The Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2004
Pass Me One of Those Bipartisan Burgers, Pal
By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin
families together once in a while for a
barbecue or a potluck supper...could help
senators find common ground, I think, and
may strengthen the bonds of friendship
and trust between our two parties."
—Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), June 25, 2004
MEMO TO: All Senators
FROM: Events Planning Committee
RE: First "Beltway Blast" Picnic
Hey, gang, who says we can't work together? After only four weeks of debate,
here's the lineup for Saturday's big blowout at Rock Creek Park. See you there!
Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). Learn the difference between a "smear" and a "schmear."
Get tips on how to thank Jewish contributors ("Such a mitzvah that you're
supporting me!" "Your donation gives me much nachas," etc.) Also, the "Senate's
Fein-est"—a.k.a. the hilarious Feinstein & Feingold—will perform their classic
Congressional comedy routine, "Who's on Frist?"
11 a.m. to Noon: Morning activities:
Spin the Moderate: Players attempt to sway champion fence-sitters Lincoln Chafee
(R-R.I.) and Olympia Snowe (R- Maine), then kiss up to them for their support on
pet projects. (As discussed, John McCain will not participate, pending a "thorough
review of the rules.")
Biden Says: In a fast-paced test of legislative loyalty, Joe Biden (D-Del.) will
challenge Senate colleagues to actually listen to what he has to say.
Soak the Independent: Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) has graciously agreed to sit in a dunking
booth, permitting grudge-holding GOPers to enjoy a little payback. Thanks Jim—
and happy landings!
Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunchtime fun, featuring the Tip O'Neill Memorial Hot Dog Eating
Contest! Will it be Teddy "The Hoover" Kennedy (D- Mass.) or John "Keep 'Em
Comin' " Sununu (R-N.H.)? Will Barbara "Hold the Relish" Mikulski (D-Md.) score an
upset? (Senate alum Bob Packwood will be on hand for mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation, if needed.)
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Move over, Betsy Ross. At the Arts & Crafts table, Debbie
Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) will fashion American flag
lapel pins out of lanyards. Also, Liddy Dole (R-N.C.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
will try to assemble facsimiles of their respective parties' platforms—using nothing
but Popsicle sticks! Good luck, ladies!
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Contests will include Arm-Twisting, Mudslinging (with real mud!)
and Invective Spitting (winner receives the coveted Santorum Trophy). Also: The
Potato Sack Race (hop in the sack with a colleague -- with no voter backlash!); the
100-yard Daschle (who can get away from Tom fast enough when he starts that
"blessings of bipartisanship" thing again?); and the Archer Daniels Midland Pork
Barrel Race. (Can anyone beat Robert Byrd? Don't bet on it.)
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Enjoy a nature hike with Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) or
shoot something with Zell Miller (D-Ga.). Attend a lecture by Bob Graham (D-Fla.)
and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) titled, "From Billy to Heather: Great American
Grahams." Or, it's Elephants vs. Donkeys in a lightning round of Beltway Jeopardy.
(Sample: "He's got the funniest name in the Senate." "Who is Mike Crapo?")
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Potluck supper. So far, we've got John Breaux (D-La.) making his
famous K Street Krawfish and Chuck Hagel (R- Neb.) bringing Omaha steaks.
Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) promises either pie or poi (can you clarify, Danny?), and
Mike DeWine (R- Ohio) is bringing—what else?—de wine!
8 p.m. to 10 p.m: Moonlight sing-along with Orrin Hatch (R- Utah). Lakeside skinny
dip (We'll find out once and for all: Does Barbara B. wear boxers?).
And finally, scary stories from both sides of the campfire. From the left: "The Ghost
of Strom Thurmond." From the right: "Hillary in '08."