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T&A on the Trail?

The panel will also feature radio talk show host Phil Hendrie and Stephen Colbert, correspondent and writer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” whose show has been at the forefront of blending politics and comedy.

“Comedy keeps becoming an increasingly important venue for candidates so we thought it would not only be timely but a fun thing to do,” Craig Minassian, director of HBO’s comedy festival, told HOH. “Who is better at co-opting comedy and entertainment to advance their cause, candidate or agenda?”

Cooper, who covers the White House for Time and dabbles in stand-up comedy, thinks he has an answer to the mystery about which side has a better sense of humor.

“I tend to think the party out of power is funnier,” Cooper told HOH. “The right was funnier in the Clinton years because there was so much to work with. Now the left is having a ball with the president’s War on ... English.”

Cooper added helpfully, “You can capitalize ‘W’ in ‘War’ and ‘E’ in ‘English.’”

Italian-Irish Alliance. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is throwing a bash in the Capitol today to honor former Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory.

Pelosi is holding the 1 p.m. reception with Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) for lawmakers and members of the media who want to honor the work of McGrory, a gifted wordsmith who had to give up writing her sharp and witty column last year due to illness.

One special guest will be Matt McCarthy, an aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who happens to be a cousin of the former columnist.

Pelosi noted that “everyone felt her presence” when the Pulitzer Prize winner entered a hearing room or prowled the Capitol corridors during 50 years with the Post and The Washington Star before that.

“I join Mary’s millions of dedicated readers across the country who miss reading her insights every week,” Pelosi told HOH. “I wish her much happiness in her retirement.”

Walk Down Camelot Lane. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) is rolling out rare photos of his late aunt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, to kick off The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2004 Mission Day today.

The evening reception in Room 2105 of the Rayburn House Office Building will feature an exhibit of extremely rare photos of Jackie O, who died from non-Hodgkins lymphoma 10 years ago.

The photos were shot by family photographer Jacques Lowe, whose negatives had been housed in the World Trade Center and were destroyed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“These prints,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to colleagues, “are the only reproductions of his work.”

It’s a Jungle Out There. As if this election year hasn’t produced enough monkeying around, Jim Fowler from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is bringing some of his animals to Capitol Hill on March 31.

“Here’s your chance to not only meet and have your picture taken with one of the nation’s most beloved animal handlers, but also see him in action!” boasts an invite to the dinner buffet in the Rayburn Building.

Fowler will be bringing along a cuddly tiger cub, a long-faced coatimundi, a giant python, an alligator, “an ornery Snapping Turtle,” and a “travel weary Spur Tortoise,” according to the invitation circulating around the Hill.

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