"Change" in Mario's Wallet

Saturday, December 12, 2009
From the POLITICO series, "What's in your Wallet?":

Rep. Diaz-Balart Opens Up
By Amie Parnes

POLITICO caught up with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and asked him, "What's in your wallet?"

"That's a scary question," the congressman admitted, "because I have a four-year-old son and he loves going through my wallet, so I have no idea. It may be empty or it may be full. I'm not sure."

Diaz-Balart pulled out what he calls a "kind of a beat up, generic wallet" which has U.S. Congress etched into the leather. He fished out some of his own business cards, two metro cards, a Florida drivers license, a Florida concealed weapons permit, insurance cards, credit cards, a card with phone numbers for the House of Representatives, a picture of his four-year-old son and wife Tia, and a card with a quote by Frederick Douglass. The congressman also unveiled a card with a picture of President Obama and Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, a political prisoner in Cuba.

The card, written in Spanish, reads: "Barack Obama asked for change and he became president. Oscar Elias Biscet asked for change and they made him a political prisoner in Cuba."

"It's a reflection of the greatness and freedom of the United States and the unfortunate slavery that the people in Cuba have to go through," Diaz-Balart said.

Still, Diaz-Balart said he is "not a fan of the president's. I respect and admire what he has achieved but I am horrified and frankly somewhat frightened by his policies."

The congressman had no cash in his wallet. However, he did pull $1.60 out of his pants pocket.

"That's why lunch is in the office today."