbor could throw glitter on me and it is not a felony, why is it not the same for him? I’m not trying to be a smart-ass here. I just want to understand the legal analysis from an academic point of view.

            On the radio this morning, it said this kid is facing a felony.

            Again, I don’t condone this behavior. I’m just trying to understand how anyone could put it in the same category as an attack or an assault, when there is clearly no intent to cause physical harm. Everyone knows glitter is harmless. If it were a toxic substance, that would clearly be an attack.

            • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

              I’m with you there.

              I just don’t think it should get him a job or kudos, either.

              A friend of mine likes to quote a line from “Harold and Kumar Go to Guantanamo Bay.”: “He’s not a terrorist, he’s just an idiot!”

              Kid’s neither a terrorist nor a hero. He’s just an idiot.

              Mitt doesn’t have more rights for being a presidential candidate — he has more risks. He can’t assume that “harmless clowning around” is actually harmless. The glitter could have had some sort of dangerous substance in it. Throwing something, even glitter, at a presidential candidate serves to intimidate them and remind their supporters that someone probably could get that close with a pocket full of anthrax, for instance.  

              • nancycronk says:

                Mitt doesn’t have more rights for being a presidential candidate — he has more risks.

                I’ll buy that.

                When I was talking about this with a young person I know, he said, Would it be the same if a tea partier threw a handful of loose tea on a Democratic candidate (who is not in office)? I don’t know, but it is an interesting question.

                Another friend pointed out how crazy it is  this kid is getting hit with a felony, but many tea-partiers brought guns to health care rallies in ’09 to intimidate those around them, but that was perfectly legal.

                It’s a crazy world when glitter scares people more than guns.

                • droll says:

                  Throwing shit = bad. Which part are you having trouble with?

                • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

                  I’d say it’s the same thing. I would be more lenient at a “glitter bomb” or “tea bomb” tossed in a City Council race. Not that assassination attempts haven’t happened at the local level, but it is highly unlikely that a “real, live terrorist” would be interested in such small potatoes. At the local level the risk is from people who are simply mentally unwell and/or individually evil, and that’s a risk we all take if we have any sort of public life at all.

                  Throwing things is still not cool, but I wouldn’t be appalled by it on the level that I am in the context of a candidate who has enough risks present that he felt it was time to request Secret Service protection.

              • Diogenesdemar says:


                No way he should be facing felony charges.

                I’m with you there.

                Not only should he be charged, he should be convicted (and serve an appropriate probation).

                Does anyone really believe that there’s not some fucked-up individual in this country who witnessed that little stunt and got to thinking, hmmmmmm what if? (Only next target — Obama or Pelosi or Frank . . . ).

                Christ people, here as a group after Giffords was shot you were jumping all over Palin for the message  some targets on a map might be sending to the cranks.  Do you really think this stunt doesn’t send a message, and is it a message you want and are comfortable having sent?

                The time, if there ever was any, for this nonsense shit, especially against a Presidential candidate ended, is over.  In fact, it ended long ago — about 1968 by my recollection.  I’ll forgive you if you’re too young to know why.  But, fucking christ, just take my cranky word — the time is over!

                • nancycronk says:

                  Glitter is a gateway to …. little bits of feathers?

                  Comparing throwing glitter (with a weight of about: nothing) to putting crosshairs on a Congresswoman, on a website read by poorly-educated gun-nuts is the same to you? Yikes. That’s frightening.

                  What the kid did was wrong.. we all agree on that. In my book it doesn’t deserve a felony. Felonies are for meth dealers, house robbers, rapists, child molesters, bank CEOS who push worthless mortgages, and Bernie Madoff. This kid’s “crime” was very minor in comparison, and the public disapproval is plenty of punishment. His life shouldn’t be ruined (yes, he lost his job and his college could potentially dis-enroll him as well, not to mention any scholarships he may be receiving) because he sprinkled fairy dust on someone.

                  • Diogenesdemar says:

                    think of a single person who gets more shit consistently wrong, more often, than you.  (Maybe it’s the hyper-partisan thing?)

                    Anyway, “gateway” was damn funny when Smalls wrote it.  You?  Not so much.  (Comedy is timing, Nancy.)

                    Hey, if your boy here did something that you’re all so resoundingly proud of, why wouldn’t he want to explain that to every future potential employer he runs across?

                    He’ll get an opportunity to cop a plea down to a misdemeanor, some probation, and community service. He will probably take it, if he doesn’t listen to too many fools like you.  

                    • nancycronk says:

                      I don’t know this kid.

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      scratch “your boy” — s/b “your hero” .  .  . better?

                    • nancycronk says:

                      I am sympathetic to the frustrations of younger people who are filled with rage at  the loss of true democracy, and the takeover of their country by supra-national corporations. I applaud them for choosing non-violent means of protest, and rejecting the violence of the older generations (real bombs). If having those opinions is a crime, Dio, so be it.  

                • ProgressiveCowgirl says:

                  They are for personally committing serious crimes that are bad enough to warrant that record following you around for your entire life and potentially impeding your civil rights.

            • droll says:

              What can and cannot be thrown at people we don’t like?

              I’ve already pointed out that you can be convicted of throwing things like water on people.

              Here’s a rather disturbing incident,… These things don’t usually make the paper, that’s why this is so graphic. The point is, conviction. For water. It’s assault.

              So what’s the limit? And who can it be thrown on?

              • The realist says:

                You can’t just look at glitter in isolation, and say it’s harmless.  You have to look at the entire scene – the candidate, the secret service, the crowd, the larger context of a heated Presidential race, the sudden physical movement with unknown intent at its beginning.  

                It is never okay to purposefully put a candidate, the crowd, the secret service and law enforcement into the sudden unknown crisis situation in which they have to make instantaneous decisions about how to react appropriately.  What if in the moment of the glitter-bombing, an officer thought they saw a metallic object in the hand of the glitter bomber, and had to react instantly to that perception, in very close quarters?  No good outcome there.


  2. Wong21fr says:

    …. wild-eyed idealists with zero common sense.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    First off I agree that something like this has to be treated at the moment as a potentially life threatening attack. And even if you know what it is, it is still a physical attack.

    But it also degrades the political environment. Everyone calling that idiot a “hero” would be incredibly indignant if something like that was done to Obama. Throwing things at each other is taking politics down to the pre-school level.

  4. jaytee says:

    Who is this post directed at? How many college kids looking to glitter someone are reading Pols for advice?

    Political protest is rarely a good career move, but that’s not really the point of political protest, is it?

    Glittering is dangerous for the glitterers, which is what gives it an edge. The kid meant no harm to Romney.  

    Pols is too smart and grownup to ever glitter anyone! Thank god for the young’ns.  

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      bullshit!  (See my post above as to why.)

      • jaytee says:

        to react and overreact in the split seconds agents have to protect people. But bloggers at ColoradoPols? Do we really need these overwrought admonitions of the glittering class? Chrissake. Isn’t the intention of the act the thing wothy of most consideration in realms outside the security sector? The secret service has to do what it has to do. Bloggers all riled up about the security ramifications and the personal irresponsibility of glitterers seems to be way missing the point.  

        • RedGreen says:

          about bloggers sitting comfortably at a keyboard, unmindful of consequences, whether for the kid, the crowd, or the progressive brand when armchair activists leap to applaud glittering someone surrounded by Secret Service agents.

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