It may arguably be the chocolate of the 1 percent, but we're sure New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall enjoyed it all the same. It was a gift after all. A gift from Pennsylvania's Bob Casey. Monday evening between votes, a filibuster proof majority of senators - 61 of them - participated in the first ever bipartisan Senate Secret Santa. They gathered together in a room off the Senate floor, rifling through a pile of presents looking for their names. They had a $10 max (it is after all, tough economic times).
Casey gifted a box of Godiva chocolate, his office noting that it's second largest plant is in Reading.
In return, he received Lincoln on War, a book analyzing Abraham Lincoln's rhetoric at wartime, from Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin. As Casey enters his first Senate re-election battle, perhaps Durbin thought the book would provide some useful strategy.
The best gift came from West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin who gave New York Democrat Chuck Schumer what else but coal ... carved into an elephant and a donkey. “With an eight percent approval rating, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress deserve to have coal in their stocking this year. Lucky for us, my state has more than enough to go around,” Manchin wrote according to the Washington Post. (photo above also courtesy of WaPost)
Casey's spokeswoman April Mellody, said the senator "is always looking for ways to bring people together so he wouldn't turn down even a small opportunity to foster better relations."
Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey, who for the purpose of this blog post only we will call Grinch, did not participate in the merriment.