Call Him Sensei Jackson

Posted June 6, 2008 at 6:29pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is not a guy to mess with. The ultra-fit Illinois Democrat has a two-degree black belt in tae kwon do and a black sash in kung fu, and he also has been spotted at yoga classes around town. Now HOH hears that Jackson is upping his athleticism even more by prepping for an unusual moonlighting career as a Budokon instructor.

[IMGCAP(1)]Budokon, one of those trendy workouts that Hollywood celebrities swear by, combines martial arts and yoga, all designed to explore and strengthen the body’s range of motion. An HOH spy spotted the Congressman taking a Budokon class at Vida Fitness in Chinatown on

Thursday, and a spokesman confirmed the Congressman is in training to lead such classes himself.

And according to our spy, Jackson looks well on his way to earning his certification. Sporting a black, v-neck, ribbed short-sleeved shirt and black drawstring pants, Jackson nonchalantly worked out alongside the rest of the dozen or so folks taking the class.

And although he’s still a guru-in-training, Jackson took a leadership role in the class, playing songs from his iPod for the stretching-and-jabbing students. While our spy couldn’t say for sure what tunes came from Jackson’s playlist, we do know the class soundtrack featured mostly tranquil stuff alongside edgier tracks, including Next’s “Wifey.”

Loyal HOH readers will recall that Jackson was spotted back in November checking his BlackBerry during a yoga class. Our spy tells us that Jackson stayed free of electronic devices this time around, a good move for someone who’s aiming at sensei-dom — he removed his trademark Bluetooth headset just before the class began.

Lautenberg Punk’d. A staffer in the office of Sen. Frank Lautenberg got punk’d by a stunt from Radar magazine. The magazine on Friday published a story on how having a famous last name can help win a kid a far sweeter gig than some nobody could land.

Radar called the New Jersey Democrat’s office posing as an emissary of filmmaker George Lucas (of Star Wars fame, natch) seeking an internship for Lucas’ college-aged daughter, Amelia.

The story was supposed to show how people in politics, academia and elsewhere would bend over backward for a boldfacer’s kid — the Radar reporter also tried similar tricks on a college, a restaurant and a publishing company — but HOH thought the transcript the mag published showed that the Lautenberg staffer kept his cool.

The staffer serenely requested that little Miss Lucas send in a writing sample and résumé, and made no promises.

The questions grew increasingly outrageous, with the pretend Lucas representative informing the Lautenberg staffer that young Amelia only wanted to work a few days a week, because she would be partying the rest of the time, that she had multiple piercings and “spiky pink hair.” The Senate staffer appeared unruffled, but noted that Amelia might want to tone down her look if she wanted to fit in on the Senator’s staff. “You can look stylish, as long as you’re professional,” he informed the caller. “The Senator, he’s old school. He came from the business world, so he does stress a professional atmosphere.”

Would-be interns, take note.

Lautenberg spokesman Scott Mulhauser seemed proud of the staffer’s performance and amused by the prank, taking the chance to make a Star Wars pun. “The farce was strong with this one,” he told HOH.

Reid Offers to School Obama. That Harry Reid might not be a good speaker, but he’s a good talker. A spy tells us the Senate Majority Leader offered to coach the practically official Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), on some of the finer points of campaigning. The Nevada Democrat, the spy says, during a Thursday breakfast told a story of how he had talked to Obama and said he’d be happy to “spend some time with him to work on his speaking skills.”

The story was obviously tongue-in-cheek, since Reid isn’t exactly considered one of the party’s most electric speechifyers, while even Obama’s foes concede that the guy’s got some fine oratory skills.

Bond, Kit Bond. Sen. Kit Bond might get loads of fancy briefing books and reports from high-level sources as the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. But the Missouri Republican isn’t above doing a little shoe-leather intelligence-gathering of his own. On Thursday, Bond was waiting outside the Senate Radio/TV Gallery while Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the Intelligence chairman, wrapped up a press conference on the report that Democratic staffers wrote on the leadup to the Iraq War.

Bond was slated to do his own presser immediately following Rockefeller’s. Bond, who had arrived outside the door just as Rockefeller was finishing, decided to do a little snooping worthy of that other Bond, aka Agent 007.

Bond pressed his nose to the door’s glass panel to see into the room.

That, folks, is how the pros do it.

A Sign of Hope. Conservatives don’t have a lot to cheer about these days, what with a few depressing losses of late and the likelihood that the party will lose even more seats in Congress after the November elections.

Despite the current political outlook, author Peter Schweizer thinks conservatives still have it right, and he has written a book — with a super-long title — that he says proves it: “Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less … And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals.” (Phew.)

A research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Schweizer traveled to Washington, D.C., on Friday to speak at the Heritage Foundation, telling the group of young interns and older stuffy-looking guys in suits that research shows the conservative virtues of hard work and personal responsibility create better people than those who follow the self-centered focus of modern liberalism.

And while things look bad for conservatives this election cycle, Schweizer gave a reason to be hopeful: Studies show that conservatives are having far more children than liberals these days.

Now, if only all those little conservatives could vote come November…

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