Pomp and Circumstance and Cynicism

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 5 2011 11:48 AM

Pomp and Circumstance and Cynicism

It's safe right now to assume that everybody on the Hill is related to John Boehner. On the way into the Capitol this morning, I passed by the new Speaker of the House's office as a spread of bagels and other breakfast foods fought for space with countless Boehners and relatives. Walking to the House gallery, another team of Boehners were getting another private moment with the man as Capitol police politely directed people like me elsewhere.

In another part of the Capitol, Majority Leader Eric Cantor is holding a brunch. I ran into pollster Frank Luntz on the way in. "I heard there was free food," he said. "I'm here for a week to watch the scene, then I had back to California where the weather is hardly better than it is here."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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We shared an elevator and two elderly congressional relatives joined us.

"You're the man from TV," said the husband.

"Who are you?" said the wife.

"Do you watch Fox?" asked Luntz. "I put together those focus groups, where people yell at each other."

The husband pointed to Luntz's red, white, and blue sneakers.

"I don't see those on TV!" he said.

"I keep trying to get them on," Luntz said.

I found a route to the gallery, which is stacked right now with journalists pointing out that there is no actual news to cover in this room, beyond the pageant of the swearing in.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.