Yesterday, Politico‘s Becca Milfeld posted a Valentimey collection of the first-date stories of Washington “power couples.” Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff were escorted on their first date by friends, Joseph Lieberman‘s wife asked him to move her furniture, and John Dingell brought Deborah to see “Giselle.” What, no ill-advised drunken hook-ups that led, unexpectedly, to high-profile romance? I call bullshit. Let’s read between the lines, shall we?
POWER COUPLE: Al Hunt (Washington editor, Bloomberg News) and Judy Woodruff (senior correspondent, PBS)
ON THE RECORD HOOKUP: “Hunt had long suffered from migraine headaches and had one when they went out on their first date, a meal with friends at an Italian restaurant in Washington, on March 19, 1977. But he hasn’t had a migraine since.”
REALITY: What, no wine with dinner? Woodruff must have served up some kind of medicine!
POWER COUPLE: Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Hadassah Lieberman
ON-THE-RECORD HOOKUP: “Lieberman called her up and said that they could either go out that day or would have to wait until after the election. . . . Hadassah said that day would be perfect, since she needed her new dining room table and chairs moved in. Lieberman got in the car and drove down to Riverdale, N.Y., and at the door knew that it was love at first sight or, as he put it, an ‘oh-bah-bah-boom moment. . . . And that dining room furniture? She had her superintendent move them in before he arrived.”
REALITY: Ugh, because you know that the Liebermans’ first-date story is really boring enough that having “her superintendent move them in before he arrived” has to count for steamy foreplay.
POWER COUPLE: Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Deborah Dingell (vice-chair of the General Motors Foundation, senior executive at GM)
ON-THE-RECORD HOOKUP: “He asked her out 15 times, she turned him down 14. They finally went to see Giselle at the Carter Barron Amphitheater on ‘one of those soft June evenings’ in Washington in 1980.”
REALITY: And then, the “soft June evening” turned into a “soft June morning after.”
POWER COUPLE: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Marshall Collins (attorney)
ON-THE-RECORD HOOKUP: “’We met at an election party of a candidate who lost,’ Lofgren recalled.”
REALITY: . . . Then they got drunk and hooked up.
POWER COUPLE: Rep. Eric Cantor and Diana F. Cantor
ON-THE-RECORD HOOKUP: “Cantor met his future wife on a blind date while he was a student at Columbia. The mutual friends who hooked the couple up went with them to a restaurant in Soho called ‘New Deal,’ hardly a serendipitous name for a Republican love match. ‘I remember it vividly. This was 20 years ago,’ he said. ‘I fell in love very quickly.’ He added, ‘Falling in love in New York is a great thing.'”
REALITY: I think we all know what “I fell in love very quickly” means.
POWER COUPLE: Attorney General Eric Holder and Dr. Sharon Malone
ON-THE-RECORD HOOKUP: “A mutual friend told a reluctant Holder about a woman he should meet, on the condition that if they got on, the friend could spend a week at Holder’s parents’ house in Barbados. When the two finally met, it turned out they had already hit it off at a fundraiser. Needless to say, the friend went to Barbados.”
REALITY: Hold on. All I need to do is introduce my friend to someone he’s already met, and I get a free trip to Barbados? Something—-and I’m not sure what—-is foul here.
POWER COUPLE: Chef Geoff Tracy (owner, Chef Geoff’s) and Norah O’Donnell (chief Washington correspondent, MSNBC)
ON THE RECORD HOOKUP: “‘Norah and I had our first night that involved a smooch or something like that’ during their freshman year at Georgetown University in 1991, Tracy recalled. They were out with a group of friends at The Dubliner when an ‘old guy with no teeth’ began to hit on O’Donnell, and Tracy offered to make him go away if O’Donnell would go along with what he said. She agreed, and he declared he was going to ask O’Donnell to marry him. The bar made an announcement with the happy news, the toothless guy took a hike, and ten years later he asked again, for real this time.”
REALITY: Probably pretty much just like this. Drunken college hookup: Huzzah!
Photo byThirteen of Clubs