In a private White House meeting today with governors of both parties, President Bush's education secretary Rod Paige left no insult behind for the National Education Association, calling the nation's largest teacher's union a "terrorist organization".
"These were the words, 'The NEA is a terrorist organization,'" said Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin.
The AP account says: "Several Democratic governors called the remarks inappropriate." Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania helpfully explained that Paige was making a joke, but "probably not a very good one." The Education Department and the NEA both say they'll issue statements on Paige's comment.
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.