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Granted, it is summer, when dress codes tend to get a little looser in the face of Washington’s starched-shirt- wilting heat. But a slipper-clad Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) apparently took the summer casual look a little too far and he got a dressing down for, well, dressing down.
During a House vote at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Miller strode onto the floor wearing, according to an HOH spy, a look better suited to a backyard cookout than the House chamber: a loose-fitting Hawaiian shirt, linen pants and slippers. On his way into the chamber, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) caught sight of his informally dressed colleague. Boehner, who’s always dressed neat as a (Hermes tie) pin, apparently wasn’t impressed by the ensemble. “Nice outfit, Miller,” Boehner called out, the HOH spy says.
The sartorial faux pas even prompted Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who was presiding over the chamber at the time, to weigh in.
“The chair must remind Members that the proper standard of dress in the chamber is business attire, which includes both coat and tie for gentlemen,” announced Jackson Lee, who’s no slouch in the fashion department herself, once the vote was finished.
Miller’s laid-back look wasn’t meant to be a fashion statement, says spokesman Scott Toussaint. The Congressman’s Monday morning flight from Los Angeles to Dulles International Airport was canceled, and he had to take a later flight, meaning he was rushing directly from the airport to the Capitol and didn’t have time to change into more formal attire. Miller, Toussaint says, was just crossing the 14th Street Bridge when the vote was called. “Mr. Miller was just relieved to make it in time for the votes,” he said.
And on Tuesday, HOH noted that the chastised Congressman was again on the floor, this time with a decidedly chamber-appropriate look.
Pink Gets in Your Eyes. At first blush, CODEPINK — the ubiquitous anti-war group that protests almost daily around the Capitol — seems unintimidating, with its peacenik message and bubble-gum-hued outfits. On Tuesday, though, the group showed it has some muscle tactics up its pink sleeves, including reducing a Senate staffer to tears.
Before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales began on Tuesday morning, CODEPINKers were in full effect, queuing up to grab seats in the audience where they could see and be seen by the Members and the cameras filming the hearing. But before the doors opened to the public, Senate staffers and interns had taken up some of the aisle and front-row seats, in an apparent effort to minimize the protesters’ ability to disrupt the action.