WASHINGTON – The encounter was as awkward as it appears in the photograph.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) shared a Senate elevator just minutes after the veteran defense hawk assailed the tea party libertarian on the chamber floor for his "ridiculous" filibuster of the CIA director confirmation over the nation's drone policy.
No pleasantries exchanged. None of the breezy banter that sometimes makes the Senate still seem the famously chummy club of 100.
"Hi, Rand," McCain said, interrupting his own conversation with a reporter.
Just a hint of a provocation could be heard in his greeting.
"Hello," said Paul, sounding exhausted, as he stepped inside, talking on the phone at his ear.
One way to show power in Washington is to appear extremely busy.
Too busy, in fact, to give someone the time of day.
The senators quickly relied on this time-tested skill as the elevator doors in the Senate Russell Office Building closed.