Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicks! In paintings! In Congress!

Posted on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has reason to — click, smile! — today at the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives. Finally, after six years, there is a Washington representative more junior than herself, meaning that she gets to pass on the ceremonial painting of a naked chick.

The Congresswoman, second from left above, presents the painting to newbie Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, as Norm Dicks, Doc Hastings and Dave Reichert look on.

Ever since she and Reichert were sworn in back in January 2005, McMorris Rodgers has shared the "honor" of displaying the painting of the freshly hatched, fuzzy chick somewhere in her office.

"It's been in our office for quite some time now. It's been on the wall in our back office," McMorris Rodgers spokeswoman Riva Litman tells The Inlander.

Beltway legends Strom Thurmond and Ted Kennedy are no more, but the chick painting tenaciously hangs on, now in Congress under its eighth president. The late Rep. Joel Pritchard (R-Seattle) purchased it in 1972 as a gag for the newest member of the Washington delegation, and it's been ceremoniously handed down ever since.

But since she and Reichert have shared it for the last six years, will McMorris Rodgers shed bitter tears of loss at handing it over?

"I think she'll be alright," Litman predicts.

The Seattle Times reports that Pritchard paid either $50 or 50 cents for the painting, and that Herrera Beutler is suitably impressed. "It's awesome. I will hang it in my closet," she says.

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