Capitol Buzz: Mika & Joe’s Wedding, Alexandria’s Office, Gary’s Saga

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Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in 2011. Georgetowner photo.

Georgetowners Mika and Joe Marry in Secret

According to Vanity Fair magazine, Georgetowners Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” were married in a top-secret ceremony at the National Archives on Saturday, Nov. 24. Officiating at the wedding, just a few steps from the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, was Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland). Brzezinski and Scarborough moved to their P Street home last year, shortly after their engagement in May — a liaison that was also kept under wraps until Donald Trump tweeted about it.

“She makes me better, I try to make her better,” Scarborough, 55, said of Brzezinski, 51, on Thanksgiving Day on Sirius XM Radio. “You always hear about co-anchors fighting each other and kinda trying to get a leg up on the other. With us I found out that she would … be going to war for me. I would go to war for her.“

There were only four guests at the wedding: friends and Brzezinski’s mother Emilie. Her father, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor and an oft-cited liberal pundit, died in 2017. The bride wore a white tea-length Milly dress with polka-dotted lace sleeves. It is the second marriage for Brzezinski and the third for Scarborough.

After the ceremony, the couple dined at Chez Billy Sud on 31st Street.

A Congressional Office Big Enough to Sleep in?

Newly elected member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) has met the first humbling moment of her euphoric journey. She can’t afford to rent a room or an apartment in Washington. At least not until February, when the first installment of her $174,000 salary is allotted. But even that’s not enough, it seems.

The youngest member of Congress, at age 29, is not alone. It’s a growing dilemma for the two or three dozen new representatives who enter Congress every two years. They don’t know how long they’ll be there. Increasingly, their families don’t move to D.C. during their first term of office, since they travel home every weekend — coming in Monday morning and leaving Thursday evening. Many have kids still in school. Many of their spouses have established careers at home. And most can’t afford or don’t want to pay for two places of abode.

Some just rent a room, somewhere on Capitol Hill if they’re lucky, sometimes with other elected officials. But now more than 100 of the 435 representatives sleep in their offices three to four nights a week, showering and dressing in the congressional gym and eating on the run. The problem for the new electees like Ocasio-Cortez who may choose to sleep at work is: what size office will they have? The big corner ones are all taken by senior reps. Others are so small they were once interior storage rooms, far from restrooms, elevators and eateries.

It’s all decided by lottery — a good-humored one by tradition. Most everyone will stay to applaud and console the “loser,” the new rep who drew the last straw and got the smallest office. Ocasio-Cortez will know her fate on Friday morning, Nov. 30.

Gary and Donna Changed Media Coverage

The new hit movie “The Front Runner” is about how in 1987 the media frenzy over a love affair between the Democratic “lock in” presidential candidate Gary Hart — played by Hugh Jackman — and actress and beauty pageant model Donna Rice brought down his candidacy in less than three weeks (and helped George Bush I become president by beating the much less popular candidate Michael Dukakis). The unprecedented coverage also changed how the media and the public regard love affairs of D.C.’s top dogs ever since — from “untouchable” to “with extreme interest.”

It is a story with which many Georgetowners had personal contact. Rice, Hart’s paramour, a University of South Carolina honors grad in biology and a cheerleader, became a presence in Georgetown representing skin care products. After marrying, she became a born-again Christian; vice president of Enough is Enough, an organization attempting to “make the internet safe for children”; and author of “Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace.”

The movie, directed by Jason Reitman, is based on the book “All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid” by Washington Post reporter Matt Bai. It minutely recreates the offices of the Post at the time, as its editors and reporters struggle with the ethics and competition of covering a previously out-of-bounds subject. The resulting media scrum at the private homes of the accused now has become commonplace.

“It’s Gary Hart’s story, not mine,” Donna Rice wrote about the movie. Considered in perspective, she revealed, her past “unhealthy choices” were the result of being raped after college. She is currently working on her memoirs.

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