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White-knuckle adventures for Mikulski, Cardin

Sen. Mikulski (D-Md.), who is still recovering from an accident in which her ankle was broken in multiple places, got to the Capitol at 7:30 a.m. Saturday after a treacherous two-hour drive down I-95 from Baltimore.

Using a walker to trudge through the snow-covered steps, she arrived just in time for a key vote on a massive Pentagon spending bill and confessed later that both her recovering ankle and her own driving habits made it impossible for her to drive herself, relying on an aide to get her here.

"I would have been a public health hazard. I am not a snow driver," she said.

Her fellow Baltimore-area senator, Benjamin Cardin (D), was lucky to have a chief of staff who lived nearby and had a farm truck.

Leaving Cardin's home at 5:30 am, the duo barreled around the Baltimore beltway and onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, encountering jack-knifed tractor trailers and other vehicles that were barely moving.

"Literally, the truck was moving at under five miles per hour," he said. "It really was, sort of, a white-knuckle drive."

Cardin's trip took about an hour and 40 minutes.

-- Paul Kane

By Michael Bolden  |  December 19, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
 
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Comments

What heros. And they're doing it all for us.

It's such a good thing we have people such as these two fine examples who sacrifice everything for us. We can rest secure in the knowledge that they know better than we how to live our lives.

Posted by: asdf2 | December 19, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Don't like 'em, don't vote for 'em.
The majority of Maryland voters voted for them and they are doing their jobs. I imagine the vituperation would only have been greater had they been voting for the health care reform rather than the Pentagon bill.

Posted by: drmary | December 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Republican senators who uniformly held up funding for our troops at war to play games with parliamentary procedure are proud that they deliberately put their older colleague Senator Mikulski, whom many have known and liked for years, through this mess, dealing with a snow emergency and blizzard warnings with an ankle broken in multiple places. You can always count on the GOP to be a class act. Jerks.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Utterly baffling that this vote had to be held today, when everyone knew this storm was coming. Utterly baffling that Mikulski and Cardin didn't stay close by, when everyone knew this storm was coming. All day long, government has been telling us to stay off the road to avoid interfering with emergency crews; shame on Congress for disregarding basic safety.

Posted by: tomtildrum | December 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If coming in to work when it's snowing is such a challenge, then I suggest they seek other employment. WalMart has openings suitable for them I'm sure.

Posted by: ralph6941 | December 19, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh look, details on how scum travels through snow!

Posted by: ftbindc | December 19, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

What kind of a stupid moron would blame the "GOP"..who have control over nothing, for causing the little butch from Baltimore to have to haul her ugly, nasty, vile, digusting self out into the snow for one more power grab?...Fairfaxvoter!

Posted by: ftbindc | December 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Maryland has as it senators two Jews. Jews make up 2% of the population. Just how do they get themselves in positions of power controlling the rest of us 98%?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | December 19, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

White knuckle ride for our 2 senators? What about the hundreds of support and foodservice staff that were required by the Senate Rules Committee to be at work by 6:00am this morning?
I understand the senate is trying to get healthcare reform passed, but to require full staffing during the worst blizzard in years is irresponsible. Now with Metro shut down, most of these workers will have no way to get home. Postponing the dabate one day would have made more sense than endangering people's lives.

Posted by: pascharf | December 19, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

It is good that the senators keep abreast of the condition of the infrastructure. By the way, the trip from Baltimore could have been quite simple -- and she could have done without a personal chauffeur -- if Maryland ran MARC on Saturdays.

Posted by: amturnip | December 19, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the GOP was doing its job, thank God, and doing its best to keep this disastrous legislation from passing.

I don't suppose, in this time of the Dems worrying about global warming and carbon emissions, that the two from Balmer would have considered carpooling? Real smart Babs, real smart!

Tractor trailers? On the B-W parkway? What's up with that since they are banned from the parkway?

And, let's not fall into that "majority voted nonsense. It's rare that anyone is elected on a real majority -- plurality is more like it and even that's REALLY suspect in the age of ACORN and their likes.

They should, all of them, cooks and all -- have camped out in their billion-dollar bunker AKA "visitors' center."

Posted by: PostReader007 | December 19, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Haha, CharlieTuna, you're an idiot. What a tool.

Posted by: horace1 | December 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I hope they at least paid their staffers double time for risking their lives when everyone else was told to stay home. BTW This was not a surprise storm, I bet Mikulski and Cardin can afford to stay over in htels or put up temp beds in their offices.

Posted by: VikingRider | December 19, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The senators from Maryland could have easily stayed in hotels in DC rather than be idiots and drive in a blizzard.

