When Dave Met Cindy

Posted September 23, 2005 at 6:26pm

When peacenik Cindy Sheehan brought her “Bring ‘Em Home Now” campaign to Capitol Hill last week, one of the few lawmakers she met with was Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), the freshman phenom who just got appointed chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee that oversees emergency preparedness. [IMGCAP(1)]

The meeting, however, had nothing to do with his new role; it was scheduled before the former sheriff assumed stewardship of the subcommittee.

The Congressman sat down with Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, and five others: another mother of a slain soldier, a Gold Star family member, a Marine and two other anti-war activists. They met for about half an hour but, as expected, the entourage didn’t make much headway with the new chairman.

“He was certainly empathetic, but he told her he disagreed with her argument,” Reichert spokeswoman Heather Janik told HOH. “He disagreed with quite a bit of what they had to say.”

Janik said her boss has “an open-door policy” and is always willing to hear people on both sides of an argument, especially this one. She said Reichert has “quite a few constituents back home who have called in and expressed concerns” about the Iraq war along the lines of the viewpoints Sheehan has espoused.

But at least Sheehan got a powerful Republican to hear her. Though that didn’t go over so well with one Bush administration official who claimed to be “perplexed” that the new subcommittee chairman would meet with someone President Bush, after their initial meeting in June 2004, has repeatedly refused to see again. (Bush was out of town this weekend when she and other demonstrators held their rally in Washington.)

But Reichert was not the only Republican Sheehan was meeting with. According to the Village Voice newspaper, Sheehan also had meetings scheduled with Reps. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).

All Hillary, All The Time. Even though she wasn’t there, Sen. Clinton was all the buzz at the glitzy Capitol File magazine launch party Thursday night at the Four Seasons in Georgetown.

One major-league Democratic strategist told HOH he’s all guns a blazin’ for Hillary in ’08. When asked who the Senator should choose as a running mate, the strategist didn’t even hesitate (except to say “on background”): “Vilsack.”

That, of course, would be Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, the folksy, down-to-earth Midwesterner who is considering his own bid for the White House.

Good-bye Griffin. HOH hears the replacement for Tim Griffin in the Karl Rove shop at the White House will be Spence Pryor, a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia who ran the Bush 2000 campaign in Georgia.

Griffin, who as special assistant to the president and deputy director of political affairs was Rove’s No. 3 political hand, has been mobilized to active duty as a member of the Army Reserve for one year starting today. He’s going to Ft. Campbell, Ky., to be a criminal prosecutor and JAG captain with the 101st Airborne. His new wife will join him on the assignment.

Duathlon Man. He might not come across as a hulking bodybuilder, but don’t let appearances fool you: Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) is no softie, certainly not when it comes to running and biking.

The 50-year-old GOP Conference vice chairman finished an impressive 34th out of 70 competitors in a recent duathlon down in Savannah. The duathlon consisted of a 5K run, 20K bike and another 5K run.

Kingston’s press secretary had claimed his boss came in second place in the duathlon — but he meant second out of the two runners in the male 50 to 54 age category (not to split hairs). Still, David All pointed out, “his time was pretty impressive and he even beat some younger guys.” Kingston finished the race in one hour, 42 minutes and 40 seconds.

All said Kingston is “extremely active.” He works out in the House gym just about every day when he’s in Washington, plays on the GOP baseball team and rides his bike to Capitol Hill from his house in Virginia most days. “Sometimes he’ll even do press calls from his bike — hands-free of course,” All boasted.