Mike Honda So ‘Tired of the GOP’ He Fell Asleep, Again

Congressman Mike Honda does not want to hear about the Keystone XL pipeline. Yawn.

Honda does not want to hear about another GOP vote to repeal Obamacare. Doctor's-orders yawn.

If you challenge funding for the Department of Homeland Security, Honda will not yawn. He will go to sleep before you can say—shoot, he's asleep.

This was Friday. Since winning a seventh term in the House of Representatives last fall, Honda (D-San Jose) has been relatively active, introducing a new bill almost every week. None of them will pass, but he's showing some effort compared to a few of his earlier terms.

But the bipartisanship of our nation's capital can be downright tiresome. And while actions may speak louder than words, sleeping on the job is some next-level passive aggressive shade.

This, of course, isn't Honda's first ticket to ride on the sleep train. Back in late 2013, San Jose Inside published a video of Honda dozing off during a town hall meeting. This was early in the campaign season, so Honda still gave a damn about perceptions. His campaign spokesflak defended the nap as a travel-weary congressman simply resting his eyes when he focuses. When he opened them aflutter—what day is this?!—that was just him snapping brain pictures.

Then came another video, posted on the blog of San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci, which showed Honda falling asleep on the House floor during a discussion about the government shutdown. Honda's office mouthpiece insisted that Honda has not fallen asleep. "He just closes his eyes when he’s thinking. There’s really no other explanation.”

This is true. When you think of sleep, you close your eyes. There really is no other explanation on how to sleep.

But all that took place when Honda needed to reassure voters that narcolepsy was not his second strongest skill behind singing karaoke in Spanish. Now that he's got another year before campaign season kicks back into gear—and that should be a depressing thought to anyone who paid attention to the last race—Honda has no qualms with a little sleep on company time. Not when he has to deal with these guys.

It's a slick answer, one that could be a slippery slope considering Republicans once again control the House. If Honda's really that tired of the GOP "playing games," on any matter, he'll have nothing but nap time until Ro Khanna re-emerges for the rematch.

And then there's the question of effort. It's not as if there was nowhere else to sleep but in the direct line of sight of the cameras. Honda could have picked literally any other place in the building to take a nap and managed to escape the watchful eye of CCTV (see: Comatose Congressmen Television).

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. Josh,
    Mike and his followers kicked Ro”s, suck up butt!
    These Republicans, don’t have a clue of the issues that await us.
    You cannot let it go! He kicked your asses, and so let’s allow Mike a show time to act uninterested with the BS, by the leading Republicans. Think I’ll take a nap as well!

    • TVBS,

      I voted for Honda. But for only one reason: he has the seniority to bring plenty of dollars into his District.

      Other than that, he is an embarassment to us. He is truly an empty suit who only follows instruction, and never thinks for himself.

      If you get off your high horse, you will see that most folks voted for Honda out of self-interest — and not because of his über-lib politics, which are enough to gag a maggot. He’s better than Mineta — but not much.

      If Honda continues to act like such a low-class bum, I may even forget my own financial interest in 2 years, and support someone else. Honda’s fake snoozing was over the line, IMHO.

  2. This is really sad. The worst part of this story is Honda’s lame excuse. If he is already tired of GOP, how is he going to stay awake for the next two years?

  3. This guy is an embarrassment. To think that Carl Guardino could have been our county supervisor instead of Mike; to think that Jim Cunneen could have been our Congressman instead of Mike; to think that Ro Khanna could have taken the baton from Jim, all adds up to one thing – the people of San Jose have suffered.

    • The Village Black Smith – what’s up with all caps, are you yelling? I am a dreamer. I dream of a day when we have representatives in Washington who are committed to serving this community; who are committed to providing the children of color equal access to a quality public education; who know when it is time to hang it up when time has passed them by.

    • The Village Blacksmith – If Mike had a heart he would provide a path to educational opportunities for the young people of color on my community. Mike is just in this for the paycheck.

      You have nothing to offer, and thus resort to personal attacks.

  4. I get it. Ro Khanna is angling for a rematch. That’s why you guys and the Merc have started taking pot shots against Honda. I understand you’re on Khanna’s team and that he’s behind this, but you’re starting kind of early, aren’t you? The next election is not for a while.

    • I agree voiceofreason, Khanna’s team slipped some sleeping pills in Honda’s tea and made him fall asleep in the U.S. Capitol – this is why we cant have nice things……I am grateful to Honda for his years of service, but it is time for Silicon Valley to move on from him. Whether it be Khanna or someone else who can be effective.

