Despite their political differences, Sens. Kay Hagan, North Carolina Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, enjoy a warm collegial relationship.
Where do they hangout?
“We need to tell this group that where we see each other the most is in the men’s gym,” joked Hagan at last night’s N Street Village annual gala at the Ritz Carlton.
“I can assure you that I appreciate Kay’s leadership,” said Ayotte, sounding a more serious note. “We will continue to make things happen.”
To which board member Linda Daschle, wife of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, said: “as a Baptist minister’s daughter, I say ‘amen.’”
N Street Village, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is a Washington shelter for women who are homeless and struggling with addiction, abuse and other life challenges.
The two freshmen senators received the group’s Founders’ Award for their advocacy of women’s issues.
“When we were working to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, I visited a lot of women’s shelters in North Carolina,” Hagan recalled. “There’s one story I will never forget. I was in Charlotte and this counselor told me a little boy said that that night was the first night he had slept with both eyes shut. The last time he and his mama had been beat up.”
The awards were presented by Linda Daschle, who has been involved with the group for 15 years.
Another Senate wife, Abigail Blunt, was there with Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican.
Next week the Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals for four days in a row at Nationals Park.
Did Sen. Blunt want to make any predictions?
“I am a Nationals fan any day they are not playing the Cardinals or on the unlikely chance they play the Royals. It’s a great rivalry, but I’ll be in Missouri.”
Between courses, Ayotte caught up with him and Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, and a principal N Street Village patron.
Other guests included Mayor Vincent Gray, and assistant to the president Broderick Johnson, whose wife, journalist Michele Norris, was the master of ceremonies.
The gala raised $760,000 for the center.