overheards

The Senate's Bipartisan Duo

"The only question is whether the country is ready for an all-Catholic ticket." -Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joked with reporters in a press scrum on Tuesday that she and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., have decided to run for president and vice president, respectively, since they were rated the most bipartisan senators in the Lugar Center's Bipartisan Index released on Monday .  

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Rubio: Maybe the Senate 'Should Pray Every Hour'

Rubio highlighted the Senate's daily prayers. (Meredith Dake-O'Connor/CQ Roll Call)

Maybe Sen. Marco Rubio thinks the Senate could use more of Barry Black's baritone.  

The Florida Republican, speaking on the presidential campaign trail at a forum at Bob Jones University in South Carolina, quipped that perhaps the prayers from the retired Navy rear admiral who is the longtime Senate chaplain should be hourly.  

Overheard: Joe Manchin Explains How the Senate Works

"It's the majority that sets the agenda, but the minority who drives the agenda."  

— Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., offering his take on how the Senate works at the Atlantic After Hours event on Feb. 4 at Peet's Coffee & Tea next to the White House .

Overheard: His Best?

Was this Obama's best State of the Union? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HOH received a bipartisan ‘yes’ and positive thoughts from lawmakers when asked if Tuesday night was President Barack Obama’s best State of the Union.  

“I thought it was the best of the eight that he’s given. The basic appeal to American values was good, the reaching out to [Speaker Paul D. Ryan] on the poverty issue was good, the acknowledgment that we got a lot done together last year … those were good things. I was pleased that he mentioned cancer … disappointed that he didn’t acknowledge that Republicans have doubled the increase what he asked for [in the omnibus]. He’s kind of catching up with us there.” –Rep Tom Cole, R-Okla. “Today was his best State of the Union, it was less political. It was an emotional moment when he declared a war on cancer; there is no member who hasn’t been affected by cancer.” –Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. “Today was very good, I think today was a good capstone. I think it was great that he had the opportunity to kind of broaden (his) vision, already transitioning from presidency to a statesman." –Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. “It didn’t seem to have as many highs and lows, the explosion, as many roaring applause lines. But it seemed more powerful, it seemed the tone was different than some of the other ones. A more thoughtful, deeper, tone than some of the previous ones and not just getting that great punch line.” –Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla. “In fairness to the president, I’ve given my share of state addresses, they weren’t State of the Unions but I did eight of ‘em. Thematically, they’re very, very awkward speeches. You know, your staff and team give you like this colloquial laundry list of all the things you need to cover but thematically, it really doesn’t fit. So I have a degree of empathy for the president whether in this State of the Union address, in the last one, and they are difficult.” –Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C. , referring to his eight years as South Carolina’s governor.  

Juan Vargas Gets Religious

“I’ve been telling my Republican friends, the first tradition we have is going home. And they have this three-day rule and I let them know that not even Jesus serves the three-day rule. He was crucified and he left early Sunday morning, so come on!”  

— Rep. Juan C. Vargas, D-Calif., on this week's omnibus and tax extender endgame.

Louisiana: After the Runoff, So Bipartisan

Landry wasn't too amused by Democrats' energy policies during a joint address to Congress by President Barack Obama on Sept. 8, 2011. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All of a sudden, everything's bipartisan in Louisiana. It was only last December Sen. Mary Landrieu was bounced from office by Republican Bill Cassidy after being unrelentingly tied to national Democrats. But Saturday's runoff elections seemed to have released statewide love among Pelican State partisans. "I want everyone to recognize that this victory, this effort was a bipartisan effort," former Rep. Jeff Landry said in his victory speech after winning the Louisiana attorney general's race over fellow Republican Buddy Caldwell.  

Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, benefited f rom the support of Sen. David Vitter's former GOP gubernatorial opponents. Such cross-party support trickled down-ballot to races like Landry's. In a concise speech Saturday night after returns came in, Landry, the one-term congressman who drew the short straw in the 2012 redistricting race and lost that year to GOP Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., thanked his former Democratic opponent from the primary, Geri Broussard Baloney.  

Overheard: Bill Pascrell Channels Yogi Berra

“I only wish Yogi was here to celebrate the news. ... He said himself, ‘If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be,’ but today, it’d be close.”  

— Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., on the news that baseball great Yogi Berra, who died in September, had been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as reported by PolitickerNJ .  

Good Looks Win in Presidential Races

Winning ticket? McCain, left, waxed about what could have been in his presidential runs if he had the looks of Thune, right. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

"If I looked like Sen. Thune, I'd be president of the United States." -- Sen. John McCain, speaking Thursday to a group of visiting student national debate champions about his Republican colleague, Sen. John Thune.

Overheard: Hurry Up, Chris Murphy

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

After midnight Friday, a live microphone captured one Senate clerk knocking Sen. Christopher S. Murphy's sleepy pace.  

"Yeah, uh, he better get his ass here, before, they've already lost one vote because he's not here," said the clerk, who may not have realized C-SPAN was capturing his 1 a.m. commentary.  

Overheard: Tom Cotton's Career Advice

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has some career advice: Don't become a senator. Cotton swung by his old stomping grounds in the House chamber to witness the House elect its next speaker Thursday morning. And on his way back through Statuary Hall and the Rotunda, he spotted a woman holding a a baby with a pink onesie with "Future U.S. Senator" printed on it.  

Cotton, whose first child was born in April, was drawn to the youngster, and joked with the woman, "Try to get them to grow up to do something better in life than do that."