U.S. Sens. John Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar don’t hail from the same party or represent the same part of the country, but they’ve got a few things in common. Both are lawyers and both are known for their one-liners, although unlike Kennedy, the sharp-witted Klobuchar tends to leave the cornpone at home.
So there was some anticipation when the Louisiana Republican and the Minnesota Democrat were chosen to speak at the annual comedic Gridiron Club and Foundation dinner in Washington on Saturday.
Kennedy recycled some old material – he advised the gathered journalists to be yourselves “unless you suck – and added plenty of new jokes.
Here’s one that should ring true to his constituents: “My name is John Kennedy, I’m a United States senator and I represent the people of Louisiana on cable news stations across this nation.”
And here’s one more that should resonate. In New Orleans, he said, “crime’s so bad we had a Super Bowl stolen from us.”
Klobuchar, a recently declared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, had a trickier task. She didn’t just need to elicit laughs, but also to do a little damage control after a rash of stories alleging she has a history of treating employees badly. The New York Times recently published one memorable anecdote in which Klobuchar berated a staffer for forgetting to bring utensils on a flight, then proceeded to eat her carry-on salad with a comb.
“How did everyone like the salad?” Klobuchar asked at the Saturday dinner, before suggesting that it could have used “a little scalp oil” and a “pinch of dandruff.”
Klobuchar critics have highlighted a high rate of staff turnover in her office, but some of her defenders have suggested that she’s being held to a different standard because she’s a woman. They point to the fact that two male senators had even more turnover in their offices than she did in 2017.
In first place was Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen. In second place was Kennedy.
So, anyone seen him eat a salad lately?