Yes, it's been a while, but we finally have a caption contest winner.
Michael Genest, yes that Michael Genest, is the winner of our latest caption contest, and not just because we think he deserves some free coffee after more than a year navigating California's worst-ever budget mess.
Congratulations to Mike, who will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card.
Here's his take on the grip-and-grin between Sen. Dianne Feinstein and new CIA Director Leon Panetta at the latter's Senate confirmation hearing.
"As long as you'll be working on Intelligence, can you do something for Senator Boxer's?"
You'll recall that Feinstein was the first to throw cold water on Panetta's nomination after President Barack Obama tapped the former California congressman for the post.
"I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA Director. I know nothing about this, other than what I've read," said Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "My position has consistently been that I believe the Agency is best-served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."
She later backed away from her position and supported Panetta.
More than 200 Capitol Alert readers submitted entries. Here's the rest of the highlights:
There were several takes on governorship theme:
"Let's arm-wrestle for the governorship."
"Ok, Leon here is the deal: you come back to D.C. get the job and I go home to run for Governor, but help me waterboard the candidacy of Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom."
and on the Obama-nominee tax problem theme:
"I wonder if he has paid his taxes?"
"God, please let me have paid all my taxes."
Adam Francis, legislative assistant at the California Academy of Family Physicians, submitted five, including "Mr. Panetta realizes his CIA-issued x-ray glasses were a bad choice to wear in this particular moment," "Ms. Feinstein and Mr. Panetta re-enact their "Whoever Holds on Longest Get to be Governor" game from 1997," and "Mr. Panetta and Ms. Feinstein are seen executing the rarely viewed "senior citizen high five."
Here are more from the runners-up list:
"Now THIS is torture."
"Squeeze any harder and I'll have Richard wipe out your 401K ."
"Thank you for the support, senator. Now, then, you wanted the files on Villaraigosa, Newsom, Lockyer, O'Connell, Garamendi, Brown, Westly, Sanchez, Nunez, Chiang, Bowen, Speier, Angelides and Mary Carey, right?"
"I look forward to looking at your file, senator."
"Here, Leon, let me help you out from under the bus."
"Wow, Dianne, your hands are colder than your reaction to my nomination."
"Where's the anti-bacterial wash when you need it?
"Like any good intelligence agent, Panetta remembers nothing."