Heard on the Hill

Tuesday Bruceday: A day in the life of Roy Blunt’s bearded dragon

’He gets a lot of attention around the office,’ senator’s spokeswoman says

Bruce, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt’s bearded dragon, poses for a picture in the Russell Senate Office Building on Sept. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Inhabiting the back corner of Roy Blunt’s staff quarters in the Russell Senate Office Building is the cold-blooded staff favorite, Bruce.

Despite his scaly skin and long tail, he’s a fixture of the Missouri Republican’s team. That is also despite his preference to hang out in the background and mostly avoid the press (Heard on the Hill being the exception.) After all, the only scoops Bruce has to offer are those of worms and freeze-dried crickets — not the kind sought by Capitol Hill reporters.

Bruce, you see, is the bearded dragon who has been part of the Blunt family for about three years, according to Katie Boyd, communications director for the veteran senator.

The Blunt office likes to showcase the four-legged members of the family on social media. On Mondays, Bruce’s canine brother Max — a spunky Yorkipoo — makes his mark.

Bruce, meanwhile, has made “Tuesday Bruceday” practically a national holiday.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 04: Kathryn Lyons of CQ Roll Call, and Bruce, Sen. Roy Blunt’s, R-Mo., bearded dragon, prepare for a video segment in Russell Building on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Heard on the Hill’s Kathryn Lyons meets Bruce ahead of shooting a video segment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Staff share photos on Instagram of Bruce’s hobbies and interests. He’s partial to U.S. Women’s soccer, University of Missouri football and playing “nice” with his warm-blooded mammal brother Max — or at least making it appear that way.

Bruce “noticed Max was picking up a lot of followers on Instagram and thought he’d try his hand at the influencer game,” said Blunt’s spokeswoman.

Bruce’s composure in front of the cameras proves he doesn’t shy from the limelight. While some of us try to rely on one good side, Bruce makes sure that both of his are polished, working angles as if he was on the cover of Vogue — or National Geographic.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 04: Bruce, Sen. Roy Blunt’s, R-Mo., bearded dragon, is seen in Russell Building on Wednesday, September 4, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Bruce mostly likes to hang out on a miniature tree stump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Much attention surrounds the reptile, but he often remains cool and calm amid the bustling Capitol Hill offices that surround him.

Most days he prefers his miniature tree stump and his hammock to any meetings on the agenda — unless he’s sought out by the constituents who pop by Blunt’s office on Wednesday mornings for coffee and doughnuts.

“Bruce has been a big hit with the kids. He gets a lot of attention around the office,” according to Boyd. “He seems to like it that way.”

Good advice for aspiring politicians and staff. 

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