      • Nice sarcasm. Sure, Honda fell asleep — and it wasn’t the first time either. That hasn’t really been news, though, until Ro Khanna — well-funded and backed by media outlets with the power to influence public opinion (like yours) — started thinking about running. Honda fell asleep. Khanna showed he has no political backbone, given that he can say anything and everything to get elected. Which is worse? In 2004, Khanna ran against Tom Lantos on a far-left ticket — opposition to the Iraq War being the hot button issue at the time. In 2014, his big play was that he was further right than Honda. Which is it? And do you care? Or do you just want “Silicon Valley to move on?” Move on to what exactly? I get that the optics of falling asleep is not good, but frankly, it’s just fodder for a cheap shot. Congressional debates often are not that exciting. Many politicians don’t even show up. If all of this sounds like I’m a huge Honda backer, I actually don’t care that much. He seems like a nice enough guy, and he represents the Democratic vernacular that is California about as well as anybody would represent it. What I don’t like, though, are cynical, ambitious politicians — like Ro Khanna — who use their monetary backing to use media outlets as platforms for self-advertisement. What’s interesting about this article is what you don’t see, what is going on behind the scenes. Is this really objective journalism — a politician falling asleep during a boring debate? If so, what were the other politicians doing? Was anybody else not paying attention? Was anybody looking at their phone (like the lady two bodies to Honda’s right)? Why isn’t that news? This article is an ad for Khanna. And to me, what’s really worth journalistic investigation and news is — what are the ties between Khanna’s people and the people who investigated and wrote this article? Have they had lunch together? Are they buddies? Are they speaking privately about Khanna’s chances in 2016? If so, why isn’t that disclosed in the article? Again, at the end of the day — Khanna and Honda are California Democrats who will be warm bodies representing the tide of majority public opinion in California. Their impact will not be that different. But if I have to start with the assumption that (1) this article is news, and (2) that the author is objective and unbiased, then I have to ask these questions.

        • Just because Honda is no longer (or never was) a real leader in the House, doesnt mean Khanna or anyone else wouldnt be…is that really the negative perception of Honda’s tenure – that the seat is a joke.

          How about we simply move beyond Honda and see for ourselves – I still believe energy, initiative and new ideas can get you somewhere in the House.

        • > Again, at the end of the day — Khanna and Honda are California Democrats who will be warm bodies representing the tide of majority public opinion in California.

          Pretty much sums it up.

          Honda, in particular, will probably never see a Democrat majority in his remaining years in Congress.

          No need to get worked up over a catnap. Probably a worthwhile use of time for a back bencher.

          Free lunch, Free haircuts. Milk, cookies, and naptime. Nice gig if you can get it.

  5. Sure Honda is a nice guy, but he’s just a go-fer. That’s why Congress has interns–to be go-fers. Honda rivals the Campos family for fewest original ideas from the East Side…or anywhere, perhaps.



  7. Sad, but true. He should tend to his roses in his backyard. He is not serious enough to be seriously taken. Just another empty suit.

  8. I picked up a copy of Metro. After a long heavy day at my Anvil, a hot shower, I sat down with a cocktail. I opened the pages and I had the best laugh, in a long time.
    Yesterday, I wrote to Scott Herhold, about the ink wasted on his crotchety column. His continued criticism of Honda’s afternoon naps.
    I gladly pay 3 bucks for a Sunday Chronicle, to read Willie Brown’s Column!
    I find the obituaries very interesting, in the Merc. Lots of Americana gets ink. Some what Like the metro with live mystery knuckleheads.
    The photo in the Metro, does not include the gal that is focused on her cell phone. Texting and driving carries a huge fine. How sweet that the Metro did not show the texting woman next to the speaker. After Voiceofreason posted a great observation on the press.
    You guys are funny! It’s fun watching the antics, of Ro’s best supporters.
    My take is that if Mike should he choose to run for another term would still kick Ro’s Silly Con Valley Butt!
    Matter of fact there may be another challenger, that will do to Ro, what Mike did this past election, should Mike back Ro”s challenger!

  9. Obviously Sleepy Mike is the best reason for establishing term limits and mandatory retirement age at the federal level.
    We pay these people way to much for them to be sleeping on the job.
    Shame on all of us for sending this poor do nothing politician back to office over and over again.
    We now have a President that has taken up all issues once delegated to Congress and the Senate by the constitution, why do we need these people at all?
    Think about the cost saving of just pretending we have a Representative government for the next 2 years.
    It work so much better in the rest of the world.

  10. This article is ridiculous. I watched this video and it doesn’t look like Honda is sleeping. This article sounds a bit racist to me. Plus, no one cares! Honda works his ass off for his district. Even if he did nod off (literally no longer than 5 seconds) he deserve it. It’s a tough ass job. San Jose Inside is a hack. Looks like Ro ‘4th Time’s the Charm’ Khanna is running again. How much is Ro paying you Josh? Do you always pick on minorities?

