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Heard on the Hill: Awkwardness Galore at Gala

NBC correspondent Luke Russert mistook an awards ceremony for a roast Monday and made everyone feel uncomfortable at least once during the evening.

Young Russert — progeny of the late Tim Russert — was the master of ceremonies for the Washington Center’s annual gala.

The Washington Center, a nonprofit that provides D.C. with many of its interns (and future staffers), honored Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).

(Seriously, TWC alumni are all over this town. Right now there are 40 on the Hill and 225 punching the clock for the feds.)

By all accounts, Russert’s zippy one-liners either hit the mark or else fell among the crickets.

Still, Russert kind of outdid himself after Cantwell and Rogers were awarded their honors.

“Trust me,” he began. “I guarantee my generation will be better than this current Congress.”

And cue the uncomfortable laughter. (Eep!! Did he forget they were honoring sitting Members? So awkward.)

For their parts, Cantwell and Rogers gently ribbed each other and the rival parties during remarks.

“I’m sure that [Rogers] would agree we could be doing a lot more to bring people together in Washington, D.C., these days,” Cantwell said.

Rogers, on the other hand, channeled his inner fortune cookie writer with this doozy: “Thermometers only reflect what’s going on; thermostats force things to change, and that is what we want from our government.”

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