Heard on the Hill: Model Citizens

Posted July 7, 2008 at 6:44pm

Former supermodels Kim Alexis and Beverly Johnson might be ruthless on the set of their reality TV show, “She’s Got the Look,” in which they search for America’s next supermodel who’s over the age of 35. But in person, they’re quite diplomatic.

[IMGCAP(1)]The gorgeous gals were at the National Press Club on Monday to tout the results of a survey of baby-boomer consumers. HOH asked them who would fare better on their show: Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama. Both Senators’ wives, of course, are vying for the ultimate reality TV gig, that of first lady.

“We’ve never had two winners before,” Johnson said. “But we’d have two winners there.”

And similarly tactful Alexis wouldn’t take sides, either. “I’m not sure … it depends on how they would perform in our challenges,” she said.

Michelle Obama, Johnson noted, has one thing going for her if she ever decided to try for a modeling career. “Michelle is tall,” she noted.

Surviving Sex Scandals 101. Fear not, future sex-scandal-afflicted leaders of America: If you handle the situation just right, you might be able to salvage your political career.

At least that’s the theory posited by author Susan Wise Bauer in her upcoming book, “The Art of the Public Grovel.” HOH received an advance copy of the titillating tome, which studies how well selected American public figures have handled their respective (if not respectable) sex scandals and offers advice for those folks who are certain to commit naughty misdeeds in the future.

It’s not enough for politicians to merely apologize, Bauer says. If the public is actually going to buy it, errant pols must prove they are no better than anyone else by admitting they’ve erred and asking for forgiveness.

Former President Bill Clinton did it better than anybody, Bauer says. After all, he managed to turn himself into the victim by the end of that whole Monica Lewinsky thing. But Bauer believes former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) didn’t get it right when he got caught with an escort earlier this year (although Bauer admits the guy was in a tough spot).

“I think when you’ve been caught doing the same thing you are campaigning against, there’s sort of nothing you can do,” she said.

The book isn’t due out until the fall, but HOH expects plenty of powerful leaders will pick up a copy.

You know, just in case.

Stars and Stripes: Made in China? Just wearing a flag pin on one’s lapel isn’t enough. Your stars and stripes better be made in America, Rep. Bob Filner says.

The California Democrat has introduced a resolution — which the House is expected to take up this week — that would require American flags flown over federal buildings be made in the United States. Filner’s reasoning is simple: The American flag isn’t always made in America. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that in 2006, about $5.3 million worth of American flags were imported from other countries.

“We thought, ‘it’s a small step,’” Filner tells HOH. “You turn over a flag pin or a flag and the ‘Made in China’ label is sort of strange.”

So could the flags flown over the Capitol come from — gasp! — somewhere other than the good old US of A? Well, no. HOH is pleased to report that the stars and stripes flown above the Capitol are 100 percent American-made.

Flags on the Senate side are purchased from Alabama-based manufacturer CF Flag Co., a spokeswoman for the Secretary of the Senate tells HOH. All flags flown on the House side are purchased from FlagZone, a Pennsylvania-based company that guarantees its merchandise is made in the United States, a spokesman for the Chief Administrative Officer says.

And those ubiquitous flag pins? Beware that “Made in China” label.

Strange Encounters. Hill staffers are used to playing chauffeurs, gofers and even therapists in the line of duty. On Monday, two aides had to play security guards in one of those bizarre-even-by-Hill-standards scenes.

Kurt Bardella, press secretary for Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), tells HOH he was walking down a hallway in the Cannon House Office Building with a buddy from the office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). The two staffers noticed two people, whose bright pink garb gave them away as members of the anti-war CODEPINK organization, walking down the hallway carrying a sign that had been on display on Issa’s office door.

Suspecting a heist, the staffers yelled after the PINK-ers, asking them what they were doing with the sign, which opposed liberal group MoveOn.org’s controversial “Gen. Betray-Us” ad. The two sign-lifters responded by saying they thought the poster was there for anyone to take. Pressed further, they offered this excuse: “We’re taxpayers.”

When Bardella took the sign back from them, they asked if he would e-mail them a copy instead. “I was dumbfounded. I went from being annoyed to laughing,” he tells HOH. “If there was a sitcom about life on the Hill, this would be a good snippet.”

Striptease. Revelers at the popular watering hole Capitol Lounge on Saturday night were treated to a scene straight out of a “Girls Gone Wild” DVD. HOH hears two women engaged in a topless make-out session at the front bar, after one of them directed an obscenity-laced rant at one of the bartenders.

Amazed patrons snapped cell-phone pictures and videos of the girl-on-girl action, we’re told.

Sadly, HOH couldn’t collect any intel on the identities of the misbehaving ladies — neither of whom are believed to be Hill staffers — and HOH couldn’t reach anyone at the Lounge for comment.

So we can only beseech our readers for help. Know the identity of the mystery women? Can you shed any light on the naughty incident? E-mail us at the address below.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.