Journos Win NJ’s Big Trivia Night

Last night National Journal‘s “The Hotline” hosted its annual Political Pursuit trivia contest in which members of Congress, journalists and consultants comprise teams and show their smarts for the big win.

“You can’t study for this,” said SKDknickerbocker’s Doug Thornell, who played on the Hotline Insiders team. “I actually think I’m really good at [trivia].” His brother showed up, as did his parents, who assured FishbowlDC that he was a very smart boy growing up. (See the Thornell fam pictured below.)

In a stunning victory, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), clearly the most impressive player in the room last night, and his team came in second place. The journalists, who in the first four rounds, didn’t seem like they were faring so well, shot back up to win. They included WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza, who made a funny Weiner joke, and Paul Kane, The Cook Report’s Amy Walter, Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz, and NYT‘s Carl Hulse.

Which member of Congress had a unit of measure named after him? Cillizza’s guess: former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). The room broke into hysterics. Another hard question: How many calories does a fried stick of butter contain? This was what Mitt Romney ate during the campaign at a fair. The answer shocked everyone: It’s only 400 calories.

All the journalists walked home with Genius Trophies after earning an astounding 285 points. The Hotline Insiders team wasn’t far behind with 260, and the Members Only team came in third with 173 points.

The Hotline’s Editor-in-Chief Reid Wilson played Alex Trebek along with Quinn McCord, who wrote the evening’s incredibly tough questions.

“Nobody is more committed to political trivia than Tom Davis,” Reid told FishbowlDC. “This year, he even prepped by coming up with ten questions he thought we would ask. He shows up early and stays late, and he’s been such a good friend to Hotline that we’ll always include him in Political Pursuit.

“The media team this year was really strong. We thought we’d have some TV people, but the Bush library opening sort of spoiled that plan. But anyone on a trivia team would be happy to have people like Carl Hulse, Paul Kane and Shira Toeplitz, and Cillizza and Amy Walter are always great anchors.

“I think the most underrated player last night was Rep. Richard Hudson. He knew his stuff, and he added to the atmosphere. I think Davis is going to want him on his team next year — and yeah, Davis is already thinking about next year.”

The other participating teams were Members Only: Reps. Rush Holt, D-N.J., John Yarmuth, D-Ky., Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif, Steve Israel D-N.Y. and Hudson. The Hotline Insiders included: The Polling Company’s Kellyanne Conway, Purple Strategies’ Margie Omero, Thornell, the Winston Group’s David Winston and Davis.