Reid Trips the Light Fantastic

Posted March 5, 2008 at 6:53pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is used to playing the role of spoiler. But on Saturday, it wasn’t the White House or his GOP Senate rivals that he foiled. Rather, it was a group of middle-school basketball players.

[IMGCAP(1)]Reid was attending a game at Longfellow Middle School in McLean, Va., in which his grandson was playing, HOH hears, when he caused a bit of a ruckus.

The school has two gyms with basketball courts that were in use that day, and the Majority Leader apparently walked into the wrong gym. Before Reid discovered his error, he accidentally tripped over the wire that powered the game’s scoreboard, knocking out the lights. The game, our spy says, was in the third quarter and was tight when the Majority Leader brought it to a momentary halt.

Reid promptly moved on to the right gym.

Reid spokesman Jim Manley laughed off his boss’ faulty footwork. “What can I say, it was an accident,” Manley tells HOH. “He prefers trying to turn out the lights on the Republicans in the Senate.”

On HOH tipster familiar with the gym says the Senator is hardly the first person to knock down the wires, which seem to have an inopportune locale. But HOH is guessing Reid might be the most illustrious person to trip them.

Coincidentally, former Clinton adviser and CNN gabber Paul Begala was at the game, too, as the coach of the team that includes his son and Reid’s grandson. Begala tells HOH that he didn’t witness Reid’s lights-out moment, but that the two men chatted after the game. “We pretty much got creamed,” he said.

Reichert’s Stunt Double. Does actor Tom Cavanagh (best known for playing a quirky bowling alley-owner cum lawyer on the show “Ed”) look like Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)?

Judge for yourself. Cavanagh plays the Congressman in an upcoming Lifetime TV miniseries based on Reichert’s autobiographical book chronicling his pre-Congress work as the sheriff who helped nab the Green River Killer. Reichert notes to HOH that he and Cavanagh “both have blue eyes” and that Reichert’s hair was as dark as Cavanagh’s in the 1980s.

Attendees at a Thursday night screening at the National Music Center will get to see Reichert and Cavanagh side by side, along with Cavanagh’s co-stars Sharon Lawrence of the defunct series “NYPD Blue” and Amy Davidson, a vet of the show “8 Simple Rules,” and judge for themselves whether there’s a resemblance.

Reichert’s book, “Chasing the Devil: My Twenty-Year Quest to Capture the Green River Killer,” chronicles the tale of how Reichert, as a sheriff in the Seattle area, helped track down the man who killed 48 women while maintaining a double life. Lifetime describes Reichert as “one persistent, nearly obsessive Washington State detective” who “used guile, wits and perseverance to hunt the murderer, bringing an end to the largest unsolved serial killer case in the country.”

The miniseries airs March 30 and March 31.

Undressed Code. We’ve heard of business casual, but the ensemble Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) sported during a public appearance back in her district on Monday is something else entirely. Musgrave wore a light-blue flannel pajama set printed with moons and stars, and accessorized the outfit with a fetching jester hat and slippers.

“We prefer to think of it as pajama couture,” spokesman Joe Brettell tells HOH.

Musgrave, though, wasn’t underdressed in her bed-ready look; she was attending “pajama day” at the local elementary school where her daughter is a first-grade teacher. And although PJs at work might be comfy, Musgrave is now back to her usual professional garb. “As fun as it was, I think suit and tie will still be the standard attire,” Brettell says.

Must Credit Nelson. Staffers for Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) want to make sure their boss gets props where they believe props are due. Nelson’s communication director, Dan McLaughlin, sent a helpful little note to reporters and editors on Tuesday reminding them as they prepare to cover the product-safety bill the Senate is expected to vote on this week that they should bear in mind that his boss practically owns the issue.

The e-mail notes that Nelson was an author of the bill and one of its strongest advocates. “when the bill passes, I hope some of ya’ll’s pieces will give my boss just a bit of much-deserved credit,” the note concludes.

We’re Good Enough. “Saturday Night Live” funnyman turned deadly-serious Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken was making the rounds in Washington on Wednesday, HOH spies say.

The Democrat hoping to knock off Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) appeared at an event touting the House bill on mental health parity alongside House leaders, former first lady Rosalynn Carter and David Wellstone, son of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), who championed the issue of mental health parity.

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