WASHINGTON – Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski stood in front of the cameras and assembled reporters in a Senate gallery Tuesday, eagerly flapping her “wings” and belting out a stadium favorite of Baltimore Ravens fans: “Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?”
And she was the winner of a Super Bowl bet with New York’s senators.
New York Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton held up the losing end of the bet by reading a slightly embellished version of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” with feigned anguish.
“As far as a repeat goes,” said Schumer, commenting on the Ravens’ chances for a second Super Bowl victory, “Hillary and I `Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.'”
But Mikulski drew media attention with her playful mockery of her colleagues.
The Maryland Democrat, smug, her arms folded, said she endured all the New York trash talk she could stomach. She said she was ready to live up to her end of the bet, singing “New York, New York” on the steps of the Capitol with fellow Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Maryland. But she didn’t expect they would have to.
The Ravens 34-7 win over the New York Giants on Sunday put other Maryland elected officials in the win column. In addition to the senators’ bet, Rep. Robert Ehrlich, R-Timonium, won New York-style pizzas and Gov. Parris Glendening won a bushel of Long Island little neck clams. Rep. Benjamin Cardin, D- Baltimore, is supposed to collect on a sampler of New Jersey ethnic delicacies Wednesday.
The win also let Sarbanes and Mikulski introduce a Senate resolution Tuesday congratulating the Ravens, all spoils of a sweet victory.
“It’s good to make New York feel inferior,” said Brian Kelly, a Baltimore resident who took his lunch hour from a job in Alexandria, Va., to come to the Capitol and see the New York senators read Poe’s classic.
Kelly was dressed in a conservative dark suit and long coat, topped off with a Ravens hat that belongs to his 11-year-old son, Shane, whose name is neatly printed kid-style in green along the sweatband.
He was joined by dozens of others outside the Capitol, including tourists Mailyln and Park Leathers. But the Leathers were interested in stargazing that rooting for the Ravens.
In 1996, the Leathers saw then-President Clinton and daughter Chelsea on a campaign whistle-stop through Bowling Green, Ohio. Hillary in person would complete their trifecta of Clinton sightings.
But the Leathers and others would be disappointed. No Poe reading. No Raven gloating. No Hillary sighting.
Clinton and Schumer paid off their wager inside the Capitol, in the confines of a Senate radio and television gallery crowed with reporters, cameras and Senate aides.
Sarbanes aide Jesse Jacobs said the reading was moved inside because of the rain and gloomy forecast in the morning – even though the Capitol basked in sunlight at the appointed hour Tuesday afternoon.
Sarbanes stepped outside after Clinton and Schumer read “The Raven.” But the fans had already left.
Maybe the Ravens fans left at the Capitol steps were able to catch it on TV.