Talk about rolling out the red carpet.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's much hyped return to the Senate after dropping out of the presidential race included a crowd of adoring interns, a phalanx of Senate staff, hugs from Democratic colleagues and an ovation from a closed luncheon of Democratic senators.
Clinton even went through the rarely used east door of the Senate on the second floor _ strolling in just below the large glass US Senate emblem around 1:10 p.m. - fashionably late for the weekly Democratic policy lunch. It's a door that not even the vice president uses when he makes his weekly visit to the Senate GOP luncheon.
Even though she is technically just the junior senator from New York now, Clinton's show horse return had the trappings of a presidential visit. Democratic senators clinked their silverware on their plates cheering her return, and leading Clinton surrogate Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) yelled "hey, welcome back!" as Clinton rolled into the Senate dining room. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chimed in loud enough for everyone in the press horde to hear "we need you!" Behind closed doors, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), was prepared to give a welcome back speech.
Even a few Republican staffers craned their necks to watch the royal entrance. And standing in the corner watching it unfold was Rep. Anthony Weiner (R-N.Y.), a Clinton supporter who also happens to be dating Clinton's high profile, glamorous aide Huma Abedin.
Of course, no Hillary Clinton blog item would be complete without noting her wardrobe. For those who care, Clinton was wearing a brilliant turquoise pantsuit. Or was it cerulean?
Amie Parnes contributed to this report.