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The Hill Reveals 2009's Most Beautiful



Venerable Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill continues an annual summer tradition this year with the release of their always anticipated "The Hill's Most Beautiful List," where fifty Capitol Hill denizens are lauded for being good-looking and willing to pose for a photo. It's probably the one time a year that people outside of Wonkistan read The Hill, but in fairness, I've blogged about this list for years and it's also the one time a year that anyone bothers to read me.

One annoying fact of life is that every year, when this list comes out, it gives wags across the country license to trot out the old "DC is Hollywood for ugly people" cliche as if they were the first person to ever think of it. It seems unfair. Your typical Hill-ite suffers from the enforcement of bland sartorial standards. The halls of power may be awash in sick amounts of money, but nobody takes you seriously if you get too glam, Lindsay Graham notwithstanding.

What makes The Hill's annual listicle is, frankly, The Hill itself. With their oddball fixations, strange beauty metaphors, and bizarre photography decisions, the keepers of this list have always been one of the main attractions. Sadly, this year's list is not nearly as bizarre as last year's was. I like to think that maybe The Hill is working hard to deprive me of material. Sounds arrogant? Maybe. But the alternative -- that our government is getting less beautiful -- is just too difficult to contemplate.

Anyway, please, do enjoy this slideshow of highlights.


Coming in at #1 is Representative Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, who climbs every mountain and enjoys strolling along his appointed rounds outside: “It improves my outlook enormously if I spend part of the day walking back and forth to the Capitol outdoors as opposed to underground." Note, of course, that Heinrich is a freshman Congressman. In another year or two, he'll be jaded enough to be skulking around Capitol Hill's dank and dispiriting catacombs with the rest of his colleagues.
Kay Gerard's story, summed up in one paragraph: "Kay Gerard’s life changed when she moved from a small Maine town on the Canadian border to Washington, D.C. Zipping along a stretch of rural road in the twilight hours of the morning, she hit a moose. The beast plunged through her windshield and missed her by inches." Now, she works for Senator Susan Collins, biding her time until she can earmark enough funds to finally destroy all moosekind.
Apparently, Ryan Mann's coworkers are obsessed with the way he looks like Woody Harrelson, and introduce him thusly: “Have you met my friend that looks exactly like Woody Harrelson?” Anyway, if he just up and snaps one day, now you'll know why.
"Watching a news story on Elian Gonzalez from a trading floor in Los Angeles, Cristina Antelo says it dawned on her that she should be in politics, not investment banking."

