Vice President Biden shared some affectionate reminiscences yesterday about the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, including a tale in which the senior senator from Massachusetts introduced the then-young pup to the chamber’s elder statesmen — in the locker room of the Senate gym, where the senatorial greats were, shall we say, on full display.
Which raises so very many questions, including these: Is everyone always naked in the congressional gyms, and why do guys keep talking about it?
A naked Ted Kennedy also featured in the memoirs of the late Sen. Arlen Specter, who recalled seeing the in-the-buff Senate lion bathing in the Senate gym’s hot tub. “It was as though a giant walrus had plunged into the sea,” Specter wrote.
Former representative Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) — he of tickle fights with staffers — in 2010 recounted the story of how then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel accosted him in the House gym. “I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me.” Aaand, that’s another mental image that can’t be unseen.
As a freshman, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) was reportedly told that women weren’t allowed in the Senate swimming pool, “because some of the male senators liked to swim naked.”
In the category of nearly naked, some of those infamously revealing Twitter pics that landed former representative Anthony Weiner in trouble were shot in what appeared to be the House gym.
Such displays of legislative flesh aren’t to everyone’s taste. In a 2009 interview, former representative Thaddeus McCotter offered an explanation of his aversion to the gym: On his first visit there, “someone sort of was talc-ing themselves, and offered their hand and I just said, ‘Hey, we’re cool, dude.’ ”
Sorry, congressmen, when voters call for transparency in government, this is not what they’re talking about.
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