In politics, knowing how to take a joke helps.
Never more so than when covering House Speaker John Boehner, who’s known for commenting on reporters’ sartorial choices which he finds, let’s say, questionable.
Today, wearing a purple shirt and purple and pink tie, it was my turn.
“Nice shirt,” Boehner said, after calling on me for a question on taxes. “Bright for this early in the morning. And the tie.”
“One likes to stand out, Mr. Speaker,” I replied.
That only teed it up for him.
“It stands out — don’t worry,” Boehner came back, to laughter, before I went in with a question on a tax plan set to be unveiled later today.
He answered part of the question, though, in this and in followups, the speaker wouldn’t be pegged down as to where he stood on the details.
It should be noted I like this shirt.
Bought it with my own money for about $30 at a suit shop in D.C.
Like the tie too, though goodness knows where that came from. But it’s not the first time I’ve heard about it. My wife it, should be noted, agrees with Boehner.
Minutes later, another reporter wearing a bright red shirt started in with a question on highway funding. “Good thing you’re not sitting next to him with that red shirt,” Boehner cut in to chuckles.
“Nice tan, sir,” the reporter shot back.
The whole room erupted. Majority Leader Eric Cantor just about lost it. Boehner’s response: “I can dish it out, and I can take it.”
Then he answered the question.