Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) turned heads in the House Tuesday night when he showed up for a routine vote dressed for something much fancier.
The Florida Republican was sporting a well-tailored tuxedo with the works: cummerbund, bowtie straight, dancing shoes.
“I’m on my way to the National Council of La Raza dinner,” he told ITK, “but around here all I’m getting is grief.”
As if on cue, someone hollered in Diaz-Balart’s direction, “Hey, Mario, I want my regular table in the corner, think you can handle that?”
Diaz-Balart laughed, “See what I mean? It’s everyone!”
The lawmaker was receiving an award at the dinner, and said he’d been informed that it was black-tie (he is pictured here with fellow guest Bert Gomez).
Officially, it was, but it was going to take more than an official dress code to get Diaz-Balart’s fellow La Raza honoree, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), into a tux.
Passing Frank in a hallway off the Speaker’s Lobby after the votes, Diaz-Balart noted Frank’s tailored gray suit and jokingly asked, “What, no tux?”
“Not tonight,” Frank replied, “but thank your wife again for helping me with my tie that last time.”
Diaz-Balart explained that he and Frank had recently crossed paths in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, where Tia Diaz-Balart had offered Frank some emergency bowtie assistance.