    • Jordan you don’t like me, I don’t like you. So I’m more than happy to disseminate the lack of reason in your post, which is nothing more than a bit of sycophancy for Mike.

      This article is ridiculous. I watched this video and it doesn’t look like Honda is sleeping.

      Eyes closed. Check. Leaning in his chair.. Check. Startled look in his face when he wakes up, check.

      This article sounds a bit racist to me. Plus, no one cares!

      Ahh the good old race card. Might as well just call godwins law on this one. Is Ro Asian? Is Mike Asian? So suddenly it’s racist to promote one Asian over another?

      Honda works his ass off for his district. Even if he did nod off (literally no longer than 5 seconds) he deserve it. It’s a tough ass job.

      Mike has about 10 people in his office answering emails on his behalf. He didn’t do anything on the floor (other than renaming a post office in Saratoga after an “outlier” Cortese. Hmm, maybe I should be nicer to the guy, he does like outliers.

      San Jose Inside is a hack. Looks like Ro ‘4th Time’s the Charm’ Khanna is running again.

      Hmm, so I suppose Wikileaks isn’t journalism. Bloggers aren’t journalists. The face of Journalism has changed, for the better. This is the first time in human history anyone with an opinion can share it with a world wide audience. Get used to it.

      How much is Ro paying you Josh? Do you always pick on minorities?

      It wouldn’t matter if he was a non-minority. (And again, Ro is technically Asian) This isn’t the first time Honda (Handa) was caught napping on the job. Doesn’t seem like a difficult job. You fly around the country, stay in nice hotels, get a few months vacation a year, with a pretty nice salary.

      My personal opinion, after years of knowing Mike, is his health is in Jeopardy. It’s not a laughing matter when you spontaneously nap like he does. Mike should consider retirement.

      Anyways, you suck Jordan.. You’re just a fat little spiteful man full of nasty insults. I am amazed you are in the position you’re in (PS, are you writing this on taxpayer time?)

      • So, Cousin Cortese, please tell those of us who don’t know just who Jordan Eldridge is and for whom does he work? Thank you.

  11. > I am amazed you are in the position you’re in (PS, are you writing this on taxpayer time?)

    So, dish!

    Those of us outside the bubble have no idea what taxpayers are paying Jordan to mal-administer.

    • It’s no secret what I do. I work in Boston for a MA State Representative, while I am in Boston earning my Master’s degree. Robert is an idiot because he doesn’t understand the concept that Boston is three hours ahead.

      I am not going to respond to Robert’s other comments. He is childish, and no one important (including his famous cousin) takes him seriously. His rants don’t phase me.

      • Jordan:

        I understand that Massachusetts has more college degrees per capita than just about any place this side of the University of Phoenix.

        Why does Massachusetts need so much education? Is it because the population is generally more dimwitted than other states? Is over-education what causes Massachusetts to elect politicians like John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren?

        Do you think that if they shut down a couple dozen colleges that things might work better?

        Why do you need to earn a Master’s degree? Can’t you just apply for a waiver or an honorary degree?

    • Yup, now you know SJO.

      Jordan has 2 skills. Talking crap and kissing butt. The latter can get you through life as long as there’s people around. Hell, it can even get you through school.

      My irk towards him is hitting too below the belt. Bringing my family into this? Really classy. Not his first time either. Last time it was because I corrected a writer on SJ geography. I wasn’t being nasty, just playful. Jordan came in like a knight in shining armor (or the modern term, tipping his fedora) with his internet tough guy act.


      You know nothing about my family, or me. I don’t need their validation, or yours. You’re a jerk for going that route, and I have even nastier words for you if they were allowed here. You’re childish, flat out mean spirited, angry, ultra defensive. You glom onto terms designed to incite a response (like racist, homophobic, you’ll call anyone any name to “win”)

      What’s to win? Internet points? Here, have mine. Jerk.

  12. Here’s a thought. Maybe Mr. Honda has sleep apnea and he may not be aware. A simple test and a C-Pap machine will help him tremendously.

    • Most people his age and in his condition are on portable oxygen, be a good sport and retire Mike!

  13. I heard that Ro, wants Mike Honda impeached, so he can take the helm! If this is where all of this crap is going, let’s get it on. Who, of you publications is going to throw the first stone? Oh wait, you have already thrown your rocks!
    I watched the movie ” Leviathan”. It so reminded me of what all of you are creating within our community.
    Voiceofreason, summed up what is happening to our ugly little town of Silly Con Valley.
    The Fifties politics worked back then, in the East Side, for all the Blanca,Compos, Medinas, Zuesuetas, Garzas, Cotos, & Alvarado clan.
    Let’s get it on!
    You want a piece of me, I’ll be at my Anvil, forging a sword and shield of truth, for Americana!

    The Village Black Smith

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