Today, as the freshman class of the U.S. House of Representatives was being sworn in, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed her successor, incoming Speaker John Boehner, in a handing-over-the-gavel ceremony. In Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office, a different sort of ceremony was taking place, as Landrieu welcomed new Rep. Cedric Richmond to Washington, D.C. with a king cake.
The veteran senator and the newbie representative got the jump on the Mardi Gras by one day — Twelfth Night, the kickoff for Carnival season, was one day away. Perhaps more significant was the politicians’ blithe attitude toward the Marie Antoinette-ish symbolism of the powerful eating cake.
“Here’s a bit of king cake for bipartisanship and recovery,” Landrieu was quoted as saying in a statement. She and Richmond are the only two Democrats in Louisiana’s congressional delegation.