Tie-tanic

Posted May 25, 2005 at 6:47pm

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), who styles himself a sartorial consultant to other Members, is getting a tad snobby in his fashion critiques.

Not only has he dubbed shabby dressing “LaTourette Syndrome” after his Ohio Republican colleague, Rep. Steven LaTourette. Recently, Boehner almost had a conniption when he saw the tie worn by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.).

To be fair, the tie, by all accounts, was perfectly hideous. But Boehner took

it upon himself to tell the two-term Michigander to, ahem, lose the tie, dude.

Boehner walked up to McCotter on Tuesday, pointed at his ugly cravat, and said, “When you take that tie off tonight, burn it.” The tattered, reddish tie is a “Tango” tie by Max Raab that depicts a 19th century musical band of cowboys with mustaches, beards and six-shooters on their hips, along with a sign that says: “Dodge City Cow-Boy Band.”

We stress: not cool, especially considering that McCotter is just shy of 40 and falls within the age range of those expected to be at hipper end of the fashion scale.

So McCotter went home that night, did some thinking and made a bold decision. On Wednesday, he returned to the Speaker’s Lobby, where he found Boehner, predictably, smoking a cigarette in his favorite leather chair. He handed the Ohio Republican a large manila envelope. Inside it was the tie. Puzzled, Boehner asked, “What would I do with it? Wash my car?”

Asked later about the insult, McCotter offered a nice comeback: “That’d be nice, because we all know he doesn’t drive his own car. He may as well wash it.”

Well, it would be a good comeback if Boehner, chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, used a car and driver. But he doesn’t.

Then McCotter went for the jugular, saying Boehner’s “year-round tan shocks and awes you to the point that you’re submissive to whatever sartorial guidance he has to give.”

Return of Washingtonienne. With her new book now on the shelves (and a Jonathan Yardley rave in The Washington Post), Jessica Cutler must have decided it was time to get more promotional pictures taken.

This time, though, the bad-girl ex-Senate aide, known in the blogosphere as Washingtonienne, didn’t hit a New York City studio or stand on the Mall with the Capitol in the background, as she did in her “other” photo shoot for Playboy.com.

No, for this shoot — whatever it was for, we’re not sure — Cutler chose the third floor of the Hart Senate Office Building, almost smack dab in front of the office of conservative Republican Sen. Jim Bunning (Ky.).

Cutler — who was fired from the office of Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) after she revealed her extensive and tawdry sex life on her blog — posed for the camera for at least 20 minutes, according to eyewitnesses, leaning on the railing and flipping her hair back as she did her best “come hither” pose for the lens. Dressed in a remarkably unrevealing black dress, she almost went unnoticed as Hill staffers walked by.

One Senate aide said, “The only time I have seen her was in a magazine, and in those photos she was in the shower wearing nothing but some soap suds. I had to look twice to make sure it was really her. I thought she’d be taller.”

Cutler, whose blog detailed her sexual liaisons with six different men, is now being sued by one of them: Robert Steinbuch, DeWine’s Judiciary Committee counsel who is seeking unspecified damages for “invasion of privacy” and “emotional distress.”

Mama, Leave My Boy Alone! Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.) is the subject of a video that’s being widely e-mailed around the political circuit in Detroit and Washington, D.C.

The video shows a local Fox News clip of the Congresswoman giving a rousing speech in defense of her son, embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who last week repaid the city close to $9,000 of what he owes for charging lavish personal expenses on his city-issued credit card.

The video, which was posted on a Web log dedicated to scrutinizing Mayor Kilpatrick, can be viewed at www.blomblog.com/Kwame Mommysm.wmv.

The clip shows Rep. Kilpatrick at a rally to kick off her son’s re-election campaign, screaming at the crowd, reminding them that they voted her son into office and demanding that they continue to fight in the spirit of others who died fighting for their civil rights.

“He didn’t just get up in here by just coming,” Kilpatrick said of her son. “Y’all set him up in here! Don’t let nobody talk about y’all’s boy! Too many people died for us! We’re here to fight!” She paused and added, “That’s what I’m talking about!”

Kilpatrick’s spokeswoman, Denise Mixon, said that when the Congresswoman said, “We’re here to fight,” she meant “fight to get re-elected.” Mixon added, “It was a rally. She was trying to get the troops into it, just trying to get [her son] re-elected.”

NASCAR Sparks Jealousy. Rival GOP presidential hopefuls for 2008 aren’t the only ones who are jealous of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) for being tapped as honorary starter of the huge NASCAR race on Memorial Day weekend. It seems that Democrats (yes, Democrats) are green with envy, too.

Frist will wave the green flag to start the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race on Sunday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. He’ll also get to address the estimated 200,000 NASCAR Moms and Dads in attendance.

One devoted Democrat and NASCAR activist is outraged that Frist will have an opportunity to reach millions of TV voters through his role at one of the biggest sporting events of the year. “I think it’s not only inappropriate — I think it’s unfair,” said Leo Hindery Jr., a Democratic economic policy adviser and LeMans owner and driver.

Hindery, founder of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network and chairman of InterMedia Partners, said NASCAR should be “agnostic as to politics.” He said it is “especially inappropriate to invite only Republicans” to participate at major NASCAR events in “a sport I can prove to you is darn near 50-50.” Hindery said he blamed the sponsors, in this case Coca-Cola, for politicizing NASCAR.

But Coca-Cola spokesman Lauren Steele said his company, as sponsor of the NASCAR 600, has invited state Democratic politicians before. This year, he said, the company invited Frist “because he is one of our nation’s leaders. … We think he’s a very fine person and we’re honored to have him come to Charlotte. And if someone thinks he’ll get some positive benefit out of it — well, then.”

Ben Pershing contributed to this report.Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.