Dan Snierson
September 18, 2012 AT 04:05 PM EDT

She has dozens of Washington Monument figurines. She keeps framed photos of Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Janet Reno in her office. She once fashioned a Geraldine Ferraro action figure out of a photograph and a popsicle stick. In other words, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) loves the heck out of government. So it seems fitting that in the season 5 premiere of Parks and Recreation (NBC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m.), she journeys to Washington, D.C., where she visits with her beau, Ben (Adam Scott), who’s working on a congressional campaign, and takes care of some official Pawnee business.

But that’s just the tip of the Lautenberg. (As in Frank? Democrat senator from New Jersey? The oldest serving — Okay, okay, I’ll stop.) When Ben takes her to a high-powered cocktail party, Leslie gets up close and personal with such real-life U.S. senators as John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe. Try not to get choked up as you watch her encounter with two of those politicians in the following clip.

Read more:

‘Parks and Recreation’: Sneak a peek at season 5 — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

‘Parks and Recreation’: Senators John McCain, Barbara Boxer, and Olympia Snowe in D.C. episode

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