And shame on Reid for forcing Congressional staff to come to work today. Many of them will be stranded because Metrobus and above-ground Metrorail have stopped. I guess grandstanding is more important to Reid than the safety of staff. Is he going to pay for them to spend the night in hotels if they can't get home today?

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 19, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

charlietuna666, it's called an election, you dumb, fat, c0cksucking fagg0t

Posted by: bendan2000 | December 19, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Charle Tuna, Mikulski is a Catholic. And what difference does their religion make, any way? Are you a bigot?

Posted by: bigfish2 | December 19, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Charle Tuna, Mikulski is a Catholic. And what difference does their religion make, any way? Are you a bigot?

-----------------------

The answer to this is yes. The GOP want the war but dont want to spend money for the men and woman who fight it. Old men who send young folks off to war then say you are on your own. They need new equipment...dessert is hard on the hard ware they use. They need medical help and equipment. GOP are so maddening. They do not think of people...it does cost money for war and the people who fight in our wars deserve the best we can offer them even at sacrifice to ourselves. God bless them and the thought filled Senators who voted for them.

Posted by: patisok | December 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Great to see our Maryland senators braving the horrible weather to represent us. To all the ignorant rethuglican hicks (95% of who prob don't even live in MD), keep up the btchng. I'm sure if Obama gave every Republican $100,000 for Christmas they still would complain.

And to all the morons saying that Congress should have closed today, it's just snow, not a hurricane. If you know how and where to drive you can easily make it safely to your destination. I'm sure ten times as many people would be complaining if they DID close Congress.

"It is good that the senators keep abreast of the condition of the infrastructure. By the way, the trip from Baltimore could have been quite simple -- and she could have done without a personal chauffeur -- if Maryland ran MARC on Saturdays."

Wrong. Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains run the same (Penn) line as MARC on weekends and they have 30-45 min backups currently.

Posted by: one4all | December 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Maryland has as it senators two Jews. Jews make up 2% of the population. Just how do they get themselves in positions of power controlling the rest of us 98%?

Posted by: charlietuna666

There's Limbaugh talking again. You low-IQ trailer park types should stop sucking his d**k. Oh, and for the record, Mikulski is Catholic idiot.

Posted by: one4all | December 19, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey, charlietuna66. You are very, very ignorant and obviously a real hate monger. You don't even know that Senator Barbara Mikluski is a staunch Roman Catholic. No mind. It doesn't matter what religion she is. You are just posting hateful lies that no intelligent person would believe for a minute. Individuals of the Jewish faith don't control the U.S. Congress. How absurd! Get your facts straight. You need care for paranoia among other things. Do all decent people a favor and resign from you skinhead, neo-Nazi group(s)and get some psychiatric help!

Posted by: againstallhatemongers | December 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this topic went from bad to worse in a hurry. There is so much idiocy written that I don't even know where to begin.

@amturnip: Amtrak would've most likely told MARC to take their Saturday service and shove it. Although...perhaps the additional trains between DC and Baltimore could've helped keep those tracks open and lessen delays...

Posted by: pikamander007 | December 19, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

So, what's it going to take for Congress to allow on-line voting and virtual debate?

Reading about this kind of story in the 21st century is just silly.

Posted by: web_user | December 19, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Why don't we have a U.S. Senator from Maryland who lives in the Montgomery-P.G area? 2 Senators from Baltimore is one too many.

Posted by: robinficker | December 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"@web_user: So, what's it going to take for Congress to allow on-line voting and virtual debate?"

I think the above discussion pretty much demonstrates the useless of virtual debate with the public. Until we take our jobs as voters seriously and *think* about *all* sides of issues, instead of lining up on either side of the school gym and throwing balls at each other, the people we elect to represent us can be forgiven for thinking they might have a bit more sense they we do.

Posted by: jeffq | December 19, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse


Maryland has as it senators two Jews. Jews make up 2% of the population. Just how do they get themselves in positions of power controlling the rest of us 98%?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | December 19, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Duh. It's because we are smarter and better than neanderthals like you. Your white hood might be obscuring your ability to see that.

Posted by: ElSith | December 19, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Barbara,

I've watched you for years. If the rest of the Senate had half the brains and ten percent of the guts, wit, and just plain common sense that you do, this nation would have already had a national heath care plan which covers all of us.

My sister also had two years of recovery for multiple injuries to her ankle, so I know about the pain you have experienced.

This old fellow sends you his very best...

Posted by: expat2MEX | December 19, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I think it did not register with many people that the critical reason for the Senate session today was to ensure that there was the legal authority to PAY OUR TROOPS. Despite all their rhetoric about "patriotism" and "support our troops" and wrapping themselves in the Flag, Mitch McConnell and the other Senate Republicans decided to hold our troops, and even the defense contractors whom they REALLY care about, hostage.

