Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., shares remarks at Girl Scouts At 100: The Launch of ToGetHerThere on Feb. 1, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Donna Edwards Weirds Out Washington

Pro tip: Don’t compare working with Republicans to Cialis.

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., shares remarks at Girl Scouts At 100: The Launch of ToGetHerThere on Feb. 1, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Donna Edwards played Olivia Pope from "Scandal" in this year's Democratic comedy keynote at the Washington Press Club Foundation annual dinner.

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If there were superlatives doled out for the comedic performances at Wednesday night’s Washington Press Club Foundation annual dinner, the “most awkward” distinction would go to Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md.

Edwards, this year’s Democratic comedy keynote, started out strong with a “Scandal” parody. She was Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope. The American president was the “Scandal” president Fitzgerald Grant. And the other man, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), made for  a scandalous love triangle. The spoof was inspired by a real-life photo of Edwards “kissing” Boehner during the Congressional Women’s baseball game.

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But then the Maryland Democrat decided to compare working with Republicans to a commercial for an erectile dysfunction drug. “And just like family, sometimes we get a little tired of each other, but it doesn’t matter because there are still times that we find time to work together,” she said. “And when I mean together, I mean it in a Cialis commercial kind of way.” Edwards explained that there’s a “negotiation dance,” a flirtation with compromise and then a fuzziness that ensues. “Then when we finally seal the deal, the Cialis deal, we end up in separate bathtubs, Senator Thune,” Edwards said, calling out Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who was sitting nearby at the head table. 

Edwards was in attack-dog mode in a crowd of mixed partisan allegiances. So when she brought up Benghazi, needled Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), made fun of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) “Downton Abbey” photo, and nicknamed spending too much time with the tea party the “Stockman Syndrome,” after Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), it didn’t go over well. 

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She even made fun of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., her Republican comedy counterpart for the night, for his failure to spell “shenanigans” at the National Press Club’s centennial spelling bee back in September. “S-H-E-N-A-N-I-G-A-N-S,” Edwards spelled into the mic. Flake, as Whispers reported, gave this comeback at the time: “I’m Mormon, I’m not supposed to know anything about shenanigans,” he had said. 

Flake continued with the self-deprecating humor when it was his turn to take the stage.  “As a Mormon, I abstain from coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol and gambling,” Flake said. “I told a former secretary once that I was going to soon be celebrating my birthday. He said, ‘How?’” 

The Arizona Republican also gave a shout-out to his spouse. “My wife Cheryl, Cheryl who is here,” Flake said looking around the room. “My only wife Cheryl,” the senator said to big laughs.