George Miller and John Boehner play with dolls?

Boehner, Miller and a doll 1-5-2011

What’s happening here? Write your own caption in the comments while I await a response from Miller’s office.

UPDATE @ 2:14 P.M.: The doll is Flat Stanley, the children’s book character who has become the basis of an international pen-pal project for students, teachers and families, aimed at building literacy and community. Kids keep journals of where their Stanley has been, then send the paper doll and the journal to others who do the same before sending them back, often with photos of Stanley in foreign locales.

UPDATE @ 3:32 P.M.: My bad — Daniel Weiss, Miller’s chief of staff, says this is a Flat Sally, not a Flat Stanley. (Same idea; Weiss said the hair was a dead giveaway, but I told him I don’t stereotype.) Weiss said Miller toted Sally with him to the 112th Congress’ opening day at the request of his granddaughter, a grade-schooler in Lafayette.

“He’s done this before with other of his grandchildren,” Weiss said, before gamely taking this reporter’s bait about posing with Boehner. “It was a demonstration of early bi-partisanship on behalf of America’s children … The real work lies ahead, but I’m sure his granddaughter is very appreciative of this.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.