Dressed for Success?

Posted March 23, 2004 at 6:30pm

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) was spotted Tuesday gliding through the Capitol in the standard uniform for a potential veep candidate.

He sported the dark suit, finely pressed dress shirt and TV-friendly necktie. But a quick look down revealed that he was wearing — gasp — a pair of white running shoes.

HOH figured that Bayh just needs to be ready to go jogging at a moment’s notice in order to keep those boyish good looks.

Aren’t you supposed to wait, however, until Easter to break out the white? This faux pas isn’t going to look good on the vice presidential background check.

“It’s all part of a shameless appeal to soccer moms,” explained Bayh spokeswoman Meg Keck.

Sage Stevens. Actor Tony Goldwyn, co-president of the Creative Coalition, got an interesting piece of advice Tuesday when he tried to lobby Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on the broadcasting decency legislation that’s speeding through Congress.

Goldwyn told HOH that he’s worried the bill will come down too hard on struggling artists who are not as wealthy as Janet Jackson.

“The fines have increased 50-fold for the artists and ten-fold for the broadcasters, which seems disproportionate,” Goldwyn told HOH after his meeting with Stevens.

But Stevens told Goldwyn, “It’s time you people started taking responsibility for what you say.”

As for the prospects of watering down the legislation, Stevens added: “I’ll tell you what I tell my wife when she goes to the beauty parlor: Good luck.”

Not-So-Clear Channel. Some critics have dismissed Howard Stern as a mere conspiracy theorist as he pounds away at President Bush for allegedly being in cahoots with Clear Channel to get the shock jock kicked off the airwaves.

But USA Today reported Tuesday that Clear Channel executives have given $42,200 in campaign contributions to Bush and just $1,750 to Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

And now comes word that the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign recently paid Clear Channel Communications Inc. for unspecified “travel” expenses.

The campaign reimbursed the radio network, which recently booted Stern from six stations, to the tune of $3,093, according to expenditure filings at PoliticalMoneyLine.com.

The travel reimbursement came on Feb. 4, which was just three days after the infamous Super Bowl halftime show that sparked the latest crackdown on Stern and other broadcasters accused of spreading indecency on the airwaves.

As if that’s not spooky enough, HOH has been trying since last Friday to get a comment from the Bush-Cheney campaign to explain the travel payment to Clear Channel — to no avail.

Cue the “X-Files” theme.

Kerreying On. Leave it to ex-Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) to crack up the crowd at Tuesday’s super-serious hearing of the 9/11 commission when he faced off with the equally entertaining Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Kerrey, who’s a member of the 10-member commission and a long-shot possibility for the Democratic vice presidential slot, took a long look at the witness table after Rumsfeld’s opening statement. “Cosmic Bob” noticed that Rummy, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz had a virtual army of military men behind them.

“First of all, I’d like to know how many cars it took to get all of you over here,” Kerrey cracked, which drew a laugh from Rummy & Co.

Rumsfeld drew yuks, meanwhile, when he told ex-Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) that dealing with ethics officials and “drug tests” at the Pentagon can complicate a presidential transition.

“Although the Senate can be a problem,” Rumsfeld noted of the drawn-out confirmation process, before quickly realizing that he was testifying before a couple of ex-Senators in a Senate office building and adding, “With all due respect.”

Fitness First. Hoping to start chipping away at the nation’s obesity epidemic right here on Capitol Hill, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is joining forces with Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to urge Senators and staffers to start skipping elevators in favor of using the stairs.

As HOH reported Tuesday, Frist has handed out pedometers to get his own staffers to start counting their steps each day. Now Frist and Harkin are among a group of lawmakers pressing the Senate Rules and Administration to put new signs next to all of the elevator buttons in the Capitol and Senate office buildings that would encourage people to step up their use of stairs.

“The Senate should be a leader in encouraging workplace wellness,” said Harkin. “These signs will not only encourage Senators and staff to be more active, it will also show visitors the importance of being active.”

The Harkin-Frist letter to the Rules panel — which was also signed by Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — noted research in shopping centers and train stations has shown that poster-prompts typically result in a 15 percent increase in staircase usage.