Move Over, Kevin Bacon

Posted February 9, 2007 at 6:47pm

Since this is his last column before he turns back into a pumpkin (more on that later), HOH had really hoped to leave you, dear reader, with the best imaginable farewell present — a juicy item about Anna Nicole Smith.

Alas, it turns out that Smith, who died in Florida last week, never had much to do with Congress. She wasn’t named in any bills or floor speeches, and, other than her big visit to the Supreme Court last year, she wasn’t a well-known visitor to the Capitol campus.[IMGCAP(1)]

Undeterred, HOH decided to play Six Degrees of Anna Nicole Smith anyway. Here’s what he found:

• Smith actually did turn up once in the Congressional Record — posthumously. On Thursday, Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) complained on the House floor, “Of all the news stories and the ruckus about Iraq and global warming and our borders and the death of Anna Nicole Smith, whatever bumps it out of the news, it has kind of been lost about a major new initiative for the upcoming centennial of the national parks.”

• Several prominent Members were bumped from their scheduled slots on cable news networks by the wall-to-wall Anna Nicole coverage, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and House Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

• Smith herself never popped up in the Congressional Record while she was alive, nor, as best HOH can tell, had either of the three men who, at press time in this fast-moving story, had claimed to be her baby’s father — Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead and Prince Frederick von Anhalt.

But here is where the “six degrees” game comes in.

Von Anhalt’s wife, Zsa Zsa Gabor, has in fact popped up in the Congressional Record on multiple occasions. A trio of examples:

• In May 2004, then-Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) gave a speech in tribute to a Chicago piano player named Hots Michels, who has played for “many famous people including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Abbott and Costello and Bob Hope.”

• In June 1993, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) gave a speech to mark the release of the animated film “Happily Ever After,” which featured the voice of Gabor.

• And in July 1991, then-Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) and then-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) were on the House floor lamenting high taxes. Armey said, “I understand that it is very easy to stand up there like a demagogue and say on jewels that Zsa Zsa Gabor, if she wants to buy more jewelry, should pay this extra tax. I guarantee you that Zsa Zsa Gabor has all the jewelry that she needs, and she will not get hurt.”

So, in sum, Anna Nicole Smith may have had a child with Prince Frederick von Anhalt, who is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor, who has been officially referenced by Dick Armey while Tom DeLay looked on.

Where will this story lead next? Stay tuned — HOH is just getting started.

Youth Movement. HOH wishes hearty congratulations to Matt Lambert, communications director for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and his wife, Fox 5 reporter Claudia Coffey, who last week welcomed into the world “future Congressman John ‘Jack’ Lambert,” as they put it in an impressively elaborate release.

The release even featured a quote from Blackburn herself, who allegedly said, “Considering his parents’ background, it doesn’t surprise me that Jack Lambert made it here in time to catch the lead story of the 11 o’clock news. This boy is destined to do great things for our country.”

Little Jack, for his part, apparently “said” the following: “In the future I intend to work with my contemporaries on both sides of the aisle to curtail runaway federal spending, support a strong military and increase the abundance of mashed bananas.”

Mother and baby, who weighed in at 6 pounds, 4 ounces, are both doing quite well. Go ahead and send your résumés over to them now — Jack is expected to begin hiring for Iowa soon.

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been. It seems like only yesterday that HOH took the reins of this gossip column from Mary Ann Akers, who is now plying the gossip trade for some other newspaper.

In fact, it wasn’t yesterday, it was a month ago.

Now, as he prepares to hand the mantle over to the talented Emily Heil, HOH has mixed feelings. To use culinary terms, he is experiencing the emotional equivalent of bittersweet chocolate. Or, if you prefer, sweet-and-sour sauce.

HOH is happy, because he knows Heil will do an excellent job, but he also is sad, because he will miss all of you and the bond he shared with you. Remember all the crazy times we had? Remember all those hilarious things that we heard together on the Hill over the past four weeks? (Insert sentimental, slow-motion montage here, with that Green Day “Time of Your Life” song playing softly in the background.)

HOH hopes he has made your days a little brighter, and he asks that you treat Heil well and shower her with great tips and gossip, beginning today. You stay classy, San Diego.

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