By Kate Kauffman, Hardball Intern
Today Chris interviewed Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Many memories flooded the “ceremonial office” where the interview took place. Why? Between 1981 to 1987 Chris worked in the adjoining office, serving as the administrative assistant to Tip O’Neill (Speaker of the House 1977-1987.) Chris noted his reoccurring nightmare of having to leave this golden job - and who would blame him - he had the highest staff salary on Capitol Hill. After the interview he wanted to bring back these golden days by bringing some of the Hardball team on his version of the “insiders” tour of the building. “I want to show them the catacombs,” he announced to some of Pelosi’s staff members. Our first stop on the circuit was the Speaker’s Lobby, where we viewed a portrait of the old boss, Tip O’Neill. Later the group went to the Members Dining Room, a beautifully gilded restaurant crawling with politicians. Several members of the House greeted Chris, a star in the dining room. Some of these big members include: Elijah Cummings, Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Corrine Brown. Sally, the veteran Irish hostess who was there since before O’Neill’s time, still stands court and greeted Chris with a warm hug. After a great meal of home-style American cooking (including black bean soup that has been a staple here since 1904,) Chris, beaming, continued his tour. Highlights include the catafalque in which several presidents once lie in state in the Rotunda, a secret stairway from the civil war, and a bronze of Jefferson dating back to early 19th century. He then quickly walked back to the msnbc studios to host “Hardball” with tonight’s special guest: actor, writer, and political activist Ben Affleck.