Good afternoon. Your regularly scheduled One-Minute Recess is being replaced to allow for the 50th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game's pool report.
Your pooler will just let you know right off the bat (as it were) that Democratic lawmakers play a mean game of baseball (or at least they did this year), but the Republican fans were far stronger chanters of "USA, USA, USA," so your pool extends a hearty congratulations to both sides.
Your pool is compelled to point out, however, that chanting doesn't equal winning. The Dems won — but good — boasting a 8-2 victory over their Republican rivals.
The game started just after 7 p.m., after a moment of silence and stirring version of our national anthem. Your pooler was largely unaware of the game or even that a game was actually being played until after she was served a beer, but then with her $8.50 beer in hand, she couldn't help but notice that Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) was a better baseball player than anyone except for real baseball players. Go Maroon Tigers!
Your pool also reports that it was a perfect night for a ball game. A warm, light breeze blew through the stadium, smacking down the grumbling over humidity and heat heard throughout the city earlier this week. As the moon rose to its shiny fullest, the crack of the bat hitting the ball and the cheers of the crowd made it feel like the quintessential summer evening.
Your pool spotted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), dressed in a black polo shirt and President Barack Obama's dad jeans, in line for snacks. McCarthy bought a big soda and foodstuffs, which we later spotted him sharing with others while he watched the game.
Your pool saw Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), looking rather sun-kissed, though a bit tense, in pleated khakis and a salmon-colored polo shirt. (Someone get that man a glass of wine and some "me time" after the debt negotiations are over, please. He seems beat.)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in a cream pantsuit and signature chunky necklace, sat behind home plate with Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), who accessorized with a large "Go Dems" sign. The highlight of the night for your pooler was witnessing the Pelosi Shimmy and the Velázquez Shuffle, which is how the two communicated their approval nearly every time the Democrats scored. Forget the Dougie, we want to learn the Nancy.
A few rows behind Shimmy and Shuffles, your pool spotted newlyweds Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and her husband, financier Donald Sussman, holding hands (aww). Sitting next to the happy couple was Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.).
Over in the decidedly emptier Republican VIP cheering section sat a very relaxed looking Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), laughing and chatting with friends. Toward the end of the game, Jim Billimoria, communications director for the House Ways and Means Committee, joined the Congressman. Billimoria was sporting a Chicago Bears cap. Your pool would like to point out that the Bears are not a baseball team.
The only Senator to play the game was Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — he struck out, but he looked like he was having a blast as he leapt over the railings to chat with people and take pictures with fans.
Paul's father, presidential candidate and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was also at the game, and your pool spotted him holding his wife's hand as they left the game.
Also at the game, was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), with a huge entourage and a very serious look on his face. Hard week, Congressman?
Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) was seen limping through the stadium sans shoes, probably feeling the effects of a couple of hard plays.
Another funny moment was when a program passer-outter offered a program to a staffer for Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.). Take a program, support your boss, he said. The staffer declined because she said her boss wasn't playing.
But Roby did play. She was the only woman to play on the Republican side actually.
Your pooler also spotted former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) in an old uniform, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) in a No. 14 jersey cheering on husband Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and former Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.).
The parents of Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) were seen in matching Shimkus T-shirts and cheering on their son. The two flew out for especially for the game, though your pool didn't catch from whence they came.