Stephen Colbert talks and sings with House Democrats

At their retreat in Leesburg, Va., House Democrats are hearing inspirational speeches from President Obama, former president Bill Clinton ... and comedian Stephen Colbert.

Colbert, who poses as a right-wing commentator on his Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report," is addressing the lawmakers and will then take questions from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Last year, when Colbert launched his own super PAC, Pelosi ran a tongue-in-cheek "Stop Colbert" campaign to promote a bill that would strengthen disclosure requirements.

At the retreat, according to senior Democratic aides in the room, Pelosi tried to convince Colbert to become a Democrat. "Governor Nikki Haley rejected you; we will welcome you with open arms," she said, a reference to the comedian's failed attempt to be appointed to the Senate. Colbert said he and Pelosi were "best frenemies."

Asked by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) how he felt about the "war on women," Colbert responded: "Some of my best friends are women. I spent nine months in one." He said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) was the only lawmaker to really damage himself in a "Colbert Report" interview — "he set himself on fire."

The event closed with Colbert and Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) singing "The Star Spangled Banner" together.

The event was closed to the media.

Colbert actually has a non-farcical connection to the House Democratic caucus — his sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, is running in a special election for South Carolina's 1st district. But as a Democrat, she faces an uphill battle in this Republican-tilted territory. But her brother was confident, telling House Democrats Friday, "She's going to win."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.



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Rachel Weiner · February 8, 2013

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