Golden yellow hoodies dotted the West Lawn of the Capitol Tuesday, and a dark tree stood behind the children and adults wearing them. In the distance one could make out the white blur of the Washington monument through the cold mist that hung in the air.
After speeches from Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., and Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., among others, a switch was flipped and the 88-foot tall Minnesota white spruce glittered for the first time as the Capitol Christmas Tree. "Do you know how many years it takes to grow an 88-foot tree?" Franken asked the crowd of several hundred, using the opportunity to return briefly to his comedic roots. "Neither do I." The tree had traveled more than 2,000 miles from its home in Minnesota.