By Judy Kurtz
Arianna Huffington says the “biggest thing” she did in her career was when she “went to bed” with Sen. Al Franken … for a comedy bit, that is.
The media mogul and Huffington Post founder was feted Thursday night at The Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington as she celebrated the release of her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder.
Huffington continued to laughs: “The biggest thing I did in my career was in 1996, when I went to bed with [Franken] for a comedy bit called ‘Strange Bedfellows.’ ”
The sketch was a recurring segment on Bill Maher’s show, “Politically Incorrect.”
Huffington added that Franken’s wife, Franni, later asked her to give a toast at a party “as the only other woman who went to bed with Al.”
Saying he’s known Huffington for more than 20 years, Franken, a “Saturday Night Live” alum, revealed that only one person objected to the “Strange Bedfellows” skit — his son, Joe.
Franken pointed to three young boys, the sons of AOL Inc. Executive Vice President Julie Jacobs, and quipped, “Joe was about your guys’s age, and did not want his dad in bed with a woman, [who was] not his mom. And you guys can identify with that, right?”
The school-age brothers laughed and blushed as the packed crowd roared.
According to Franken, he and Huffington had a plan to convince his son to give the sketch his blessing, saying, “We went to the Little League game and talked him into it. And so we did it.”
When asked by ITK if any particular lawmakers would benefit from reading Thrive, which promotes getting a good night’s sleep and a focus on family life and relationships rather than monetary success, Huffington replied, “I think really everybody, all of us, would benefit. But in Washington it’s particularly needed right now because the burnout culture is celebrated, which goes against all evidence of the terrible impact it has on decisions.”
One former commander-in-chief came to mind for Huffington: “I quote Bill Clinton in the book, who says, ‘The most important mistakes I made in my life I made when I was tired.’ He did not specify, but we can all relate to that.”
Huffington also said politicians need to stop identifying with their jobs “so that if you’re not reelected, it’s not the end of the world.”
“At the moment their identity is wrapped up in that and I think that’s one of the reasons for the gridlock. It’s very hard to make long-term decisions in the public interest if your whole life depends on your election,” she said.
The book party, co-hosted by Constance Milstein, Gail MacKinnon and Rachel Pearson, brought out a VIP crowd including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), NBC News's Betsy Fischer Martin, lawyer John Coale, Capitol File’s Elizabeth Thorp, Hollywood on the Potomac’s Janet Donovan, Buffy Cafritz, and Catherine Reynolds.