Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid referred to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand “the hottest member,” which apparently made Gillibrand blush, according to two Democratic sources familiar with the incident.
The 43-year-old mother of two in fact came in third recently on a list of The Hill’s “50 most beautiful” list in Washington. A spokesperson for Kirsten Gillibrand responded Tuesday morning.
“The Leader was saying nice things about the work Senator Gillibrand and Senator Reid have done together over the last year and half, and made a joke referencing to the Hill article from earlier this year,” spokesman Matt Cantor said. “Senator Gillibrand has the utmost respect for Senator Reid and looks forward to continue working together to repeal [Don’t Ask Don’t Tell], pass 9/11 health, and create good-paying jobs across the country.”
Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports:
Reid calls Gillibrand the ‘hottest’ member at fundraiser
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had an unusual form of praise for New York’s junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, this morning at the fundraiser Mayor Bloomberg hosted for him at his townhouse – referring to her as “the hottest member” as she sat just a few feet away, according to three sources.
The comment prompted Gillibrand to turn red, according to the sources, and created a bit of stir among the small crowd there.
“It was pretty shocking when he said it,” said one source familiar with the remark and the reaction.
A Reid spokesman confirmed it happened, but also noted that the Democratic Majority Leader also praised Gillibrand for her work.
First Bloomberg spoke, then Sen. Chuck Schumer, and then Reid, according to the sources. Reid praised Schumer at length, discussing how he could have run for governor – and won – in 2006, but didn’t, and instead accepted the Nevada senator’s entreaties to run the DSCC.
Then he turned his attention to Gillibrand, saying something about how “many senators are known for many things,” according to a source. He added, “We in the Senate refer to Sen. Gillibrand as the hottest member.”
He also then discussed her knowledge of securities law as extremely deep, and suggested she was better on certain policy elements than other people, according to the sources.
Gillibrand was not among those who was asked to speak at the event, the sources said.
Gillibrand has been profiled repeatedly for her post-second baby weight loss, and how she achieved it. She also made The Hill’s “Most Beautiful” list.
Nonetheless, it’s not considered wise politics to say such a thing.
In fact, one of Gillibrand’s Republican rivals, Bruce Blakeman, made headlines in a primary debate with two other opponents, in which he was asked to come up with a nice word to say about her and he called her “attractive.”
Reid is facing a tea party-backed Republican challenger, Sharron Angle.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley, reached by POLITICO, said, “What can I say, she made The Hilll’s ‘Most Beautiful list. Of course he also went on to praise her skill and tenacity and described her as an effective member of the New York delegation as well.”
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