Watch Congressional Leaders Awkwardly Hold Hands

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George E. Condon Jr., With Matthew Dobias And Billy House Contributing
June 24, 2014, 12:21 p.m.

Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers held hands and swayed to mu­sic today—and they did not ap­pear to be too com­fort­able about it.

The mo­ment came dur­ing the con­gres­sion­al gold-medal ce­re­mony for Mar­tin Luth­er King Jr. and Cor­etta Scott King, as the Army Chor­us sang “We Shall Over­come.” And so there they were, House Speak­er John Boehner clasp­ing the hands of Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id. Re­id hold­ing onto Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell. Mc­Con­nell hav­ing House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi to hold onto. And Demo­crat­ic Sen. Carl Lev­in and Reps. John Lewis and Mar­cia Fudge round­ing out the bunch.

Some of them sang along to the icon­ic civil-rights era an­them. So while the oc­ca­sion was one of cel­eb­ra­tion in pay­ing trib­ute to the Kings, this very per­fect mo­ment cap­tured something else. The law­makers’ faces, their pos­ture, and the real­ity of le­gis­lat­ive grid­lock that’s been strangling Cap­it­ol Hill for years un­der­scores the sen­ti­ment: It’s highly un­likely Con­gress shall over­come.


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