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Klobuchar Slays 'Em at Press Club Foundation Dinner

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The inaugural honeymoon is over and Congress is back to what it does best: Laughing at itself. Who knew a nice girl from Minnesota could be so deliciously snarky?

Amy Klobuchar -- as she pointed out, currently the "only" senator from the Land of 10,000 Lakes -- brought down the house at last night's Washington Press Club Foundation's Congressional Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton. The annual event kicked off a series of roasts where pols and the press make fun of each other, but the baby-faced former prosecutor surpassed all expectations with bi-partisan swipes at . . . well, just about everyone, especially fellow Democrats:

  • Her goal for the speech? "To keep this as short as Bill Richardson's tenure as Commerce Secretary."
  • On her Senate race: "I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends. Speaker Pelosi, I may have the record in the Senate, but I know in the House that record is held by Barney Frank."
  • On coming from the Midwest and being appointed to the Oceans subcommittee: "That's like being from Illinois, Rahm Emanuel, and being placed on Ethics."
  • "John Edwards is still talking about 'two Americas' -- which turns out to be the greatest pickup line in history."
  • On all those people unable to get to the inaugural swearing-in: "So much for Democrats being against torture."

(Note to Al Franken: You might not end up being the funniest senator from Minnesota.)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi poses with Miss America Katie Stam at the Washington Press Club Foundation Congressional Dinner Wednesday. (Janet Donovan)Enlarge This Image

Everyone else? No so funny. California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a last-minute sub for House Republican whip Eric Cantor, had the bad luck to follow Klobuchar, and landed bomb after bomb. His best line: "It took a while to accept [President Obama] as the Messiah. In fact, I wasn't convinced until Obama named Joe Biden to be his running mate. You see, as Scripture says, the Messiah is supposed to ride into town with an ass underneath him."

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi's only good bit was the allegedly super-secret e-mail addresses of President Obama and chief of staff Emanuel: "I'" and ""

So, what does a fresh-faced outsider think of all this nonsense? We asked 22-year-old Katie Stam, the newly-crowned Miss America, who was making her first trip to Washington. Attending the dinner as a guest of Congressional Quarterly, Stam was perfectly politically correct: "I loved it. It's so great to see people let their hair down."

By The Reliable Source  |  February 5, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
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