Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) believes in teaching your kids about politics early in life. Even if it means keeping them up really late.
Murphy brought his six year-old daughter, Lux Hogan-Murphy, and son Duke Hogan-Murphy, 4, to Sunday night's healthcare reform votes, where they bravely, and cheerfully endured five hours of debates and votes, and didn't get home to bed until midnight.
The reason for the unusual entertainment choice is that Murphy was scheduled to be on babysitting duty this weekend while his wife and nine year-old daughter Simone took a specially planned trip to Chicago to visit the American Girl doll company's headquarters.
Murphy had initially planned to be home in Glens Falls, N.Y. for the weekend, but when it became clear that the healthcare reform votes would take place on Sunday, he made an emergency trip up to New York late Thursday night and picked up Lux and Duke. The trio flew to D.C. early Friday morning for a "fun-filled" weekend of legislative wrangling.
Lux and Duke visited Murphy's congressional office on Friday, and he had lunch with them outside on Sunday. Later that night, he brought them onto the House floor, where they alternated between sitting on his lap and sitting in legislators' seats in the rear of the Democratic side. Barring a few breaks, the young Murphys were an attentive audience to the debate for much of the night.
The pre-schoolers had more patience than even some adult lawmakers, who left the chamber and returned only when it was time to cast their votes.
Murphy was sympathetic to the late hours, and before he cast his "Yes" votes for the legislation, he took a moment to say to them quietly, "I know you guys are tired, but this is really important, what we're doing today, and you're a part of it." Awwww....
By the time the young family got home it was midnight, much too late to make it back to New York in time for school on Monday. Here's hoping their teachers were understanding.
The weekend helped to teach the little tikes what was going on in Congress, sort of. Lux at one point asked her dad, "Why are they always talking about healthcare?"