That is it! Really. Right after I posted that I though...”oh my I hope people don’t think I was implying Inhofe is a homosexual”, cuz he is not...that is something that would have come out by now. He has been up there forever. But your answer makes perfect sense. The guy idolized him. I could never quite put my finger on what the relationship was...but you summed it up.
Sort of a sick symbiosis. The aide was doubtless thinking something like oh what a stud, I have something to fantasize about tonight. (Homos actually prefer straight icons to the typical other homo.) And Inhofe was possibly thinking something like oh, what a big shot this guy makes me feel like.