News & Politics

Linda Sanchez: Funniest Celeb in Washington

Growing up in a large family where people traded insults was an advantage for Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, winner of this year’s Funniest Celebrity in Washington Contest.

You had to be quick to survive,” the California Democrat says.

In her winning routine, she summed up the ultimately unsuccessful Senate campaign of her curvaceous Republican colleague Katherine Harris, who certified George W. Bush’s 2000 vote in Florida: “She plans to wear a tight T-shirt, ride a horse, and hope for cold weather.”

The competition is a charity fundraiser featuring boldface names taking turns at standup comedy. CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre and former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie were among this year’s contestants.

Sanchez got her start in comedy after she came to Congress, when one of her colleagues was organizing an event and “looking for jokes.”

Her quick wit was also on display during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s hit political-satire show. At the end of the episode, he said, “Thank you, Loretta,” referring to her better-known sister in Congress, Loretta Sanchez. Without missing a beat, she replied, “Thank you, Mr. Stewart,” referring to Colbert’s better-known Comedy Central pal, Jon Stewart.

Standup has become a hobby, but Sanchez says it is an asset in her day job: “A lot about Congress is about forming good working relationships with people, and humor can really help you do that.”