There are shorts. And then there are short shorts.
WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart donned the latter this morning for MSNBC’s health walk on the National Mall with the crew of “Morning Joe” and their guests. Those from the show included: Mika Brzezinksi (who spearheaded the health campaign), Joe Scarborough, Willie Geist (who confessed to eating a daily bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios paired with a “power slam” of ice cold Snapple at 3:30 a.m. when he wakes) and Mike Barnicle. Show regulars were in the crowd – they included WaPo columnist and MSNBC Contributor Gene Robinson, New York Magazine’s John Heilemann (far taller in person than he seems on TV), WaPo blogger Ezra Klein and NBC’s Chief Washington Correspondent Norah O’Donnell. NBC’s Capitol Hill correspondent Luke Russert jogged the course while most everyone else walked.
Capehart, in those hot black shorts and a white long-sleeved shirt, appeared unfazed by the attention swirling around him. “Jonathan is going to get 100 dates out of this,” a show employee remarked on the sly. Another marveled, “LOOK. At. THOSE. Shorts.”
Capehart wasn’t the only one getting catcalled. Brzezinksi also attracted attention with her short red shorts. “Mika your legs are gorgeous!” a white-haired woman loudly called out to her. Brzezinksi easily worked the crowd, but didn’t react to the woman’s remark. The host looked to be having a good time, but for her, the event underscores a serious problem in this country: “We are fat,” she said. “Our children are sick.” Brzezinski said she planned to start a bipartisan baseball team. She also mentioned running the impossibly steep Exorcist Steps in D.C’s Georgetown neighborhood Wednesday with Politico‘s Patrick Gavin (the Game Changer video is set to run tomorrow).
Few could escape fashion critique. Scarborough called out Russert for his tight-toed black running shoes on air. “What the hell is going on here?” Scarborough asked, focusing on Russert’s feet.
Some of those who showed up included top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and a group of lawmakers that included Reps. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WVa.) as well as Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) . Congress’s Young Guns were there, too. Watch Politico‘s video. The Young Guns are GOP Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Eric Cantor (Va.).
Capehart had no regrets about his outfit and smiled in reaction to shorts questions. “Anytime I can get out of my tie and blazer and in my shorts, it’s perfect,” he told me in an interview post walk.