And then we watched for every piece of information we could find, both to send back to our news organizations and to know what was happening outside our room. Guns were drawn in the House; a woman was shot; random people were in the Senate; tear gas was in the ground-floor crypt. I answered an onslaught of concerned texts. I called my husband, still at home with our 8-month-old.
It would be more than 2½ hours before the police would arrive to evacuate us. Their radios continued to squawk with details of another group inside and calls for backup. It smelled of tear gas and smoke as we walked down the basement hallways, mingling with the remaining scent of lunch as we walked past the kitchens.
Then I asked Coons whether he thought this would be the craziest day of his political career.
“I’m not convinced it is,” he said. “He still has two more weeks in office.”