Senate press secretaries prepare for tug-of-war

Senate press secretaries are prepping for an epic battle on Tuesday between Democrats and Republicans. But it’s not a last-minute healthcare push. It’s a tug-of-war.

 The bipartisan Senate Press Secretaries Association (SPSA) is teaming up with Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus for a tug-of-war between its members, with Democrats on one side and GOP staffers on the other. And while the press secretaries take a break from spinning to do the pulling, the serious job of refereeing the contest will be handled by Ringling circus clowns.

The association’s president is Steve Wymer, minority communications adviser to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He told ITK that he encouraged competitors to chow down while watching NCAA basketball this past week to prepare for the match-up.

 “Other than that,” he said, “they’re on their own, so if one team shows up in cleats and face paint, and the other in work suits, we’ll know who’s really ready to rumble.”

 This won’t be the first time the SPSA has turned to sports to symbolize the bareknuckle battles of politics. The organization regularly visits professional sports teams to talk to their media-relations squads and learn best practices. In the past few years their nearly 200 members have met with flacks for pro basketball’s New Jersey Nets and baseball’s Washington Nationals and New York Yankees.

 The tug-of-war will take place in Stanton Park on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and is free and open to the public.