Sick of the debt-ceiling debate? Looking for something — anything — remotely encouraging out of Capitol Hill?
Lucky for us: The Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful People 2011” was released Wednesday, complete with three bachelor congressmen: freshman Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Cedric Richmond and Michael Grimm.
“The list is dominated by Republicans,” said Features Editor Kris Kitto. The paper has an ironclad rule that no one can appear in the annual ranking more than once, which means the editors are constantly looking for fresh faces among elected officials and their staffs. “There’s a big sigh of relief from me when we have a lot of new people coming in,” as they did this past January. “It widens our universe.”
Like all beauty contests, the selection process is subjective and wildly unscientific. The freshman bachelors were — as one might expect — far too busy with internecine congressional battles to talk to us about making the list. But The Hill helpfully provided some personal data:
• Kinzinger, No. 5: “Call him the Tom Cruise of Congress,” the paper says. The Illinois Republican, 33, is an Air Force pilot who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Met his girlfriend in pilot training. She’s still on active duty, stationed in Charleston, S.C., but the relationship is very serious.
• Richmond, No. 14: The Democrat , 37, from New Orleans, is a huge sports buff — he was a center fielder at Morehouse College and now plays for the congressional team. Single, no girlfriend of record.
• Grimm, No. 17: The Republican from Staten Island, 41, is a former Marine and undercover FBI agent. Big fitness fan. Divorced, no kids — but new owner of a teacup Yorkshire terrier puppy, Sebastian, rescued from a puppy mill this spring.
Compiling the list takes three months of weeding through 300 nominations. Other legislators who made the cut: Reps. Kristi Noem and Hansen Clarke, Sens. Marco Rubio and Lisa Murkowski.
This year’s “Most Beautiful” title went to Amy Cheng, 26, a staffer with Sen. Chuck Grassley. The former beauty pageant contestant is single, loves to volunteer (“I know this sounds kind of cliche, but doing community service, you learn how to love others,” she told the paper) and a new convert to the joys of couponing — she’s lowered her monthly grocery bill to $50.
Does Congress accept coupons? Hey, somebody get her into the budget talks.