Retired Wyoming senator Al Simpson hoping to dance America away from the fiscal cliff

2012-12-06T08:00:00Z 2012-12-06T08:24:44Z Retired Wyoming senator Al Simpson hoping to dance America away from the fiscal cliffBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

A retired Wyoming U.S. senator who decades ago learned to boogie-woogie to woo his wife has learned to dance “Gangnam style” to woo young Americans to speak out against the pending “fiscal cliff.”

In a video posted on, 81-year-old Alan Simpson shakes his budget maker to the Korean pop hit while stating, “Stop Instagramming your breakfast and tweeting your First World problems, and get on YouTube so you can see ‘Gangnam Style,’ and start using those precious social media skills to go out and sign people up on this baby.”

The video has gone viral.

Speaking Wednesday from New York an hour before an appearance on the “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” the octogenarian said the dance wasn’t too hard to learn.

He’s from the Cowboy State, after all.

“That looks like a guy riding a horse,” he said about the song’s artist, Psy. “When you raise your hand, it looks like you’re trying to lasso a cow. I said, ‘I can do it.’”

Simpson has been a sought-after voice since he and Erskine Bowles chaired a “super committee” in 2010 and 2011 that proposed a solution to the growing federal deficit. Congress rejected it. Officially, the Can Kicks Back organization believes Simpson-Bowles is one, but not the only, way to achieve the spending cuts and revenue increases necessary to avoid the fiscal cliff.

The video was filmed last week, when Simpson was in Washington, D.C., for a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

Filming took 10 minutes, he said.

“That was about the time ‘Gangnam Style’ became the most viewed video on YouTube,” said Nick Troiano, a field director with the Can Kicks Back, in an email to the Casper Star-Tribune. “… The overall point is that young people spend so much time on social media and we reach so many people, if we only were to use these tools to organize around fixing the debt, we could make a huge difference. We’re the most connected generation in American history, and we also have the most at stake in the debate over the debt.”

“Psy better watch out,” he added.


Some 60 years ago, the general perception in northern Wyoming was that boys from Cody couldn’t dance but boys from Worland could, Simpson recalled.

Socially, that was a problem for Simpson.

“Dancing was the big thing in the late ’40s, early ’50s,” he said.

He had started dating Ann, his wife of 58 years, who told him, “If we were going to go together, it would be helpful if you learned to dance,” he said.

So he learned.

“We danced the boogie-woogie and the jitterbug,” he said. “Just grab hold of each other and swing.”

Fast forward to last week, when the folks from the Can Kicks Back showed him the “Gangnam Style,” video. Simpson was a bit startled.

But not at a loss for words, of course.

“I thought it was the nuttiest thing I had ever heard in my life,” he said. “Everybody was laughing. It was a cult thing. Who is this guy? They said he was a Korean guy. Nobody knows what he’s saying. It doesn’t matter if it’s Korean or [English], no one knows what they’re saying anymore.”

The Can Kicks Back is a young American outreach partner of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

According to The Washington Post, business leaders created the Campaign to Fix the Debt. It has a $43 million budget.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people here [members of the Can Kicks Back],” said Simpson, a Republican. “Democrats, Republicans, commies. I don’t know who the hell they are. They’re an organization telling young people either you get into the game or when you’re 60 or 65, you’re going to be out of the game.”

Reach state reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at

Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. Big Evan Diehl
    Report Abuse
    Big Evan Diehl - December 09, 2012 7:02 pm
    Because of old Al's ranting I joined AARP today. It's only $16/year. Less if you pay for several years. I paid $63 for 5 years.

    Old Al cashes his fat government pension checks while calling other old folks "old coots" or worse.
  2. TBA
    Report Abuse
    TBA - December 07, 2012 9:52 am
    Yep,we are experiencing now what "old school style" brought us. No thanks.
  3. Pops
    Report Abuse
    Pops - December 07, 2012 8:46 am
    Al, you show them how it's done old school style.
  4. side oiler
    Report Abuse
    side oiler - December 06, 2012 12:45 pm
    Simpson is an old has been who reminds me of some idiot setting the woods on fire so he can get a job putting the fire out.Simpson is trolling for attention is all,he is no longer an asset to anyone,so goes Simpson,so goes the failed GOP.
  5. Cowboy Joe
    Report Abuse
    Cowboy Joe - December 06, 2012 10:38 am
    The reality is the Simpson Bowles plan is the only middle ground comprehensive plan that has a chance to return the USA to solid fiscal footing. We've all made mistakes and acted in ways that were appropriate in a time and context, at least Simpson is offering a real solution unlike pretty much everyone else, including the bozos on both sides of the aisle in Congress today.
  6. 51 Flathead
    Report Abuse
    51 Flathead - December 06, 2012 9:56 am Here is a link to prove what Simpson thinks of veterans.Since he,and his kind,are so adamant about cutting entitlements,I find it to be anti-American for this drone to see it fitting to stick it to vets,and old folks.
  7. Sage52
    Report Abuse
    Sage52 - December 06, 2012 9:50 am
    Simpson came from a generation who were very much instrumental in dragging this country into the dark ages.His idea of "bringing home the bacon" was to complete his pork barrel projects and satisfying his rich constituents pocketbooks,all of which helped to push America to the edge of the current precipice.And he has the ca jones to act like some stupid clown,how fitting,no wonder the failed GOP is in dire straits.
  8. brianvmax
    Report Abuse
    brianvmax - December 06, 2012 8:51 am
    He was also one of the leading proponent's on jamming nafta down our throat's in 93, we went from averaging a 30 million dollar surplus with mexico to deficit's in proceding years, also started the migration of american factory job's to other country's, these guys have very short memories.
  9. wyorock
    Report Abuse
    wyorock - December 06, 2012 8:34 am
    Thats who I want helping me fix our countries financial problems, some sack of crap whos been on the public dole his whole life.
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