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POLITICS

Circus host welcomes audience to least political show on earth

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Alicia M. Cohn

"Children of all ages," even the politicos of the District, enjoy the circus because "it's the safest place in entertainment for your imagination," according to the ringmaster for the Greatest Show on Earth.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson compares his job to "being the pope of sawdust," and takes his job setting the tone for "Dragons" just as seriously.

"It's really the last pure form of entertainment that there is. Everything is compromised," he told Yeas & Nays. "The worst we do is give your kid a lot of cotton candy. It's just one night -- they'll live."

Iverson, who planned to be an opera star before becoming ringmaster in 1999, sings his way through the show from the national anthem to the final notes of "Do you have the dragon in you?"

To Iverson and other circus performers who travel like a "city without a ZIP code," Iverson said the only geographical difference is the weather. But when the circus train rolled into town last week, D.C. definitely noticed the elephants marching down the street.

We spotted Fox News host Bret Baier at opening night with son, Paul, and Robert Griffin III attended Sunday afternoon.

The circus ran through Sunday in D.C. and moves to Baltimore on Wednesday through April 7, and then to the Patriot Center in Fairfax April 10 to 21.

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