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D.C. Mayor Photobombs Senate Democrats’ Poorly Conceived Photo-Op


May 11, 2013
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By Meredith Shiner and Niels Lesniewski
9 Oct 13

Senate Democrats decided they wanted to send a message to Republicans Wednesday by standing on the Capitol steps and demanding the government be re-opened. Which would have been fine, except apparently no one staffing the senators thought to check the schedule, and missed the fact that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had planned a “Free D.C.” rally just yards away.

The result? D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Norton walked across the Capitol driveway and joined Democrats on the steps, bringing a swarm of local reporters and television cameras with them. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., with Gray by his side, looked visibly peeved at the mayor, the protesters chanting during lawmakers’ speeches, and the senators who did not wrap their pre-written remarks when was clear the routine photo-op was getting quickly out of hand.

Gray and the large contingent of local D.C. camera crews and reporters crowded around Reid when the official news conference was over, with Gray demanding answers as to why Senate Democrats did not want to give his city budget autonomy to free municipal services from the effects of a federal government shutdown. As it is, the district is technically in violation of federal law because Gray declared the city’s approximately 30,000 workers essential.

“Don’t screw it up,” Reid told Gray in front of the cameras, reminding him that Democrats want the government open and are on his side. Multiple local reporters asked Reid what he meant by that, but the majority leader was ushered away by his security detail and staff.

Gray then got into a verbal exchange with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who took a disapproving tone with the mayor about his stunt. Boxer wanted to know why Gray was opposing re-opening the government, presumably because he mucked up the news conference demanding the GOP pass a continuing resolution and extend the debt limit.

Though Reid seems to believe his is on the side of the District, its backers’ actions and words Wednesday showed they feel differently.


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D.C. Mayor Photobombs Senate Democrats' Poorly Conceived Photo-Op | The World's Greatest Deliberative Body

Embarrassing moments for Senate Democrats, especially dingy Harry Reid.
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