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Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton‘s legislative associate Jason Spear arrived at work Tuesday as usual. And then around 9:30 a.m., Norton called him into her office to congratulate him on being named one of The Hill‘s “50 Most Beautiful People“—-an honor that’s purportedly based solely on style and physical appearance, and which is moderately noteworthy in select Washington spheres.
“She said, ‘Oh, you didn’t tell me you were beautiful, we’re going to have to use this beautiful. Don’t get too important,” Spears, in a Perry Ellis suit, recalled of the morning meeting with his boss at last night’s “50 Most Beautiful People” party at Poste Modern Brasserie.
“It’s been a busy day,” Spear said, apologizing for not seeing City Desk’s email request for an interview Tuesday morning. “It’s been a lot of tweets and texts.”
But does Spear consider himself one of Capitol Hill’s most beautiful people?
“I consider myself basic,” he said.
Others were less sheepish about their recognition.
“I feel the work I put into the way I dress deserves to be recognized,” said Devron Brown, a staffer in Sen. Harry Reid‘s office who says the Senate majority leader is “aware” of his style.
This was The Hill’s 11th annual “Most Beautiful” list, but it was the first time the paper has hosted a party—-complete with well-dressed Hill staffers and free beer, courtesy of America’s Beer Distributors, a lobbying group—-to celebrate one of its flagship (and most-read) features.
Judy Kurtz, the paper’s “In The Know Columnist” who helps edit the “Most Beautiful People” list, says this year the paper received about 400 nominations for the honor. The editors then whittled the list down, ensuring there were nominees representing all aspects of the political world, and took photos of about 100 nominees. People working on Capitol Hill then voted on who they thought the most beautiful were, based on just a photograph without a name or job title.
The winners this year included Sen. Rand Paul, CNN’s S.E. Cupp, and Fox News commentator and The Hill columnist Juan Williams‘ two sons, Raffi and Tony Williams.
The Hill‘s newly minted top editor Bob Cusack said the list isn’t rigged; Williams’ sons earned a place on their own merits.
“We thought about it,” Cusack said. “Should we not have let them on the list because they have that connection, or would we have let them in any way even if they were not Juan Williams’ sons? And we thought, ‘Yeah, they’re attractive.'”
The most beautiful people were easy to spot at last night’s party: those who were merely in attendance wore white wristbands, while the 50 most attractive partygoers wore blue wristbands. Also, they were the most beautiful there.
“It’s humbling,” said Heather Murphy, a scheduler for Rep. Kevin Brady, aTexas Republican. “There are a lot of people on the Hill.”
For those aspiring beautiful people who didn’t place in the top 50 this year, Cusack offered some advice to the party attendees last night:
“If you didn’t make the cut, get your beauty rest and maybe you’ll make it next time.”
Photo by Perry Stein