Inauguration, Man Hunter and Chuck Hagel

Happy New Year, readers!

It’s been a sad and quiet December for this anonymous hill staffer as a former boss retired. 98% of those retiring are, despite policy differences, good and decent people. Honorable people. The other two percent are assholes, so screw them. Good riddance.

Special note: This staffer’s figure is not scientific and bears no correlation to President Obama’s burning desire to soak the richest 2 percent, despite the fact it won’t make a dent in the deficit.

‘Overjoyed Keith’ asks: Are you excited about the Inauguration?

So, Obama’s second coronation, errrr, inauguration is around the corner. Yippee! If there is any event that hill staffers love more than the State of the Union, it’s the inauguration. /sarcasm.


Let’s back up. Each office gets a bunch of tickets to the inauguration, and it gets to dole them out to constituents/donors/friends. Every office does it differently, but at the end of the day, it creates one hell of a mess for staff.

Some offices hold a lottery (and allow staff to enter). Some save a few for staff & their family, and give the rest away to interested constituents via a lottery. Others break them down into groups of tickets that they give away to influential people — like that crazy John Cusack — or former staff, or well, you get the point. But since everyone wants these tickets, the poor staff assistants and interns get burned on the phones dealing with frequent fliers and idol-worshippers who absolutely positively must be at the event.

Just like the speech, outside it’s windy (full of empty air) and that air ain’t hot, it’s cold. It’s freezing. And unless you get to sit up high with the cool kids, you are a dipshit for wanting to go. Take my advice and sit at home, make your favorite food sorts and get drunk as hell.

That’s the best way to enjoy an inauguration. And it’s a better story than telling your kids you got up at 4a.m. to sit 2.5 miles away on the mall where you and thousands of your closest stranger-friends watched the speech on a television strung on a pole blaring C-SPAN.

If you really want to have that experience without getting up at 4am, just turn off your heat, open your windows, tape a picture of the capitol to the wall and watch C-SPAN. That’s pretty much what sitting on the mall is like.

Just like last time, where the people who held coveted Blue and Purple tickets got screwed, Ticketmaster, the fine folks at the Obama PIC committee thought, would be a brilliant firm to hire to run the ticket process to the balls and the parade.

Of course, they screwed that up. Roll Call has the story.

IdidnotinternforhimIswear asks: “What do you think about Chuck Hagel and his chances?”

Inauguration, Man Hunter and Chuck Hagel

Oh, you didn’t intern for him, you swear, huh? Riiiiight. OK, what are Hagel’s chances? I don’t want to say good — because he does have a pretty bi-partisan group of people opposed to him from neocons to gays, but I don’t want to say he has no shot, because President Obama isn’t a dummy and wouldn’t nominate somebody with no chance (See: Rice, Susan.)

To quote Dumb and Dumber…. “So you’re saying there’s a chance.” Yes, there is a chance, and it’s a slight one. I, for one, am not fan of Hagel. I started my hill days when he was on his way out, and I don’t have a good impression of him.

It’s puzzling to me why Obama wouldn’t choose a consensus choice instead of picking a contentious fight over someone who is hardly qualified to run the DoD. Good luck on that plumb Pentagon appointment, though.

WillIevergettovisitmyparents asked: As we finally passed the fiscal cliff debacle, what do you think will happen in the next 2 months?

My guess is between now and early February you won’t have much to do. Go home. Now. Or, better yet, during the Inauguration. We still have what, two more cliffs to deal with?

Hi there,
I’m currently a staffer that was swept in with the wave of new incoming senators. Being from the Midwest women are friendly and approachable. I’m finding that this isn’t necessarily the case in the big city.

Where does one meet other hill-ites? Specifically the young single female crowd that’s also new to town and looking to mingle? I’m not exactly rolling in the dough yet so any good cheap bar suggestions or other ideas are appreciated.

Much as gracias
Seeking future First Lady

Ah, welcome fellow midwesterner. The first question I’d ask is this: are you sure you want to shit where you eat? I’ve long thought it’s best to cast your line away from the hill folks when it comes to dating. Sure, talking about the nuances of dynamic scoring and a trillion-dollar platinum coin might be nice at first, but over time you’ll realize that your relationship will feel like work. So, I don’t recommend it.

But to answer your question: the bars on the House side, particularly Tune Inn. The cafeteria is also an underrated place to meet the ladies.

They say that the Hill is run by young people. How often do staff members stay before they’re called away by the higher wages and perks of K street? Or do they get called away? Are the 20-somethings I see in fancy suits with expense accounts former staffers gone to the “dark side?”

Yes, the realization that much of your government is run by drunk twenty-somethings is sort of scary, isn’t it? I tend to view hill tutelage as different versions of food and their shelf-life. Some people are a gallon of milk and don’t last more than a month. Others are a can of Senate Bean Soup (Dominique’s) and they last a few years, and many are like SPAM and can get in a solid five years. A select few, however, are like those 5-gallon drums of wheat protein that preppers stock up on and are good for 25 years.

In short, everyone’s different: some people leave for money, others leave for peace and quiet. Not everyone goes to K street.

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