Nixon checks out the cufflinks of The Kind

Elvis did not give me his cufflinks today. BUT, the United States Secretary of Agriculture did! I can feel your envy/admiration through the computer already. What can I say? My life is very, very glamorous.

This is how it went down: I was covering a Senate Agriculture Appropriations hearing, where the aforementioned cabinet official was testifying. After the hearing, reporters huddled around him, as we are wont to do, and asked our pressing questions on the farm bill, trade agreements and meat-processing. Very glamorous.

While we were questioning Secretary Schafer, I could not help but notice that he was wearing interesting-looking cufflinks. And I love cufflinks. They appeared to depict some sort of shield. I wanted to ask him what it was, but I only had time for one question, and for the purposes of my job, it needed to be about the farm bill.

However, there was another moment of opportunity when the reporter huddle was over. Before being whisked out of the room, Secretary Schaefer paused at a table where he had left his folder; I followed him and asked about his ‘links. He courteously explained that they display the USDA seal; I proclaimed them cool … and the next thing you know, the man is taking off his cufflinks and handing them to me. A lot of funny things happen to me in the course of my job, but this is the first time I have been given cufflinks…or really any accessory.

I think the Agriculture Secretary must have a drawer-full (drawerful) of USDA cufflinks back at this office. At least I hope so. Otherwise, he’s walking around with floppy shirtsleeves all day.

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