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Posts by Abby Livingston
July 31, 2014
We wish we could blame it on the heat, but it was only 79 degrees in Washington on Wednesday.
Republican Reps. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, a pair often seen hanging out together on the House floor, exchanged fierce words Wednesday over appropriate footwear for Seersucker Day.
It all started on Tuesday, when Capito threw a jab at Ros-Lehtinen.
Both women were surveyed for advice to women ahead of the return of Seersucker Thursday in the Senate. Ros-Lehtinen, approached first, grumbled about her lack of buck shoes because of their price.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no,” she said. “They need to come down for Mama.”
When Capito was asked about footwear, she pointed to Ros-Lehtinen as the example of what not to do.
“Don’t do what Ileana Ros-Lehtinen does and wear matching seersucker shoes,” she said. “That is a no-no.”
Thirty-nine minutes after the story posted on Wednesday, the Ros-Lehtinen camp emailed this photo and message: “She says she went full Seersucker just to upset Shelley Moore Capito.”
Ros-Lehtinen stopped on her way into Wednesday evening votes to show off her shoes and gripe about Capito.
Capito’s office responded to the photo with a statement not backing off one bit.
“Not a good look,” Capito said.
Bless their hearts.
Think you nailed the seersucker look? See a member preening around Russell in the threads? A staff colleague? Snap a pic on Thursday, send it here with “seersucker” in the subject line, and we’ll determine “Who Wore It Best.” Can the Senate side can keep up with the House? Only time will tell …
July 30, 2014
After two years, Seersucker Thursday finally returns to the Senate. Back in June, when the House side hosted its own seersucker celebration, HOH ran an item Seersucker Day: Trent Lott’s Fashion Do’s and Don’ts.
Upon reflection, we realized that most of his advice was applicable predominantly to males. We reached out to Lott for female etiquette. But he shied away, referring us to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., one of the players integral to bringing back the tradition. Feinstein declined to give advice, but did issue a statement.
“Seersucker Thursday is a light-hearted tradition that fosters camaraderie, nothing more and nothing less,” Feinstein said. “It’s a brief, bipartisan reprieve from our normal routine.”
So we took the party over to the House side, and conducted a survey of Southern and Southern-ish female representatives of how to best wear seersucker.
- Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (Though there’s much debate, we’re counting West Virginia as Southern for this project.)
- Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla.
- Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. (Born and raised in North Carolina.)
- Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.
- Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala.
July 29, 2014
Ex-Sen. Trent Lott’s dog days are over.
The man who created Seersucker Day back in the late 1990s has been on a bit of a tear ever since the Senate ditched the tradition two years ago.
But thanks to his pal Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and his successor, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Seersucker Day is back on Thursday. And it comes just in the nick of time, in the final week of the summer session. ”Seersucker is great!” Lott said in a Monday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “When it gets above 80 degrees, you need to be thinking seersucker.” Full story
June 25, 2014
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., dazzled the cast of the Broadway play “All The Way” this past Sunday, according to New York Congressman/Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman/novelist Steve Israel.
“All The Way” is a play about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s muscling through Civil Rights legislation amid the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It’s a subject that Lewis knows well. At the time, Lewis was one of the founding activists of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Full story
June 18, 2014
It’s that time of year again.
It is all because the Congressional Women’s Softball Game is Wednesday night.
The annual event pits female members of Congress against the women of the Washington press corps, and it benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity that aids women under 40 who are fighting breast cancer.
“The members looked ready to go,” Bad News Babe/CNN political writer Leigh Ann Caldwell said of a recent reconnaissance mission of Team Congress’ practice. “Their batting was fierce, and their pitching was the strongest I’ve seen it.”
“It’s a good thing the press team has improved as well, or I would be scared,” Caldwell added. “We are going to have to play at our highest level this year to ensure we continue our winning streak.”
Get your tickets here. (And don’t forget to fill out your Fantasy Softball brackets!)
June 17, 2014
Congressional Women’s Softball Batting Practices Get Wild at New York Times, Huffington Post (Updated) (Video)
They ain’t messing around at The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
Both news organizations were the sites of indoor batting practice sessions on Tuesday, in preparation for Wednesday evening’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. The annual match between female members of Congress and the women of the Washington press corps. The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity. Tickets can be purchased here.
Over at the Times, bureau chief Carolyn Ryan is taking her game debut so seriously that she and day editor Jill Agostino regularly hold pepper drills in Ryan’s office.
“I think it speaks volumes about our confidence going into the game that Carolyn wanted to play pepper in her glass-enclosed office,” New York Times junior reporter Emmarie Huetteman observed.
Ryan, Agostino and Huetteman joined the softball team thanks to the scouting efforts of press coach and New York Times chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse.
