Tim Griffin’s Son Tests Old Adage: Vote Early, Vote Often

Posted October 8, 2013 at 9:43pm

John Griffin may be the youngest person to ever vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dressed in his Christmas-sweater-vest-best, John — the toddler son of GOP Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas — accompanied his dad to evening votes Tuesday.

And John, who looks to be about 3 years old, voted for about a dozen members.

(Screenshot via Twitter.)
(Screenshot via Twitter)

When Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., the presiding officer at the time, banged his gavel, John astutely pointed out what was on everyone’s mind.

“Dada, that man has a hammer,” John said.

Eventually, the vote was called, and that’s when John really had his fun.

First, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, tried to shake hands with the toddler. But John wasn’t having it. Why would a toddler deign to shake hands with the lowly Rules Committee chairman?

Then John and his dad sat down for a bit. Or at least they tried to sit down for a bit. John thought it was a better idea to stand on the chairs, presumably because #YOLO.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, stopped by to meet with John. And John and Kev — as HOH imagines John calls him — did a little dance. Brady barely held his own with the young whippersnapper.

Eventually, John dismissed Brady, and Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., made his way over to the Griffins. Young John gave Young Gun Ryan a high-five, because that’s what you do when you’re as cool as John Griffin.

But John wasn’t done. He then began voting for various members, a no-no on the House floor, but John Griffin doesn’t live by the rules — House, Senate or otherwise.

He voted for a number of members, which may satisfy some lesser children. But this is John Griffin. Voting for five or six members doesn’t sate his appetite; it whets it.

So John Griffin began taking member voting cards out of members’ hands. And he carefully, skillfully, perhaps even masterfully, used the electronic device like he’d voted more times than Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich.

When he had secured enough votes for his policy priorities, John began to work the floor.

He swam across the chamber — in the sense that he was walking and moving his arms in a swimming motion — and he had the good sense to stop for Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

McCarthy engaged John in what was surely a high-level conversation, most likely about the continuing resolution and the debt limit strategy. McCarthy is clearly concerned whether John Griffin supports a “clean” CR, as he should be, considering the undisputed fact that John Griffin carries about a dozen GOP votes in his red-sweater-vest pocket.

When Griffin grew tired of McCarthy’s pitch, the toddler found his old pal Paul Ryan. He took Ryan’s voting card, and, just as he had done about a dozen times before, John voted on behalf of the former vice presidential candidate.

Child’s play for John Griffin.

When the last vote came, John was ready to leave.

He began tugging on his father’s jacket, seemingly frustrated with the slow pace of the sausage-making, and he convinced his father to escort him out.

John and Tim Griffin left the House chamber, physically, but perhaps not spiritually.

John Griffin’s imprint on the House body, like Rayburn or Longworth or O’Neill, stayed behind.