Craig’s Energy Talk Stalls

Posted May 2, 2008 at 5:29pm

Craig’s Energy Talk Stalls. Sen. Larry Craig just couldn’t shake the packs of reporters and TV cameras hounding him in the days after his arrest last summer. But the Idaho Republican can’t seem to scare up an audience these days — at least not when he wants to talk energy policy.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Idaho Republican and an aide strolled up to the Senate Daily Press Gallery on Thursday in the hopes of chatting up reporters about energy prices. But Craig couldn’t get any takers, even after the gallery staff announced that he was there and even used the intercom to broadcast the hot news. That, according to an HOH spy, was met with “scattered laughter or dismissive grunts” from reporters.

A bit earlier, Craig had been on the floor, where he made a lengthy speech on the topic, meaning that reporters had probably exhausted any questions they’d want to pose to the Senator. And then there’s just the teensy matter of him being a lame-duck Member in the minority party.

A few moments later, Craig and his staffer left, “chins held high, but eyes scanning laptop screens to see what everybody was actually working on,” our spy says.

Maybe if the Senator told the scribes he wanted to discuss his wide-ranging stance on the matter, they might have made time for him.

Frisky Business. Warmer days mean Hill staffers are wearing a tad less clothing (hello, skirts!) and spending more time outside. And all that flesh-baring and outdoors-lingering is apparently causing an uptick in ogling.

HOH noticed a preponderance of Hill- related personal ads posted on Craigslist, the Web site for everything from selling used lawn mowers to arranging illicit hookups.

The “missed connections” section of Craigslist, in which people smitten through brief encounters try to connect with the objects of their affections, features half a dozen postings about situations that took place on the Hill from the past week alone.

Two highlights, both from the Rayburn House Office Building, which seems to be overtaking Cap Lounge as the spot to meet a date:

*A tall, “harried” blonde writes to the Capitol Police officer with “dark hair, dark eyes” who caught her eye, “I asked you which direction the Rayburn Building was. I wish I wasn’t already late, so I could have asked for at least your name! … Drinks sometime?”

*A guy delivering packages to Hill offices (we’re guessing he’s not a professional delivery guy because he mentions he was with “one of my senior fellows”) wants to tell a woman at a front desk in Rayburn that he’s sorry he couldn’t come up with a good line in answer to her smile: “Would love to meet up with you at one of the Pennsylvania bars and just enjoy this weather, good company, and a few cold ones.”

That’s not pollen in the air making us woozy, folks — that’s love.

Pins and Needling. Sen. Charles Schumer isn’t usually big on subtlety. But the New York Democrat, a booster of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) presidential bid, on Thursday took a sideways jab at Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). It was so brief that Senate watchers might have missed it if they blinked.

Schumer was on the Senate floor talking about legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration when he managed to sneak in a reference to the miniature American flag that he’s been sporting on his suit lapel since just after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Schumer appeared to be taking a swipe at Obama, who has taken heat for not — like nearly every red-blooded politician — wearing a flag pin on his lapel.

“There has always been talk about wearing flags. I put this flag on my lapel on 9/12/2001,” Schumer said. “I have worn it every day since and, God willing, I will wear it every day for the remainder of my life in remembrance of what has happened.”

Obama has said that since the terrorist attacks, wearing a pin has become a “substitute for true patriotism.”

Motorcycle Mama. It might have been pouring rain Thursday when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords joined with Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters on the Capitol lawn to kick off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, but that didn’t dampen the Arizona Democrat’s spirit for hogs.

Giffords showed off her biker bona fides by wearing a tough-looking black-and-gray leather jacket with red piping that wasn’t just for show: Giffords owns three motorcycles, including one with a sidecar, according to her spokesman C.J. Karamargin.

Giffords’ willingness to reach across party lines for one of her true loves doesn’t stop in Congress. Karamargin says his boss is planning a motorcycle ride with Bob Walkup, the Republican mayor of Tucson, Ariz.

“On motorcycle safety, she walks the walk and talks the talk when it comes to bipartisanship,” Karamargin said.

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