The jokesters: Reps. Simpson and Latham
Despite the soggy weather, a variety of scribes, politicians and friends turned out for the 7th annual Hole-in-One for Cornerstone Kids Golf Tournament today at the Kenwoood Golf & Country Club in Bethesda.
The event was to raise money for Cornerstone School, a financially struggling private school in northeast D.C. Things got hopping with lunch in the clubhouse that included hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies and delicious Georgetown Cupcakes. Schoolchildren in attendance appeared to be enjoying themselves.
Two lawmakers – GOP Reps. Mike Simpson (Idaho) and Tom Latham (Iowa) showed up in shorts and golf shirts. Simpson stood out in a blinding bright orange top; Latham donned a more subdued light watermelon-hued shirt. The Hill‘s Kate Oczypok was the unfortunate recipient of Simpson’s prank. When she asked him for his name, Simpson could be heard slowly spelling out his surname: “L-a-T-o-u-r-e-t-t-e,” Simpson said, referring to his Ohio GOP colleague Rep. Steve LaTourette, who was not there. Latham jokingly warned Simpson that he had an election coming up and couldn’t afford any bad press.
The scene also included tough talk from CNN’s chief White House correspondent Ed Henry toward FNC’s evening anchor Bret Baier.
While Baier played his hot golf skills cool (“I do okay,” he told FishbowlDC), Henry copped to “slugging it out.” Then he (jokingly) cracked on the FNC anchor, saying Baier was sure to beat him “because he’s a man of the country club. He gets a lot of practice, so I’m not surprised he’s going to be beat me like a drum.”
Baier did admit to a 5 handicap (for non-golfers, this is very good in golf language). “It’s a little like Ireland out there, which is good for traditional golfers,” he said. “This is an important cause.”
To be sure, Henry are Baier are friendly acquaintances, but there is no bromance between them. Henry may have been lightly heckling Baier about golfing skills, but he grew serious about the gift bags (as much as anyone can be serious about gift bags). “I have a problem because the gift bag has Fox News on it,” Henry told Autumn VandeHei, wife of Politico‘s executive editor Jim VandeHei, whose younger brother, Clay Hanna, runs Cornerstone School. Autumn co-chaired the event with Susanna Quinn, wife of Jack Quinn of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, who also attended. The Quinns played golf for the cause.
Autumn said proceeds for the event surpassed what they expected, allowing students to finish out the year, “which was necessary,” she said.
But let’s dwell on those gift bags. Could a CNNer like Henry possibly parade around the club with a bag that screams “Fox News”?
Henry was assured that he could have a Politico gift bag in place of one that said Fox News. Tommy McFly, a radio host for MIX107.3 FM who volunteered his time for the event, explained that the paper FNC bags were for V.I.P.’s (for no reason in particular, just the way it was organized). Both FNC and Politico kindly donated bags for the event. So even if you did get a Fox News bag, McFly explained, there was still a canvas Politico tote inside it. Henry looked relieved. He said he much preferred to have a Politico gift bag.
Before the event, the rain poured. Attendees began e-mailing Susanna Quinn to ask if the event was still on.
To which she replied, “Man up.”
Other attendees: Politico‘s VandeHei, Jonathan Martin, Patrick Gavin and Mike Allen; NBC “MTP” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer; WTOP’s Bob Madigan and Stacy Kerr, aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
But no event is complete until Allen shows up and thanks you for coming, even though he hasn’t planned or hosted the event whatsoever. “Thanks for coming out!” he graciously told FishbowlDC toward the close of lunch.
The V.I.P. gift bag and contents.
More pictures and gift bag contents after the jump…