Think, Dude

Posted March 23, 2007 at 6:34pm

Pity Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. As chairman of the House Republicans’ policy arm, the Michigander has the unenviable task of trying to get his colleagues to ponder the intellectual underpinnings of the party’s positions. [IMGCAP(1)]

No wonder he’s resorting to oddball marketing tactics. McCotter explained to HOH that the loopy touches on his latest missive to colleagues — which included pictures of John Wayne and John Lennon — are attempts to compete for the attention of paperwork-overloaded colleagues.

The eccentric, music-loving Congressman has titled the latest handout from the House Republican Policy Committee “Cerebral Needles,” and emblazoned the publication with photos of Lennon (“RHPC chair c. 1964”) and a booze-chugging, eye-patch-wearing Wayne (“RHPC Vice Chair c. 1969”). Under the headline “The Earmarks of Cain?” — an allusion to the biblical story — McCotter asks colleagues to delve into the Big Questions behind earmark reform.

The goofiness prompted some chuckles among GOPers, but hey, at least they noticed it, right?

McCotter tells HOH that part of his job — getting Members to contribute the intellectual fuel behind policy — can be tough. “The challenge is to pierce through the day-to-day grind of governing and to urge people to find the time to think,” he tells HOH. Of the attention-grabbing methods: “The Beatles didn’t like their suits, either, but Epstein was right.”

That, we think, means that like Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who urged the Fab Four to don cheesy matching suits, McCotter is doing what he has to to get attention.

HOH will totally think this through, while sitting on her beanbag chair and flipping on the black light.

Shine On. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) is sporting a big ol’ shiner, and he wants colleagues to know that it wasn’t a result of a dust-up with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), his counterpart on the House Appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch. But Wasserman Schultz, who chairs the panel on which Wamp is the ranking member, did offer (jokingly, we assume) to “even things up by giving me a black eye on the other side,” Wamp tells HOH.

Wamp earned the bruise during a charity basketball game last week, when he threw up a 3-point shot and took an elbow in the face from a defender. The shot, Wamp tells HOH, went in, but no foul was called and his team ultimately lost. Wamp, though, seemed proud of the badge of honor. “I think it makes me look tougher,” he said. And, he notes, the 20th Annual Home Court Basketball Game (which pits a Hill team against Georgetown lawyers) pulled in more than $300,000 to help the D.C. homeless. “A black eye for a good cause is worth it.”

Look Out, Al Sharpton. A North Carolina reverend who ministers to the hip-hop generation is launching an “American Idol”-style contest to find the next leader of the black community.

The Rev. Paul Scott tells HOH people have tired of the same faces and are looking for a fresh voice to represent them. Aspiring Al Sharptons or Jesse Jacksons can post videos on the “America’s Next Black Leader” section on YouTube.com describing their vision and qualifications.

Scott said the contest’s format was inspired by the new BET series “Hot Ghetto Mess” in which viewers are encouraged to send in their most “ghetto” videos. “I thought, ‘Let’s flip that around and turn it into something positive,’” Scott told HOH.

Top models, chefs, designers, pop stars and now black leaders are getting launched on reality series — but HOH wants to know, when are we going to give up that passé, last-century voting-booth thing and elect our public officials this way? And can we be Simon?

Unholy Matrimony. Usually, there’s no love lost between the White House and the Democratic leadership in the House. But on Friday, staffers from each side of Pennsylvania Avenue. — Tom Manatos, an advance man for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and White House advance staffer Dana Edwards — got engaged in the White House library.

And in true Washingtonian fashion, a pool report captured every detail. Less than an hour after the “she said ‘yes’” moment, ABC News’ Jon Garcia sent out an e-mail to various media, Capitol Hill and White House folk, titled “A sorta Pool Report,” chronicling the question-popping. According to the “pool report”: “Between the POTUS statement in the Diplomatic Room at 200pm and his event in the East Room Celebrating Greek Independence Day at 315pm, there was an engagement in the WH Library. Dana Edwards, WH advance staffer (and sister of Chris Edwards) accepted a marriage proposal from Tom Manatos — with members of both families hiding in the adjacent mens room listening thru the door.”

The families then attended the Greek Independence Day festivities, except for the prospective bride, who, according to the report, “went right back to work putting on the event.”

Now that’s love in Washington.

Goin’ to the Chapel. Speaking of engagements, congrats are in order for former Rep. John Porter (R-Ill.), who is engaged to Amy McGuire, the executive director of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the daughter of late Rep. Robert Cook (D-Ohio), who served in the House from 1959 to 1963.

The couple met when Porter joined the foundation’s board, and they’re planning a June wedding in the picturesque Wren Chapel on the campus of The College of William & Mary. Porter, 71, is a partner at Hogan & Hartson. McGuire is 55.

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