Patrick Gavin: Washington not quite "Hollywood for ugly people"

A big night last night for the big wigs of Washington politics -- less so for the rest of us, according to contributor Patrick Gavin of Politico:

There's a description of our nation's capital that you may have heard thrown around a lot this past week - that D.C. is "Hollywood for ugly people."

That's because last night was the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, when real Hollywood stars arrived in droves to rub shoulders with our media celebrities.

And why? Well , to celebrate the really important work of our White House correspondents, of course!

I'm just kidding.

Nowadays, it's mostly for Congressmen and correspondents alike to grab selfies with Hollywood royalty, and for those stars to grab, say, five minutes with some Under Secretary for who-knows-what.

Democracy at work!

But D.C.'s traditional penchant for nerdy books over good looks gave us an awful nickname: "Hollywood for Ugly People."

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CBS News
While that may have been true years back, it certainly isn't true anymore. From the White House to Capitol Hill to K Street, Washingtonians are prettier than they ever have been!

Our female Senators and Congresswomen are looking glamorous in just about every single issue of Elle or Vogue. And People magazine's annual listing of the most beautiful people in the world has included Rahm Emanuel and Timothy Geithner.

But lest you think that our fashion upgrades are due simply to studying the pages of GQ and Bazaar magazine, I've got a a dirty little secret for you: We're prettier than we were in the olden days because this town's company business -- government and politics -- they've become a very big and profitable business of late . . . which has, in turn, made a lot of people very, very wealthy.

Burberry wealthy. Brooks Brothers wealthy.

Job creation in D.C. for 2013? Second in the nation. Our median income? $66,000, compared to $50,000 around the nation.

The country may be going through some tough economic times, but here in D.C.? It's boom times.

And have we earned it? Congress's approval rating has been in the single digits, and we journalists aren't faring much better, either. The current Congress is hard at work to break a nearly 70-year record for hardly working.

So when you hear everyone joke about Washington being "Hollywood for ugly people" this week, remember that it's really not true. We look and act more Hollywood than ever.

And once you find out exactly why that is, the "ugly people" part seems to stick more than ever.


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