Carried Away

Posted May 16, 2008 at 3:17pm

We knew the burgers at Bullfeathers were good, but it seems a visit to the House-side hangout was enough to sweep one Member of Congress off his feet, literally. Rep. John Linder (R-Ga.) was carried out of Bullfeathers, a popular hangout among House staffers and Members, on Thursday night. Witnesses tell HOH that two men bodily carried the eight-term Congressman from inside the bar out onto the curb on First Street Southeast, where he sat for a bit and then took a respite inside a nearby office building.

[IMGCAP(1)]Capitol Police officers and a firetruck appeared on the scene, where they’d been called to assist a sick person, a Capitol Police spokeswoman confirmed. The department wouldn’t release the person’s identity, but Sgt. Kimberly Schneider did confirm that the person declined further medical treatment and officers subsequently cleared the scene.

The emergency vehicles eventually left, and the men helped Linder — who was by then on his feet — walk to his nearby home.

Linder’s spokesman, Derick Corbett, says his boss wrenched his knee while at the bar by stepping on an object. Corbett says Linder was in a lot of pain and is trying to schedule an MRI for today.

And Corbett shot down speculation by some onlookers that Bullfeathers’ libations might have played a part in the incident. He says he doesn’t know whether his boss had anything to drink that night but insisted that “drinking had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

Linder was at the bar having dinner with his son, Corbett says.

Linder was on hand at the Capitol just a few hours earlier, casting votes in the last three roll calls, which wrapped up at around 4 p.m.

Disgraced Members Club. Scandal misery loves company. Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), who has been in the throes of a scandal touched off by a drunken-driving arrest and capped off by his admission that he fathered a love child outside his marriage, has been keeping a low profile around the Hill these days.

But Fossella was spotted on Thursday by an HOH tipster, talking to a guy who knows exactly what it’s like to be in the hot seat and a thorn in the side of his own party. The odd couple of Fossella and Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) were seen talking on the House floor.

Jefferson might be able to give Fossella pointers, since he’s under federal investigation for an alleged bribery scheme, and the feds found $90,000 in supposedly dirty money in his freezer.

The HOH spy says the two — not known to have much of a pre-existing relationship — shook hands and seemed to be having a deep discussion following votes late Thursday afternoon. They then left the floor together, still talking, our tipster dishes.

HOH can only imagine that they were, you know, talking about the weather.

Carly’s No Dick. If Carly Fiorina is going to get a vice-presidential spot on the GOP ticket, it’s not going to be by pulling a Dick Cheney.

Cheney, of course, took the route to the No. 2 spot by heading the search committee to identify George W. Bush’s vice-presidential ticket-mate and picking … drum roll, please … himself.

Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, says, though, that she’d be thrilled to be asked to share a ticket with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “Obviously, anybody would be honored to be asked,” Fiorina told HOH during a visit to the Capitol on Wednesday, where she was representing McCain at a House GOP event.

Fiorina cautioned that McCain would choose from a “very long list” and quipped, “I’m certainly not in charge of a search committee.”

Fiorina has at least one cheerleader. “I think Carly would be terrific,” piped in House Rules ranking member David Dreier (R-Calif.).

Clinton: Strike That Pose. Almost every musician dreams of making it on the cover of Rolling Stone, but Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is no Britney Spears. The New York Democrat could have been a Rolling Stone cover girl, but turned down the honor, says Jann Wenner, the magazine’s editor and founder, in an interview set to air tonight on CNBC.

Clinton was offered the chance to pose with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) earlier in the campaign season, but didn’t want to appear as just part of the pack, Wenner spills, according to a transcript from CNBC. “They thought they were the frontrunner. They didn’t need to speak to the Rolling Stone readers,” Wenner says in the interview with Michael Eisner.

Aw, c’mon, Senator, even the girls from the show “The Hills” — including sworn enemies Heidi Montag and Lauren Conrad — put aside their feud to share Rolling Stone’s May cover.

Motherly Advice. When Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand gave birth to baby Henry Nelson on Thursday morning, it was no doubt a joyous moment for the New York Democrat and her family. But adjusting to life with a newborn can be tough work — even for moms who don’t have to juggle votes, committee hearings, press conferences and constituents.

It had HOH pondering what advice others who have given birth while serving in Congress might have for Gillibrand. It’s a pretty select group — there are only five other Members who have done so over the years — but HOH managed to get some advice from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who gave birth to son Cole in April 2007.

“It’s really no different than any other working parent,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Some days are harder than others. I think Kirsten and I are fortunate that our jobs allow us some flexibility.”

Balancing life as a Member and mom can be difficult, and McMorris Rodgers said it is one of the things folks most often ask her about. But at the same time, having a child has given the Congresswoman new energy and passion for her work, she said.

“It’s all been for the better. … It’s hard to explain, and something I couldn’t have imagined before I became a mom,” she said.

Steven T. Dennis contributed to this report.

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