Turn, Turn, Turn

Posted October 19, 2005 at 6:49pm

As Ecclesiastes, and later The Byrds, noted, to everything there is a season. And perhaps this is a time to reap, a time to heal, a time to laugh and so on for former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

In a scene that would have once been unimaginable, the two former adversaries will jointly participate today in an event to save at-risk kids. Billed as a “great photo opportunity,” the event kicks off a national conference sponsored by the Children Uniting Nations nonprofit. [IMGCAP(1)]

If readers recall, Armey, the Texas Republican who had nicknames for lots of folks, once likened Clinton to Karl Marx and said “all her friends are Marxists,” too. But that was 1993. This is 2005.

Stay tuned to find out whether Clinton and Armey join hands today to sing a few stanzas of our fave Byrds tune: “A time to love, a time to hate … a time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.”

Hot One-Liner. Some Members of Congress just aren’t buying the optimistic spin from Vice President Cheney that the Iraqi insurgency is in its death throes. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is one of them, and he’s not pulling any punches on what he thinks.

“That’s just plain bulls—. The American people know it, the military leaders know it and our troops know it,” Levin said in a speech Wednesday morning at the Democratic National Committee’s annual fall issues conference.

Well, the veep’s office is getting a first-hand view of whether his opinion is, in fact, BS: Cheney’s communications director, Steve Schmidt, is in Baghdad on detached duty for several weeks serving as a flack for Ambassador Zalmay Khalizdad.

Speaking of Cheney. House Republican leaders apparently have floated Cheney to receive the prestigious Congressional Medal of Freedom award, along with CIA director and former Florida Republican Rep. Porter Goss.

GOP leaders, according to sources, quietly conveyed the names of their nominees to the House Democratic leadership, which, not surprisingly, balked at the GOP’s choice. Democrats instead want to nominate former Rep. Lindy Boggs (D-La.) and Father Robert Drinan, the former Massachusetts Congressman.

HOH very lovingly asked Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) office why Hastert believes Cheney deserves the award. His leaking prowess? The answer didn’t exactly address the question “Although we love HOH, we have not made an announcement on any awards, names or details,” a Hastert spokesman said.

A House Democratic leadership aide had plenty to say about the choice. “What a clear distinction between Democrats and Republicans — Democrats award the Congressional Distinguished Service Award to two moral leaders, Republicans give it to two misleaders.”

Team JAD. Many aides to Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) are taking a beach trip this weekend to participate in the 5K Race for the Cure on behalf of their boss, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The Davis aides will be strutting their moral support around the Hill on Friday, wearing custom made T-shirts that say “Team Jo Ann Davis” on the front. On the back is a drawing of a horse kicking up its hind legs with the slogan: “Kicking Breast Cancer — Team Jo Ann Davis.” Luckily, Davis’ chief of staff, Chris Connelly, was sweet enough to lift the “no denim” policy this Friday, so the staff can look hip for the cause.

The 55-year-old Davis, a horse lover, was diagnosed with breast cancer last month. She’s scheduled to begin her first round of chemotherapy Friday in Richmond, Va., about halfway between her home and Washington, D.C. She’s expected to have surgery following a course of chemotherapy.

The three-term Congresswoman, whose first grandbaby is due in January, has said she plans to work throughout her chemo treatments.

HOH hopes her staff kicks butt, and cancer, in this weekend’s race.

Democrat Presides Over Senate. Did you happen to notice any Republicans spitting their coffee, grabbing their chests, rolling out of their chairs on Tuesday? HOH did (well, not really) when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) suddenly appeared presiding over the Senate.

It’s a courtesy rarely, if ever these days, accorded to the minority party. In this case, it was on account of Leahy’s longtime friendship with Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who, pardon the non sequitur, was recently outed as a rock n’ roll dude. (Now we know why he and the Dead Head from Vermont are friends!)

Leahy took the reins to welcome the visiting chaplain, the Rev. Claude Pomerleau, a native Vermonter and “dear friend” to Leahy for over 30 years. Pomerleau was not yet a priest when Leahy married his wife, Marcelle, 40 years ago, but he was on the altar. Pomerleau is Marcelle Leahy’s brother.

The Senator has had his brother-in-law as visiting chaplain one other time and, as he put it, “In my 31 years here in the Senate, those two times stand out as highlights of my career.”

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.