What do you call two senators from different parties who plan to perform together at a concert?
That’s the band name Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) are using Friday for a one-night-only performance at the Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol — a city in southwestern Virginia or northeastern Tennessee, depending on where you’re standing.
Alexander and Kaine represent either side of the town and are the states’ former governors. They both strike a moderate tone on Capitol Hill and are well liked by members of both parties, with whom they frequently collaborate. They’re also accomplished musicians.
Given that common bond, is their upcoming concert the key to restoring bipartisanship in Washington? Maybe.
After all, Alexander leads the committee responsible for salvaging health-care legislation, and Kaine is a member. Alexander has tried to negotiate deals to keep the Senate from overhauling its procedural rules, and Kaine wants to strike a bipartisan deal on when Congress declares war.
For now, let’s just admire their musicality.
Alexander, 77, is a skilled piano player who has used his keyboard prowess throughout his political career. During his failed 1996 presidential campaign, “I played all over Iowa,” he recalled. “I’ve sung the ‘Tennessee Waltz’ in every little town in Iowa. It didn’t really work.”
Kaine, 59, is a self-taught harmonica player who picked up the habit and began playing publicly during his 2005 gubernatorial bid.
The pair discovered each other’s musical talents in 2014 thanks to another senator, Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), when he forced a rare Saturday voting session just a few days before Christmas. During the all-day ordeal, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) had her electric keyboard wheeled…