Senators Dine with President, Enjoy Alaska’s Finest

Women make up half the U.S. population but just 20% of the Senate. So the relationships among female senators tend to be close, regardless of party.

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In fact, the women of the Senate gather regularly at one another’s houses for dinner. Senator Murkowski told a gaggle of energy reporters she was slated to play host this week.

“We were planning on serving halibut. Then on Monday we got the call saying the president wanted to invite the women over to his house” she said.

And that house is the White House.

“‘I said wait a minute ‘we’ve got halibut thawing for 16 people. What are we going to do?'” she recounted to the crowd.

She  offered to take the fish to the White House.

Murkowski noted it was wild caught in Alaskan waters, though it’s unclear whether she or her husband caught the fish.

It turns out, you can’t just bring fish into the White House, even if you’re a United States senator. Beyond normal protocol, security is especially tight these days, with a ricin-laced letter addressed to the president intercepted last week.

“My husband then gets the call from the Secret Service saying we need to come over and inspect your halibut,” she went on.

That proved too much of a hassle, so the White House bought its own Alaskan halibut. Murkowski said it turned out well.

Sure there were substantive things discussed at dinner – ice breakers, Arctic diplomacy and energy to name a few – but Murkowski clearly preferred explaining Alaskan fish – and freezing to Lower 48 reporters.

“We start September off with a lot of fish. This is the time of year you’re looking to move that halibut.”

As for those 16 fillets:  It’s been confirmed they never completely thawed, and are back in the freezer safe for consumption.