News Columns & Blogs

Political statement or outrageous boredom? Only the baby knows and she's not telling

TOPEKA — As every politician knows, kissing babies goes with the territory.But today, the baby swiped the spotlight from the politicians at a Capitol news conference on the state budget.

After 17 minutes of Democratic lawmakers complaining of Republican budgetary intransigence, Madison Mah, age 1, expressed her own outrage with a howl familiar to anyone who has ever tried to keep a young child happy through a, shall we say, less-than-exciting event. Madison was in attendance with her grandmother, Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis got a few chuckles when he quickly sought to incorporate the baby’s frustrations into the Democrats’ message.

“What Ann Mah’s grandchild is trying to tell everybody here is that she is very concerned about further education cuts, and I just wanted to get that on the table,” he said.

But the larger laugh went to John Hanna of the Associated Press, who remarked, “No, I think she just wanted her binky, actually.”