Eric Mar stood speechless and wide-eyed. John Avalos laughed nervously. George Gascon loosened his collar. And all the while, the crowd went wild.
We've never been shy about our feelings towards Chinatown power broker and political titan Rose Pak. But her performance as MC at Saturday's Chinese New Year Parade was perhaps the most entertaining moment in recent San Francisco history.
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Pak, a consultant to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and a parade organizer, gave San Francisco a piece of her mind over the microphone during a hilarious -- and unbelievably bold -- roast of local politicians. Pak has long been known for her outspoken ways. But Saturday's performance may have taken the cake.
As each local politician slowly passed the stage in the motorcade, Pak used the opportunity to roast each of them mercilessly, much to the delight of the audience.
"Hey David I haven't made up my mind whether I'm going to run in District Three yet so don’t be too relaxed," she said to District Three Supervisor David Chiu. "Your landlord is going to rent me the apartment on top of yours. I'm moving to District Three, so it all depends on how you behave these next few months."
After a snap of firecrackers in the crowd, she said, "Let's light firecrackers under the D.A.'s crotch," referring to District Attorney George Gascon. Gascon has been investigating alleged shady dealings in the Pak-controlled Run, Ed, Run campaign for Mayor Ed Lee. "And then we also have the Sherriff coming, so I'd really like to light some firecrackers under them."
As the San Francisco Police Department walked by she waved to officers, saying, "I hope to see some more Asian faces next year."
Pak kept an unfortunate Supervisor Eric Mar wide-eyed as she explained why she liked him so much. "Eric Mar is very upfront and honest," she said. "But sometimes he's too kind so he's for everything and everybody, even to the detriment of his own career. So that's Eric Mar in a nutshell." Mar smiled and waved nervously.
She grinned warmly when David Campos drove by the stage. "I love Supervisor Campos! He's my all-time favorite supervisor. He never gossips or plots for your demise, so I like him," she said. "I don't know how many votes that will cost him -- that's the problem. Now Aaron Peskin will go after him."
But the coup de grace was undoubtedly her comments for Gascon as he passed. "Oh do I have a mouthful for you," she said to Gascon. "I just read in the blogs that you're still investigating me. What the hell did I do?! I elected the first Chinese American mayor! You'll find nothing except that I swear a lot." The crowd erupted into laughter. "You can come up and explain that later."
Watch the YouTube video of Pak's performance for yourself below: