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Heard on the Hill: Jackson Lee Wants Face Time

No one puts Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the corner. Apparently not content with her third-row seat at a White House event on Wednesday, the Texas Democrat pushed her way through a crowd to score a face-to-face meeting with President Barack Obama.

Jackson Lee was among the Members of Congress and others in the audience at the Rose Garden for remarks by Obama and Haitian President Rene Preval. But a witness says that as soon as the speeches were over and Obama came down from the podium to greet guests in the front row, Jackson Lee quickly hustled her way through the throng.

No other members of the audience, which included earthquake relief workers, search-and-rescue teams that helped in the aftermath of the quake and Haitian-American community leaders, made as bold an effort to score face time with the prez as the brash Congresswoman did, our witness says.

Jackson Lee is no shrinking violet. In a routine similar to the move that she pulled Wednesday in the Rose Garden, she is known to carefully stake out prime (i.e., camera-friendly) seating for the State of the Union address, so that she can get a (televised) moment with the president, and her floor speeches are legendary in Washington for their frequency, if not their riveting content.

Jackson Lee does seem to share at least one quality with the president with whom she so clearly wants to snag face time: audacity.

Good Sports. Herschel Walker has some advice for Members of Congress: Get moving.

The Heisman Trophy winner and former National Football League star (who recently entered the mixed martial arts circuit) joined dozens of athletes on Capitol Hill on Wednesday on behalf of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, lobbying for legislation promoting physical fitness. And Walker told HOH that Members themselves can find easy ways to get active by taking advantage of Capitol Hill.

“They have one of the best places to stay in shape,” Walker said. “Don’t take the elevators; take the stairs. Do the walking ... use what you have.”

HOH caught up with Walker during his visit with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who showed the football star photos from his younger days in the civil rights movement. Lewis also showed off a gift that he received with his picture on a Wheaties box — leading Walker to point out that despite his 15 years in football, he never graced the front of the famed cereal box.

Other athletes visiting Capitol Hill included another legendary NFLer and Heisman winner, Tim Brown, who received the association’s lifetime achievement award at a reception Tuesday night. Golfer Annika Sorenstam, baseballer Tom Candiotti, softballer Jennie Finch, Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and former Ultimate Fighting champion Matt Hughes also were among those who joined the lobbying effort.

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