Senator Richards Yields the Floor


The Senate ID Office has had to modify its Seinfeld moment.

It’s been almost two years since Seinfeld alum Michael Richards self-immolated in a bizarre fit of anger and racial epithets during a stand-up gig at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory. But a recent visit to the Dirksen Senate Office Building brought it all back.

Reporters, interns, aides and, yes, even Senators, all need ID cards to freely roam the marble halls on the Hill.

Those waiting in office G-58 of the Dirkson building while their photo IDs are developing can pass the time by checking out the framed collection of all the different types of ID cards available, from financial clerk to page to periodical press gallery member to senator.

At one time, the cards all sported the name Cosmo Kramer and bore the face of the character, played by actor Michael Richards. But a recent visit to the office revealed a new face on all the cards. Although Richards apologized immediately and repeatedly for his inexplicable outburst, it turns out someone on the Hill found his mug to be a distasteful reminder of that racist tirade.

According to an ID department staffer, someone registered a complaint about having to stare at rows of Michael Richards’ mug shot "so we had to remove it."

The pictures were replaced by those of a smiling, clean-cut staffer, but the name Cosmo Kramer remains on all the cards. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.