Mitch McConnell's own military career, by the way, appears to consist of spending his last semester in law school as a reservist in a training unit, followed by nearly two whole months on active duty as a Congressional intern. This was in 1967. There were a lot of Kentuckians in 1967 who didn't get to serve less than two whole months on active duty at home.

Posted by: edallan | December 19, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm always amazed when a pretty much neutral article like this ends up serving as an excuse for every low-IQ malcontent to vent about whatever. This time we get the usual obvious and juvenile "digs" at all those bad "politicians" along with a dose (that's the word) of racism, sexism, teabag-ism, etc. What makes me laugh is that none of these small-minded cowards would ever dare to say these things outloud in public. Nope, they do it here and hide behind screen names. All I can say is thank GOD that they are not the ones in power...and they won't ever be, except in their frantic on-line fantasy world.

Posted by: taylorb1 | December 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Mikulski and Cardin were not previously known to be among the most ignorant sorts as Democrats go, until these confessions.

These people shouldn't be allowed to have driver's licenses, or even to walk on sidewalks.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 19, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, regarding Mikulski, she lives in a Ukrainian district in Baltimore ~ but I think she's actually Polish. Wouldn't matter though. Her people were probably burning Cardin's people at the stake less than 200 years ago.

Like to see Babs apologize someday though.

I'll apoligize for her. Hey, Cardin, I'm sorry Mikulski's people were burning your family at the stake and hauling you'all behind farmwagons on chains and all that sort of stuff. No doubt she'd apologize if she wasn't too busy trying to drive in a blizzard wearing a cast.

Gad.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 19, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

I want to thank both my Senators for braving the elements to represent me. Best wishes to you both.

Posted by: karlanne1 | December 19, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

these 2 are paert of the problem. Losers.

Posted by: DaMan2 | December 19, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The reason that they have to hold a vote today is that they are all preparing for the long recess. And of course they can't get anything done anyway given their mutual virulent partisanship. Wait until the conf comm starts on the health care bill!

Posted by: Observer21 | December 20, 2009 2:25 AM | Report abuse

I've known Barb Mikulski and her family since childhood and can say, they were all the very finest of citizens. Barb has always stuck close home and worked damned hard for all Americans. She will be remembered for being one of our very best Senators, while all of the racist Republikkklansmn commenting about "Jews" and such on this board, will always represent the very worse living in our country. They are so small, so immature, so jealous and so uneducated, that they cannot concede one drop of kindness about anyone but the trash in Congress that represent them, namely the entire worthless Republikkklan Congress. Barb Mikulski is a winner and always has been. When we were young, Barb newly out of college and working as a social worker, was giving so much of her paycheck to the poor people she had as clients, that her parents had to rein her in. I have never heard of her participating in any kind of scandal, and those filthy-mongers calling her "butch" are just barefaced liars and garbage themselves. This is what Republikkklanism is today in America. They know what evil and demented whiners they are and they are furious that morally they dwell at the bottom, so they call good and decent people socialist, communists, etc. Not a damned one of them are good enough to carry Barbara's shoes. She outclasses them all and always has and she is among the least wealthy of all Congress members.

Posted by: papafritz571 | December 20, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

It would have been better for the Republic if these two knee jerk liberal clowns would have stayed home and saved us some money by not pandering.

Posted by: Calabrese99 | December 20, 2009 4:45 AM | Report abuse

My goodness - what's with all the religious bashing of these two? If you want to complain about something, a better point would be why on EARTH can't this wait until after Christmas? As someone pointed out, the security and food service people who, unlike Senators, don't make almost $200K a year and probably can't afford chauffeurs, had to drive into the Capitol during some of the worst road conditions in 15 years.

Posted by: UncleHenry2009 | December 20, 2009 6:06 AM | Report abuse

muawiyah wrote:
Hey, regarding Mikulski, she lives in a Ukrainian district in Baltimore ~ but I think she's actually Polish. Wouldn't matter though. Her people were probably burning Cardin's people at the stake less than 200 years ago.

Like to see Babs apologize someday though.
_________________

Really classy stereotyping of the Polish there, muawiyah. So we're all responsible for everything our great-great-great-grandparents MIGHT have done? If that's the case, I'm pretty sure 99% of humanity has something to apologize for, including you and me.

This article's about A SNOWSTORM, moron. If you have nothing relevant to say, how 'bout you shut your trap or go rant on some other message board?

Posted by: UncleHenry2009 | December 20, 2009 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, that is wonderful that you made it so that you could vote to kill babies and continue the bankrupting of our country. Dzienkuje, T

Posted by: Mindboggle | December 20, 2009 6:21 AM | Report abuse

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