Oh, Baby, Baby!
Sen. Ron Wyden is in for double-daddy duty, now that the Oregon Democrat and wife, Nancy, are expecting twins. [IMGCAP(1)]
A Wyden spokeswoman says the couple is “absolutely thrilled.” But they won’t have much time to bask in the glow of impeding parenthood: Now that the size of the clan is doubling, they’ll have to dive into the sharky waters of Washington, D.C., real estate as they look to trade their District apartment for more family-friendly digs (the house in Portland, Ore., will get some baby modifications, too).
Wyden, 58, has two grown children from a previous marriage. He and Nancy, who is a co-owner of Strand Book Store in New York City, married in 2005.
Wyden likes to talk about shopping at Costco as a metaphor for buying cheaper prescription drugs in bulk, and now he might be in for a lot more firsthand experience with such trips. Remember, Senator, twins = double the diapers.
Dirty Talk. Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel’s love of expletives is well-documented. And although the Illinois Democrat might have tried to keep things clean at a reception Monday night celebrating the release of Chicago Tribune deputy Washington bureau chief Naftali Bendavid’s new book, “The Thumpin’,” about Emanuel’s term as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he couldn’t resist indulging in just a wee bit of crude humor. “What are the odds,” Emanuel asked the crowd gathered at the Tribune’s downtown offices, “of a book called ‘The Thumpin’ coming out the same week as the D.C. Madam publishes a book called ‘The Humpin’?”
Emanuel delivered his brief remarks after a fellow Illinoisan and partygoer, Republican Rep. Ray LaHood, egged him to take the microphone (as if one has to do much convincing to get attention-loving Emanuel to command a crowd). Other minglers included James Carville, Paul Begala, and Democratic Reps. Rosa DeLauro (Conn.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).
And Raunchy Rahm copped to his reputation as a dirty-talker. He relayed that his wife joked that “if the ‘F-bomb’ was taken out of the book it would have only been seven pages long.”
The Date Tourney of the Season. HOH just loves a happy ending, and so she’s got the Kleenex box out as the sides feuding over Congressional softball ride off in the made-for-TV sunset. The highly publicized spat that led last year to the formation of an alternate softball league has ended happily, with the rival leagues burying the hatchet and participating last weekend in a joint tournament. The sponsor, of course, was the conflict-resolution group Search for Common Ground.
In 2006, torn apart in part by a squabble over the playoff format of the Congressional Softball League, a band of baseball rebels formed the House Softball League.
This weekend’s tourney, the Common Ground Classic, brought together teams from both leagues and the Senate Softball League. Search for Common Ground’s Philip Hellmich tells HOH that the event was a healing good time. Imported umpires said the teams were some of the most polite and good-natured they’d worked with, and everyone got along just swimmingly.
And as if things weren’t warm and fuzzy enough, here’s another tear-jerker moment: The tourney champs were “The Don Johnsons,” made up of staffers for ailing Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.). The team plans to present its trophy to the boss when he returns to work after suffering a brain hemorrhage in December.
The movie version, HOH is absolutely sure, will star Judith Light.
Goin’ (and Goin’) to the Chapel. Staffers in the Washington office of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) are taking their boss’ “pro-marriage” stance pretty seriously. There’s a chronic rash of nuptials breaking out among GOP House staffers, and we’re tracing it all to Pence’s matrimony-minded peeps. Those joining the family values bandwagon include Counsel Josh Pitcock, who’s getting hitched next month; Legislative Director LeAnne Holdman, who is tying the knot in August with Francis Gibbs, an L.D. for Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV.
And another soon-to-be-wed House couple has Pence roots: former Pence Press Assistant Matt Lahr (who’s now the press secretary for Michigan Republican Rep. Tim Walberg) just got engaged to Amanda Schmidgall, a legislative assistant for Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).
Whew! Pence better start ordering toasters in bulk.
Copy-Cat Fight. It’s going to be a looong time before there’s any actual news from the presidential trail, which is why there’s time for spats such as the one a former campaign staffer for a one-time presidential hopeful, retired Gen. Wesley Clark (D), is picking with the presidential campaign of Jim Gilmore (R).
Drew Pritt, who was a Clark-ite during the 2004 election, said the former Virginia governor has ripped off Clark’s for-president logo.
And sure enough, a visit to www.4president.com reveals similarities between the logos: Both feature a row of stars atop the candidate’s last name and a similarly positioned election year. Pritt said it’s a heist that “shows how bankrupt the Republican Party has become on original ideas.”
A Gilmore campaign spokesman laughed off the resemblance, noting that the campaign logos of all presidential candidates are similar — most are rendered in patriotic shades of red, white and blue, and many feature stars and the phrase “for president.” Besides, the logo on the Web site was for Gilmore’s exploratory committee, and now that he’s a full-fledged candidate, Gilmore has a new, sleeker graphic that looks nothing like Clark’s, he said.
“I appreciate this guy’s interest the aesthetics of the Gilmore campaign, but I suspect he’s got a little too much time on his hands,” said Gilmore spokesman Christian Josi, getting in a counter-shot. “Nobody is intentionally copying the Wes Clark campaign and nobody ever will.”
And so the games have begun, although it’s not even primary season yet.
A Little Help From His Friends. It’s nice to have friends — especially when they’re really famous and say nice things about you to millions of people.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) found that out when former Vice President Al Gore on Tuesday sent out a glowing endorsement of “This Moment on Earth,” the book Kerry penned with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. The e-mail, in which the former veep and fellow environmentalist gushes over the book — and asks readers to join his green movement — was sent to all 2 million folks on Kerry’s e-mail list. “I urge you to join me in working for change. And I urge you to read John and Teresa’s wonderful new book for moving and inspiring illustrations of the potential power of Americans working for a better planet,” Gore wrote.
Now, in addition to hugging trees, maybe Kerry should save a hug for his pal, Al.
Daniel Heim and Paul Singer contributed to this report.
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