The Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2004

    Pass Me One of Those Bipartisan Burgers, Pal

    By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin

    "Something as simple as just getting our
    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!

    9 to 11 a.m.: Bipartisan Bagel Breakfast hosted by Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and
    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 & Feingoldwill 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' platformsusing 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 bringingwhat 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."