RG3 brings bipartisanship to D.C.

(CBS News) With Washington so sharply divided along party lines, and with tempers flaring over a "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the country back into recession, you might wonder: Is there anything in this town that can bring Republicans and Democrats together?

The answer is yes: Washington Redskins 22-year-old rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, or as he's known here, RG3.

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Raised by Army sergeants in Okinawa, RG3 graduated from Baylor in just three years after winning the Heisman Trophy. On the field, RG3 can beat opponents through the air and on the ground. And he's also equally good at dodging and charming the beltway media.

"I definitely pay attention to politics," Griffin III told reporters at a press conference. "I don't get involved in politics. 'Cause there's a few things you don't talk about: Race, religion and politics, and I stick to that."

With fierce negotiations taking place over the "fiscal cliff," respect for Griffin's talent and success is one subject that unites Congressional leaders from both parties.

"I think Congress would love to trade our approval ratings for his approval ratings," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.. "And the reason is, he's able to bring people together. We're in the fourth quarter as we approach the fiscal cliff. If we can deliver like RG3 delivers, we'd be doing well."

Former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan agrees with his Democratic colleague -- even though a Congressman from Wisconsin could never support the Redskins.

"I'd like to think more that Green Bay is America's team," Ryan joked. "But look, RG3 -- it's great to see a young guy come out and be so successful."

Even the Republican majority leader Rep. Eric Cantor -- in the midst of negotiations -- is inspired by RG3.

"I think he certainly offers a little bipartisan hope," Cantor said. "And we're all hoping that the Redskins have a very successful rest of the season."

Sports writer Dave Sheinin is writing a series on Griffin III for the Washington Post. His take on the Redskins quarterback?

"In D.C. there's only two people that matter, RG3 and Obama," Sheinin said.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.

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