As anyone who’s covered previous iterations of the Conservative Political Action Conference — the right-wing rally returning to town Feb. 25-28 — can attest, the best part of sitting through the cacophony of stump speeches is getting good and loaded afterwards.
A trio of media outlets is hoping to capitalize on that propensity to get plowed by convincing CPACers to weigh on the field of White House hopefuls via an unofficial “Cocktail Caucus.”
The straw swizzle stick poll — a collaboration between Independent Journal Review, the National Review and Facebook — is scheduled to take place at Harrington’s Pub & Kitchen (177 Fleet St., Oxon Hill, Md.) Friday from 6-9 p.m. Full story
Now that it’s got a fully functional mystery logo in hand, No Labels is prepared to get its branding on Feb. 24 via a collective toast to legislative cooperation.
The non-partisan advocacy group is scheduled to welcome pols back from recess by raising a glass to “the common bonds that unite us” (Capitol Hill receptions?) in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
No Labels leaders ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.; ex-Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn.; and ex-Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., are expected to oversee the gathering of sitting members, congressional staff and business leaders. Full story
According to staff, the impromptu trip to the Yards Park area came about after Murkowski struck up a conversation with Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s resident beer guru Greg Engert at last month’s “Brewing Up History” event. Full story
Lawmakers from across the Capitol poured into the Willard Hotel Tuesday to honor the unique flavor bourbon has contributed to Congress.
John Yarmuth, D-Ky., during the Bourbon Barrel of Compromise reception at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers Association joined forces to send a barrel of Kentucky Bourbon to Washington D. C. to be received by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)" width="445" height="302" /> House Speaker John A. Boehner shares a laugh with Rep. John Yarmuth. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
The feel-good presser was the brainchild of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association; the former provided historical context while the latter kept the predominantly Southern crowd in good spirits.
Mitch McConnell. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)" width="445" height="296" /> (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
It may not be happening in the Oval Office, but master distillers from Kentucky are making their way to Washington Tuesday to supply Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with a self-styled bourbon summit.
The participating purveryors, working in conjunction with the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship, loaded up the “Bourbon Barrel of Compromise” in Lexington, Ky., Monday and sent it on its way to D.C. for a planned reception/tasting event scheduled to take place at the historic Willard Hotel.
“It was a bourbon geek moment,” Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory said of the intoxicating feeling of watching the commemorative cask roll out on route to the nation’s capital. Full story
Sips & Suppers co-founders Nathan, Waters and Andres address the Newseum event. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
It turns out that huddling with food-conscious Washingtonians and raising millions of dollars for local charities was merely an appetizer for “Sips & Suppers” co-founders José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters.
Their next objective: getting the well-fed masses up from their respective tables and into the streets to clamor for change in school-lunch policies. Full story
Having already posed for the obligatory pictures, placed their hands on the good book and weathered a nail-biter of a leadership challenge (Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, voted for … himself! Newcomer Curt Clawson, R-Fla., endorsed … Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul), the members of the 114th Congress dove right into what #ThisTown does best: schmoozing.
Six-term Sen. Charles. E. Grassley wandered across the Capitol to greet incoming delegation member Rod Blum, but just missed his newly minted colleague.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
“I’m going to go find out where my boss is right now,” a Blum aide assured the senior Iowa Republican. Full story
The American Homebrewers Association is hoping to slide a little something under the White House Christmas tree this year: lifetime memberships for President Barack Obama and outgoing-toque Sam Kass.
AHA Director Gary Glass has extended the offer to keep the beer-making duo — Obama is credited with purchasing the first homebrew kit used at the White House; Kass and the rest of the White House cooking crew helped hone the resulting recipes — as part of the fold into perpetuity.
The House lawmakers have been named the 2014 Congressional Bipartisanship Honorees by Constellation Brands. According to an organizer for a Beer Institute-hosted event that will fete the duo, the two got the nod “for their willingness to engage constructively and respectfully with members of the opposing party.”
A commendable trait, to be sure — even if their respective voting records don’t seem to reflect said open-mindedness. Full story
Capitol Police Officer Terry Heffernan told HOH he caught the acting bug while in college.
If only the theater crowd could see him now.
While he spends most of his time keeping the congressional campus safe, Heffernan has also been actively pursuing any and every opportunity to perform since the 1990s. “Being a police officer is my favorite way to support myself being an actor,” he quipped.
That lifelong dream has led him to blending in with the thousands of freezing cold extras seen huddled around the National Mall in that iconic scene from “Forrest Gump.” It compelled him to take a shot in an almost Doritos ad. And it inspired him to create the demented instructional series, “Three Sheets Chef.”
“It came to me while I was ruthlessly hung over, sitting on my couch watching the Food Channel,” Heffernan said of the “a-ha!” moment that led to his satirical side-gig.
The extremely low-tech series debuted in late 2011. Since then, Heffernan and a rag tag crew — including a fellow Capitol Hill cop who handles editing duties — have cobbled together just over a dozen installments of horribly misguided culinary instruction.
“We haven’t really figured out what the purpose of the show is yet, but I’ll tell you this, we’re really hoping to get on HBO. And I have a feeling the best way to do that is for me to say ‘cocksucker’ about every three minutes,” Heffernan, channeling his perma-tipsy counterpart, explains in episode one.
Sure enough, the wheels come off each time. Full story
Congress had been gone for weeks before trickling back into town Wednesday for the latest lame-duck session. A few hundred congressional aides celebrated the triumphant return of the resurgent Republican Party by getting their fill (and then some) of food, drink and plush collectibles at the National Bison Day reception.
Attendees mingling in Dirksen during the National Bison Day reception. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
The annual soiree, which took place in Dirksen, attracted scores of staffers and interns but few lawmakers. Projected guest speaker Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., turned out to be a no-show, but event organizers noted that Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., managed to swing by for a bit.
By the time this roving reporter penetrated the herd, the promised bison sliders and gourmet meatballs had been devoured. The food basically gone (save for a lone bowl of broken, pathetic-looking potato chips), partygoers turned their attention to sucking dry every last bottle of Budweiser and Bud Light bartenders could fish from icy bins.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
“It’s way too wobbly. It would probably only take one person to knock it over,” a visibly buzzed guest estimated while eyeballing the evening’s oversized star attraction. Full story
The National Bison Day shindig (NBD was actually on Nov. 1, but this is close enough for government work, right?) is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Dirksen 106. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to RSVP via Eventbrite.
One of the sponsors told HOH this year’s festivities would include complimentary bison sliders (courtesy of Western Buffalo Company), bison meatballs (a new addition to the program), bison-shaped cookies and samples of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s barrel-aged wares (everything’s coming up Kentucky!)