Typically, members of Congress and the media keep their natural enmity in polite check. But the gloves are coming off — or rather, they’re going on — as lawmakers and the journos who cover them prepare to face off at Wednesday’ fourth annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game.
And as ugly as things might get on the diamond, it’s all for a good cause: proceeds go to the Young Survival Coalition, a nonprofit organization dedicated to young women affected by breast cancer.
It’s a cause quite literally near the hearts of the event’s organizers, including breast cancer survivor Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — who should get a spot in the event’s Hall of Fame for a play in the inaugural game in which she broke her leg sliding into second.
Batter up — and let the trash-talk begin...
The lawmakers are feeling confident that they can repeat last year’s victory against the reporters at the game, which will be played at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill. “We’ve really gelled as a team in the last few years,” Wasserman Schultz boasts. “When we shred [them], it’s going to be because of our teamwork, hitting and superior fielding skills.”
Plus, she thinks politicians have a built-in advantage over the newsies. “We eat, breathe and sleep strategy all day long,” she says.
But the media team, dubbed the Bad News Babes, has been practicing “like crazy,” counter-boasts Jennifer Bendery of the Huffington Post. Evidence of their commitment: team members CNN's Brianna Keilar and Shawna Thomas of NBC have been stuck in Cabo covering President Obama at the G-20 summit, but they’ve been sending teammates pictures of their practice sessions on the beach.
“The Bad News Babes are just generally committed to delivering a resounding defeat this time around,” Bendery says.
Braggadocio aside, Wasserman Schultz notes that the event has grown since its scrappy beginnings. “The congressional family has rallied behind this game, and it’s become an institution,” she says. “And that’s because we are are so committed to fighting breast cancer and raising awareness, particularly among young women...it’s really been incredible.”
The Loop will bring you full coverage of the action on and off the field Wednesday night. Meanwhile, feel free to suggest player nicknames in a comment below!
Here are the team rosters:
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)*
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.)
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Ill.)
Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.)
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.)*
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)*
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii)
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Calif.)
Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.)
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)*
Jennifer Bendery, The Huffington Post
Leigh Ann Caldwell, CBS News
Christina Capatides, ABC News
Lisa Desjardins, CNN
Caroline Horn, CBS News
Emmarie Huetteman, NY Times
Kasie Hunt, AP
Jill Jackson, CBS News
Brianna Keilar, CNN*
Stephanie Kotuby, CNN
Jackie Kucinich, USA Today
Abby Livingston, Roll Call*
Meredith Shiner, Roll Call
Gregory Simmons Lemos, ABC News
Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times
Shawna Thomas, NBC News
Amy Walter, ABC News*