Rep. Earl Blumenauer has never dabbled in satirical television, but if he did, his show would be Portlandia.
At a blogger roundtable on Capitol Hill, he confided to National Journal that the show has rapidly grown on him. “I watched the first three episodes before I realized it was a comedy and not a documentary,” he said in an aside. “I mean, these are my people.”
The legislator from Portland, Ore. was well versed in the show, navigating the episodes with ease. The Allergy Pride Parade, he noted, could easily exist in Portland, and it’s not uncommon for people to do farm-to-table investigations on the origins of their food, as when Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen follow the restaurant chicken listed on a menu back to the farm on which it was raised.
“It’s slightly over the top,” he said of the show, “but it’s very close to home. It’s Portland.”
As head of the Congressional Bike Caucus, Blumenauer has already gifted show producers his trademark plastic bike pin. And sometimes when he brings new people to town, he says, he’ll show them the first five minutes of the chicken episode to give them an introduction to Rose City.
He also has a tongue-in-cheek pitch for the show’s producers about the perils of being the congressman from Portlandia. “Every episode this person would die due to another freight transportation accident,” said Blumenauer, who’s made green transportation a hallmark of his work. “Falling out of the aerial tram, being run over by a street car, a mob of cyclists….”
The idea of a Blumenauer cameo isn’t quite as outlandish as it seems. Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, (yep, that’s his real name), regularly appears on the show as assistant to Portland’s fictional mayor played by Kyle MacLachlan. To say nothing of the rock stars that regularly appear as thinly veiled versions of themselves — or simply, as themselves.
A Huffington Post reporter from Brooklyn interjected that New Yorkers will often claim the show’s creators stole the idea for the sketch from Park Slope. “They’ll let you be Portland East,” Blumenauer replied magnanimously. “We’ll be Brooklyn West.”
The series has been signed on for a fourth and fifth season. No word on whether Blumenauer’s sketch will appear.
Disclosure: One of my first jobs out of college was working as an interim press person for Blumenauer on the Hill. It was a great job and I still have a few bike pins.
- 1 Why Trump Isn’t Moving the Map
- 2 How Much Does It Matter Where Trump Holds His Rallies?
- 3 The Story of 2016: Republicans Feeling “Betrayed” by Their Leaders
- 4 Why Hillary Clinton Wants to Treat Zika and Ebola More Like Hurricanes and Floods
- 5 Corrine Brown, Under Indictment, Becomes Fifth House Incumbent to Fall
What We're Following See More »
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz beat back a primary challenge by law professor Tim Canova on Tuesday. The Florida Democrat and deposed former Democratic National Committee chief led 57%-42% with more than 80% of the vote counted last night. Meanwhile, fellow Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown became the fifth incumbent to lose during this election cycle. Brown, who was recently indicted for fraud, lost to former state Sen. Al Lawson.
Reports of Sen. John McCain's demise were greatly exaggerated. Seeking a sixth term, the Arizona Republican handily defeated upstart Kelli Ward. The Associated Press called the race around 8:30pm local time. Ward was in no mood to be conciliatory, saying, "After refusing to debate while running a slash and burn campaign devoid of actual ideas, I hope the senator can rest comfortably with his conscience as he continues to lecture others about civility. The Republican party cannot win as a national party if we keep nominating unprincipled career politicians whose only objective is perpetual re-election." McCain now faces U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the Nov. 8 general election.
Donald Trump will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto today. "Trump's meeting is at the invitation of Pena Nieto, who tweeted that he's planning to meet with other candidates as well." Few details were made public, but "Trump is scheduled to be on stage at 6 p.m. in Phoenix for a major immigration speech, so the meeting will be early in the day."
Today's Wall Street Journal takes a close look at In-Q-Tel Inc., the Virginia-based venture capital firm funded by the CIA. "Like the agency that founded it, the CIA-funded venture-capital firm operates largely in the shadows. In-Q-Tel officials regard the firm as independent, yet it has extremely close ties to the CIA and runs almost all investment decisions by the spy agency. The firm discloses little about how it picks companies to invest in, never says how much, and sometimes doesn’t reveal the investments at all."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) both cruised to victory in their respective party primaries in Florida on Tuesday, and will face off in a key Senate race this fall. With 89% reporting, Rubio was leading self-funding businessman (and Donald Trump supporter) Carlos Beruff 72%-19%, and Murphy led controversial Rep. Alan Grayson 59%-18%.