Site Unseen

Posted March 3, 2004 at 6:29pm

Democrats are chuckling about the fact that freshman Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) still has not finished creating his official Web site, despite being on the job for 14 months.

While it would probably take a 14-year-old kid only a couple of hours to get the site up and running, visitors to chambliss.senate.gov are

greeted with this message: “Currently, we are in the process of designing a Web site to make my Senate Office services online for you. In the meantime, we’ve created this temporary site that I hope will be of use to you.”

Chambliss spokeswoman Angie Lundberg explained to HOH that there have been “some technical glitches along the way” that have slowed progress.

“We expect to have it up and running very soon,” she promised.

One Democratic aide noted that Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) recently delivered a blistering floor speech in which he mentioned Chambliss’ draft deferments during the Vietnam War. Chambliss, who had five student deferments, had knocked Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) record on defense issues.

“He was able to spread his Vietnam deferments over the course of three years, but I just hope it won’t take that long until he has a fully functioning Web site,” cracked the Democratic aide. “Even the entire Medicare system was up and running in just 11 months.”

The Curse Is Over? Look out New York Yankees fans: Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.) may have finally ended the Curse of the Bambino.

When Roll Call pressed Campbell’s office on Monday about speculation that he may retire, the Senator’s campaign consultant insisted the lawmaker was fired up about running for another term.

“The odds of Ben Campbell getting out are right up there with the Cubs or Red Sox winning the World Series this fall,” consultant Sean Tonner was quoted in Tuesday’s Roll Call. “It ain’t going to happen.”

On Wednesday, of course, Campbell announced his, er, retirement.

Go Cubbies, and sorry Yanks. A-Rod may not be enough.

What’s in a Name? Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who so clearly wants to be vice president, must have thought a Super Tuesday appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball” would boost his name identification.

And it was all going according to plan, with host Chris Matthews gushing, “I hear you’re on the list, Senator.”

But then Matthews wrapped up the interview by declaring, “I hope you’re ready when the call comes, Senator Bob Kerrey, very respected U.S. Senator from Florida.”

Graham’s face just dropped.

Jersey Meets Cleveland Park. If HOH had been asked to name the Washington insider most excited about the fifth season of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” which kicks off this Sunday night, Jim Lehrer would have been far down the list.

Mob hits, strip clubs and marital infidelity just seem to run a bit counter to that beacon of sobriety and seriousness, “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” on PBS.

But HOH was impressed to see Lehrer loving every minute of the first two episodes — which are pretty hot — of the new season during a special screening at the National Cable Television Association last week. The event was hosted by the show’s renowned producer, David Chase, as well as writers Robin Green, Mitchell Burgess and Terry Winter.

And it turns out that Lehrer was far from the only VIP who loves the show. After the screening, Chase dined at the same table with Lehrer, Betsy Fisher from NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and the vaunted Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales.

Other attendees included The New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier and Peter Beinart, CNN’s Mark Shields, and Mark Halperin and Lisa Todorovich of ABC News.

Cardiac King. Godfather of Soul James Brown and comedian Louie Anderson will both perform at the Larry King Cardiac Foundation’s annual fundraising gala on Friday night.

Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and John Warner (R-Va.) are also expected to attend the black-tie event at the Ritz-Carlton downtown.

Fresh off a flurry of off-season activity, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will also be on hand to present the traditional Larry King Heart Award, which has now been renamed the Gerald S. Snyder Heart Award in honor of the owner’s late father.

In what must surely be coincidental to the fact that the Redskins play at FedEx Field, Snyder will present the award to FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick Smith.

Other notable attendees expected include Chris and Kathleen Matthews, Bernie and Linda Shaw, Helen Gurley Brown, Montel Williams, Tommy Jacomo of The Palm and music producer Nile Rodgers.

And then there’s famed yakker John McLaughlin, who was spied boogying next to Ricky Martin at a previous King gala — which shows this is one funky party.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even. Hill staffers in Burberry get-ups were out in full force when The Madison, a nonprofit group of young professional D.C. women, held a “Mad in Plaid” bash at a packed Georgetown bar this past weekend.

Brian Walsh, spokesman for House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio), made a splash — though GOP aide Jonathan Grella was out of town.

“The Madison was pleased to see such phenomenal attendance at our first fundraiser,” said Caroline Butts, president of Madison. “Fashions ranged from ‘Caddyshack’ redux to Tartan glam — although the prize has to go to Brian Walsh for an outfit straight out of Grella’s dirty laundry.”

Walsh responded with an official statement: “Jonathan Grella is a fashion icon and since he was out of town it was the least the rest of us could do to make sure his aggressive spirit was in full effect.”

For his part, Grella said, “I’m flattered to have been an inspiration for the Pink Ladies’ — excuse me — Tri-Delts’ first party and regret having skipped it. Looking forward to their Seersuckers & Sundresses mixer later this semester.”