Now, the government is handing out trillions of dollars to investment banks, so, once again, thanks a lot, Elian Gonzalez.
The Hill lays it on pretty thick: "Wait, you don’t recognize Brianna Keilar? Well then we hope you’re enjoying your visit to our lovely planet," and "Let’s face it: If you know who won last November’s presidential election, you know Keilar." FUN FACT: Until today, I had no idea who Brianna Keilar was.
Kaitlin Helms has seen hardship in college as a leader in student government: "Her experience there puts Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and his election saga to shame. Helms and her running mate were finally elected after one general election and two runoffs." WHOA! TWO WHOLE RUNOFFS? That's EXACTLY like the Minnesota Senate race. That TOTALLY puts the Franken-Coleman race "to shame." Minnesota needs to grow some balls, I guess!
Jill Butler is doing "her best to keep her 50 Most Beautiful People status a secret, telling few of her friends other than Garrett and her mom." So, all you Huff Post readers are sworn to secrecy, okay?
Arjun Jaikumar professes to be a fan of DC's theatre scene and says that "as a Shakespeare fan, he has been pleasantly surprised with the vibrancy of D.C.’s Shakespeare theater." This seems like as good a time as any to plug the theatre I work for and their Shakespeare-heroines-battle-hordes-of-zombies play LIVING DEAD IN DENMARK, shamelessly.
The Hill says: "Debbee Keller could be right out of the movie “Varsity Blues.” She has brown hair that falls just below her shoulders and brown eyes to match; she dresses stylishly but would rather have a meal with her family than go shopping." Wait, wasn't VARSITY BLUES a James Van Der Beek movie about crude high school football players?
"Many people recognize [Representative Dave] Reichert for his role in capturing the serial Green River Killer in 2001." Or, maybe you remember him suggesting that Barack Obama was going to go around stealing purses? Either way, BEAUTY, right?
Adrienne Watson says, "I like politics as a passion. It’s exciting. It’s dramatic...You can effect change you can see.” Of course, she works for the K Street firm Bockorny Group, where MAGIC CHANGE HAPPENS WITH PILES OF MONEY.
Jess Peterson "recently hosted a roping party at which participants lassoed each other and garbage cans along I Street, down from his townhouse. Partygoers loved it so much that another roping party is in high demand." Especially from the denizens of that C Street Sin Bunglalow where John Ensign lives!
Bronwyn Lance Chester is a self-described "mountain girl" who hails from "a long line of bootleggers and moonshiners.” You know, like ALL Bronwyns.
THE HILL tells us that Josh Voorhees' "brief stints on bowling, bocce, softball and flip-cup teams" qualifies him as having "toured quite a diverse circuit of D.C. recreational leagues." This is not the first time I've suspected that THE HILL just doesn't get out all that much.
As an aide to Representative Leo Ryan, Representative Jackie Speier was left for dead at the scene of the harrowing Jonestown Massacre. Now she's finally one of THE HILL'S Most Beautiful, so at last the cosmic scales of justice are balanced.
THE HILL really works to sell Sally Stone as Greek, for some reason. She "calls to mind a windswept Greek or Roman goddess," because she wears a "laurel-leaf necklace that...'looks Grecian.'” Stone begs off, insisting that she’s "never heard that comparison before," and that maybe THE HILL needs another metaphor to replace the one they're currently straining to death.
Brandon Garrett tells THE HILL that "his friends call him 'Karl Rove' because 'they say I’m always the guy in the background getting everything done.'” Uhm...Garrett may want to rethink his friends.
Albin Soares says of his Capitol Hill colleagues: "They're sophisticated, and really educated, but still totally underpaid...I mean, you'd never know by walking around the Hill that everyone you pass is probably making minimum wage. It's hilarious." Yes. Hilarious. Har-dee-har.
Meghan McCain wrote, of Aaron Schock: "In the era of President Obama pop-culture mania, how is one conservative young congressman becoming the Republican Party’s very own pop-culture politician—and someone even my most liberal friends in West Hollywood are asking me about?" You know, that sentence really contains multitudes.
David Silverman cites his lacrosse experience as his key to success in Eric Cantor's office, where presumably, aides are regularly beaten about the head with sticks.
Shuwanza Goff apparently "doesn’t like wrinkles on clothing. Hates them, in fact." So, I'm guessing she'll be THRILLED when she sees the picture THE HILL used.
Maria Espinoza says, "My butt was sore for days, and my legs were so achy. But I would do it again.” Please note: she's referring to long-distance bicycling, NOT meeting with pharmaceutical lobbyists.
THE HILL says, "Carl Loof is Swedish and he likes to cook. Need we say more?" Sadly, there was nevertheless a need to "say more."
THE HILL has a habit of hyping up someone's personal style and then not showing it. For example, in years past, they'd talk about how one of their listees loves to wear red, and then they'll be pictured in green. Hari Sevugan is said to adore Converse Chuck Taylor sneaks, so, GUESS WHAT IS TANTALIZINGLY KEPT OUT OF THE FRAME?
Jasmine Rosa Vasquez is described as a "funny wonk" who lacks "a passion for the politics," adding, "I get made fun of in the office for being too wrapped up on the policy.” Funny, and a policy expert? God bless her, I hope that maybe one day she'll join the media. I really, really do.


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Tags: lulz, sexual objectification of politicians, washington d.c.
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