As if she needed any more initiation, Ryan found herself sucked into a Twitter fight with the game’s founder, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., over the last 24 hours.
Step One: Ready the Batting Stance
June 12, 2014
Thanks to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss, June 11, 2014 will go down as one of the most chaotic days in the modern history of the United States Capitol.
But it will also go on the books as the moment Seersucker Day returned to Capitol Hill.
The hallway leading to the GOP conference meeting where Cantor announced his resignation from leadership served as almost a Seersucker fashion runway as the ranks of the GOP members strutted, (or more often, trudged) their way to the meeting past reporters and cameras.
June 10, 2014
Seersucker Day on Capitol Hill is less than 24 hours away, and the concept can be a bit tricky for those not from the Deep South.
So, as a service to our readers, we called on the originator of the Capitol Hill tradition, ex-Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, for his advice on how to make the most of Seersucker Day.
“It was one of those rare occasions when something was bipartisan and for both genders,” the former Republican leader said. He added that it was a fun-spirited day where members could “get a picture and laugh together a little bit.”
Trent Lott’s Seersucker Do’s Full story
June 9, 2014
Somewhere in downtown Washington, ex-Sen. Trent Lott is probably a happy man. His legacy lives on, at least in the House.
This is because a bygone tradition, Seersucker Day, returns to the Capitol this week, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
“Congressman Bill Cassidy is proud to announce that Wednesday, June 11, National Seersucker Day will formally be reinstated,” a Cassidy release stated. “Dr. Cassidy is inviting all Members of Congress to gather after votes for a picture in their seersucker apparel.”
“A bipartisan Capitol Hill tradition, House of Representatives Members typically wear Seersucker on Wednesdays and Senators wear it on Thursdays,” the release went on.
Cassidy spokeswoman Jillian Rogers went so far as to rally her fellow House press secretaries behind the comeback. Full story
The hat rack of Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., is quite full these days.
Obviously, he represents the constituents of New York’s 3rd District. And then there is his side gig running the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But lately, he’s wearing another hat: novelist.
“I’m publishing my first novel in January,” he said in a recent interview.
“I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I knew I couldn’t play centerfield for the Mets, which was my childhood dream, and since I couldn’t get a book published, I became a member of Congress.” Full story
May 5, 2014
About a week ago, the Hungry Lobbyist Twitter account posed a truly baffling question:
— HungryLobbyist.com (@HungryLobbyist) April 24, 2014
Now we know.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was shooting a 22-second cameo for a video that aired at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on May 3. The video went completely viral and is now closing in on 1 million views since it was posted online late that night.
May 4, 2014
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did not attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, but he was the star anyway.
Mid-way through the dinner, President Barack Obama presented a seven-minute long video of Biden taking “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus on an adventure around the White House and Washington, D.C.
Biden played a Steve McQueen-esque version of himself, sporting a bomber jacket and driving a Corvette around the grounds of the Naval Observatory while wearing aviators … at night.
Word spread fast online over the video. While dinner attendees rushed off to after-parties, and eventually bed, there were nearly 35,000 views of the video on YouTube as of 9:20 a.m.
May 3, 2014
I learned Friday evening that one of the perils of making fun of people in public is that sometimes you encounter those individuals in real life. And sometimes they confess their epic photobomb was an “accident.”
A month or so ago, I saw a hilariously awkward photo of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in my Facebook feed. I had a bit of fun with it in this column space.
Pelosi gamely responded on Twitter within an hour: “Oops.” It impressed me that whomever handles her account played along with the nonsense, and that I did not catch any hell from her office.
But I wasn’t prepared for actually meeting Pelosi not long after the post. But there she was at the Google/Netflix party, having a good time with a remarkably small entourage.
April 29, 2014
Back in 2012, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords addressed an EMILY’s List dinner in a pre-recorded video.
On Tuesday evening, the Arizona Democrat delivered her remarks in person.
“It’s been a long, hard haul, but I am getting better,” Giffords said to an adoring, riotous crowd. “I am still fighting to make the world a better place.” Full story
April 22, 2014
Businessman Curt Clawson capped off his victory in the Florida special election Republican primary with a challenge to President Barack Obama to “man up” and join him for a game of hoops.
“To President Obama: We aren’t going to agree on much. I am going to challenge you on Obamacare,” Clawson said, according to his prepared remarks released to the press after his primary victory. “I am going to challenge you on spending. I am going to challenge you on economic growth.”
“But first, I am going to challenge you on the basketball court,” he added. “It’s time to man up and accept the three-point challenge. My house or yours?”
The former Purdue Boilermaker basketball star won the decisive GOP primary Tuesday evening and is a safe bet to win the June 24 general election for Florida’s 19th District to replace ex-GOP Rep. Trey Radel.