Celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow Wednesday morning, signaling his prediction for an early spring. But weather conditions in the beloved rodent’s northwestern Pennsylvania home were so wintry that his Congressman couldn’t make it out for the annual celebration.
Rep. Glenn Thompson usually joins the thousands of revelers at Gobbler’s Knob for the annual Groundhog Day events, but this year, ice conditions on the roads made it impossible for him to travel there safely, the Pennsylvania Republican tells HOH.
But Thompson is excited about news of an early spring nonetheless. “I have to imagine, having been there a number of times, the news was well-received,” Thompson says.
Thompson now has another big event to look forward to — President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit his Congressional district Thursday (a trip originally scheduled for Wednesday, which was also foiled because of weather.).
While Thompson couldn’t watch Phil, another Congressman made it to see another groundhog make a prediction. Rep. Michael Grimm braved freezing rain to see New York’s Staten Island Chuck make his weather prognosis at the Staten Island Zoo on Wednesday morning.
The B-list groundhog also signaled an early spring.
“I was afraid he wasn’t going to come out of his house,” the Republican lawmaker jokes. “I was thinking he might be smarter than the rest of us and not come out in the freezing rain.”
It was Grimm’s first time attending the event, he tells HOH. Grimm notes that the groundhog didn’t bite Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as he has in the past.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.