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A Very Good Year

If gossip was food (and believe us, we think it makes a delicious diet), 2007 would be the equivalent of an endless buffet.

The year offered a smorgasbord of dish, most notably a Senator’s hooker-strewn past and another getting busted in a public bathroom for soliciting gay sex. And while those tabloid-worthy tales alone might have been enough to keep the column full, 2007 also offered plenty of other tasty gossipy tidbits.

With gratitude for all the goofy gaffes, misdirected

e-mails, and feet in mouth that made the year in HOH possible — and a special thanks to all of the tipsters who brought them to our attention — we proudly give you the Year in HOH.

In reviewing all the doings of 2007, we couldn’t help but notice that the Hill denizens we chronicle have just about all of the seven deadly sins covered:

Lust. The two biggest sex scandals of the year, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) sort of admitting that he had been a client of the “D.C. Madam,” and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) getting arrested in the Minneapolis airport as part of a sting operation cracking down on gay sex, got plenty of HOH ink. We noted that news of Vitter’s dalliance came after the family-values guy had declared himself to be pro-abstinence outside of marriage, as one of the chief backers of an abstinence education bill. And we brought you the story of how his former escort said Vitter dumped her when he learned her real name was Wendy, just like his wife. Wendy Cortez, the former prostitute, also appeared nude in Hustler magazine, and the racy photos were accompanied by an interview in which she revealed some, ahem, personal details about her ex-john. Hooker-ific!

The Craig scandal offered plenty of HOH fodder, from reports of a piece of toilet paper from the bathroom where the Senator was caught being auctioned on eBay, to plenty of Craig-inspired Halloween costumes sported by Hill types, to a recent earmark Craig inserted into a spending bill to fund a dude ranch.

Pride. The proverb dictates that “pride goeth before a fall,” and it certainly wenteth this year on the Hill. Some of the examples HOH unearthed included plenty of grooming “don’ts.” Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) showed up to work with a terribly dark dye job after a new barber convinced him to go for a younger look. The hair-raising effect was so startling that Nelson was left looking for a dye-removing product called “Oops.”

And dentists would be proud, but Miss Manners, well, not so much: None other than actor Jon Voight, father of Angelina Jolie, was spotted waiting for a meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building and engaging in a full-on dental-flossing session. Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), too, couldn’t resist the urge to engage in a public display of dental hygiene and was caught during a committee meeting trying to floss.

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