House Republicans were contemplating Wednesday what they might be up against with Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) now chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And many of them were surprised to hear what Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) had to say about Emanuel’s past.
Speaking to the GOP Conference, Blunt said some nice things about Emanuel — that he’s smart, politically savvy, qualified for the job and all that.
Then he zeroed in on what he apparently thinks could be a real turn off to Red Staters: Emanuel’s history as — gasp! — a ballet dancer.
“This may be helpful in some districts — Rahm was in ballet in college,” Blunt said. The comment was received with the good humor it was intended, but many Republicans in the room were surprised (and maybe a little uncomfortable) to learn that Emanuel could literally dance circles around them.
“A lot of people didn’t know about it,” Blunt’s spokeswoman, Burson Taylor, told HOH. And she added that the Democrats will “need someone with a mean plié to pirouette their way into first position” in the next Congress.
DCCC spokesman Greg Speed says that’s exactly what’s going to happen. “We’re not sure why Roy Blunt is so fixated on extracurricular activities,” he said, “But Congressman Emanuel has just taken up a new hobby, sending several of Blunt’s colleagues waltzing right out of Congress in 2006.”
HOH would caution anyone who is snickering about Emanuel’s dancing tights and slippers to think twice before making him mad. The former Clinton aide is known to have a tough side: He once sent a dead fish to a political consultant who crossed him.
More After-Schrocks. Some aides to former Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.), who announced his retirement in August after allegations surfaced that he solicited men for sex on gay telephone dating services, were left in a vulnerable situation this week. They found out that their health insurance and school loan benefits would end Jan. 31, and that they would not receive the pro-rated paycheck for January that they say was promised them by Schrock’s former chief of staff.
The staffers insist they were originally told they would get a small paycheck in January — for the two days before the start of the 109th Congress — and that their health insurance benefits would continue through March 2.
But when one of the staffers called the House human resources office this week to find out how much her two-day paycheck would amount to so she could determine whether it would cover her February health insurance premium, she was told there would be no paycheck. Nor would there be any health insurance at all in February. Nor would she be getting her $500 monthly student loan benefit for January.
“But I have doctors’ appointments next month. Oh my God! My prescription coverage is going to run out. Everything is going to run out,” the former aide told HOH, nearly in tears.
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