July 23, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: Bare-Knuckle Greeting

Fist-bump fever is catching on.

Michelle Obama started it all, giving her husband, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a conspiratorial knock of the fists when he gave a major speech acknowledging his status as the presumptive presidential nominee earlier this month.

Since then, the gesture has taken on pop-culture significance, with the hosts of “The View” engaging in on-air fist-bumping with their guest host, Michelle Obama.

And Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) got in on the new (at least to political types) craze Thursday night as she approached Obama on the Senate floor. When the would-be president turned around to greet her, he was met not with a traditional handshake or even a hug, but with a fist extended. The two Democrats proceeded to bump fists in salutation.

We’ll know the trend has really gone mainstream, though, when politicians start fist-bumping babies instead of kissing them.

Webb Gets VP Nod. Does Sen. Claire McCaskill know something we don’t? The Missouri Democrat and confidante to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) was overheard teasingly referring to Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) as “Mr. Vice President” on the Senate floor Thursday night.

Webb, McCaskill and a clutch of other freshmen were hanging out together on the chamber floor when Webb stood up from his seat to make his way to the podium to deliver a speech on the war spending bill. “Oh, Mr. Vice President,” McCaskill called after him. “Mr. Vice President!”

Webb, of course, is high up on the list of names that have been bandied about as possible veep picks for Obama’s ticket. McCaskill’s name, too, has been mentioned, so the teasing could be an inside joke among Senators who’ve been fielding will-you-or-won’t-you questions about their aspirations to be Obama’s No. 2.

Blocked Arteries. Usually, the word “obstructionist” comes up in political conversations. But on Friday, already-hassled Washington, D.C., commuters could level that charge at Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), on the topic of traffic.

Hodes’ black Toyota SUV was parked on the side of the inbound side of Massachusetts Avenue Northwest near Ward Circle while rush hour was in full swing, nevermind the fact that the right lane doesn’t turn into a parking lane until 9:30 a.m. The parked vehicle slowed traffic as motorists had to pull around the hulking truck. But at least they knew where to complain: The truck bore Congressional plates reading, “N.H.2nd,” which is Hodes’ district.

A Hodes spokesman fingered a “junior staffer” for the parking snafu, saying the new-to-Washington aide used the car to drop the Congressman at the airport the night before, then parked it and left it overnight, not realizing that the avenue was a no-parking zone during rush hour.

But unlike most illegally parked cars (at least those without Congressional plates), Hodes’ didn’t have a ticket on it.

We’re shocked, shocked.

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