Updated 4 p.m.
How many times does a lawmaker have to take off his shirt before he finally gets some respect? Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) spent a dozen years in Congress, but it’s only now – after his ascension to the U.S. Senate and a couple of very photogenic bare-chested visits to a deserted island – that he’s made the Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful” list.
Yes, it’s that time of year again, our Christmas in July when the congressional newspaper issues its painstaking ranking of Capitol Hill pretty people, complete with gorgeously flattering photos and earnest biographical write-ups. A key twist this year: The list was opened to White House and executive branch players as well as those in the Hill milieu, which means that some familiar faces joined Flake (at No. 1) in the top five. Flake — a healthy-living Mormon who has never touched alcohol, tobacco or coffee — looks pretty well-preserved for 50. Is he hurt that he never made the list before now? The senator did not return our phone calls.
At No. 2: Kirby Bumpus! Look familiar? She’s the fresh-faced daughter of CBS’s Gayle King, who moved to Washington last year for a job at Health and Human Services. Fun fact: She and some friends recently tackled six of the Post’s “40 dishes every Washingtonian should try” in one day.
At No. 3: Sam Kass, the assistant White House chef who also serves as a point person on nutrition for the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign — the guy the camera can’t help but gravitate to during those photo ops in the White House garden. He is probably highly unimpressed by the honor, having already served as one of People magazine’s Most Beautiful People.
At No. 4 and 5: How has it never been a story before that C-SPAN has identical twins working as production assistants! That’s not all: Baton-twirling identical twins! If they’re identical, though, unclear how the Hill decided that Sara Zou should come in at No. 4, one spot ahead of her sister Chellie Zou.
At No. 6: What did we say about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard when she got elected last fall – that the Hill should take note for its “most beautiful” list, right? Well, guess she has us to thank.
Among the remaining 44 beauties, some more familiar names and faces: Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.); Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), a woman legendary for her collection of hats; and freshman Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a lanky former grunge rocker. Also, new CNN anchor Jake Tapper and ABC national correspondent Claire Shipman, who is married to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
But as usual, the list is dominated by lesser-known staffers — many on the younger side, but for that you can thank/blame the Hill’s strict no-repeat rule, which gives a boost to Beltway newcomers. (And gives Flake fans even more cause to wonder why he had to wait so long.)
The Hill managed to achieve gender parity — 25 men and 25 women. But a lopsided political distribution: 26 Democrats, 16 Republicans and eight independents or unaffiliateds. Hmmm.
And the age breakdown? Ah, it’s brutal: More than half of the “most beautiful” — 29 to be precise — are in their 20s, with 13 in their 30s.
We’ll be back with more commentary later, but in the meantime, go check out the entire the entire list — The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful for 2013 — and tell us what you think.
Also: From last year, Michele Bachmann makes The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful list, 7/25/12
Previously: Three bachelor congressman score high on The Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful” list, 7/27/11
From 2010: Senator Scott Brown shies from posing for The Hill’s “50 Most Beautiful”, 7/28/10
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