As tradition goes, those who behave badly during the year can expect only a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings, but U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., may be the exception to the rule.
In the midst of the rank partisanship in Washington, D.C., who knew the U.S. Senate held an annual Secret Santa present swap?
There were 42 Democrats and 23 Republicans signed up to take part this year, with U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., playing the role of “elf,” MSNBC reported.
And this year, Rubio’s name was drawn by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who saw fit to give the Florida freshman a lump of coal — as in a small statue made of coal, according to The Hill.
“I had Marco Rubio, and we gave him a coal figurine of an elephant and a donkey,” Manchin told the Washington Post last week. “And the donkey came with a little bit of repairs needed, so I had to deliver the elephant yesterday, and I’ll get the donkey to him.”
No truth to the rumor that the donkey figurine was made by the same company that launched the Obamacare website.
Coal has always been a big part of West Virginia’s economy — the Obama administration “war on coal” notwithstanding — and the state has the largest coal mining industry in the country.
“We don’t want to forget what keeps the lights on and what keeps the country running and what’s made this country and is still very much a part of this country,” Manchin said.
Here are a few of the gifts that were exchanged, as reported by MSNBC:
- Sen. Franken gave his colleague, Sen. Joe Donnelly, a hand-drawn map of the United States that focused on the states that played a role in Donnelly’s life.
- Sen. John Boozman gifted Sen. Tim Kaine jam and jellies made by House of Webster in Rogers, Arkansas.
- Sen. Johnny Isakson gave Sen. Ben Cardin a “Georgia Clay Bread Warmer” showing off Georgia’s red clay.
- Sen. Mike Johanns gifted Sen. Dianne Feinstein California Wine.
- Sen. Orrin Hatch gave Sen. Elizabeth Warren Dunkin Donuts.