Heard on the Hill: Color Me Jersey

Posted August 27, 2008 at 8:03pm

State delegations have a long history of vying for the dubious distinction of having the craziest hats on the convention floor, but this year, HOH thinks the New Jersey delegation might be running for another title: best makeup.

[IMGCAP(1)]Cosmetics guru Bobbi Brown, creator and CEO of an eponymous line of makeup, is a delegate from the Garden State. And she’s helping her fellow delegates look their

best, giving consultations to the female members of the state’s entourage, HOH hears. Brown is famous for “natural-look” makeup, by the way, not the stereotypical Jersey-girl style.

Heavy Petting With Kennedy. Who says celebrities are having all the fun in Denver? Certainly not HOH, who’s loving these tales of Members of Congress out on the town:

• A tipster dishes that Rep. Patrick Kennedy was spotted lip-locking with a “youngish blond woman” around midnight at the Democratic Leadership Council party on Tuesday. The Rhode Island Democrat (who is single, for the record) and his spit-swapping lady friend were upstairs in the VIP area, “making out like high-schoolers,” according to the witness. And Kennedy must have needed extra energy for all that exertion: He was drinking caffeine-laden Red Bull from a can. “There were some gawkers, but it wasn’t anything I haven’t seen before,” our tipster said of the Congressman’s public smooching session.

• The “Rednecks for Obama” contingent is going strong. An HOH operative saw Rep. Lincoln Davis stopping by a shoe-shine stand just off the 16th Street Mall to spiff up his cowboy boots. “You ready to give these boots a whoopin’?” asked the Tennessee Democrat, as he mounted the stand. The shoe-shine man introduced himself as “Claude, better known as the Shoe Shine King.” Davis, a native of Pall Mall, Tenn., replied that he was “Lincoln, better known as a redneck.”

• Politics is a family affair for Sen. Ron Wyden. The Oregon Democrat was on the convention floor on Tuesday with his wife, Nancy, proudly showing off the couple’s 10-month-old twins to admirers gathered in front of the podium.

Technical Difficulties. Director Stuart Townsend and actress-girlfriend Charlize Theron have been all over Denver this week screening their latest flick, “Battle in Seattle,” a fictionalized account of the protests at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting. But during a screening at the Starz Green Room on Tuesday afternoon, the battle mirrored one that occurs in living rooms across America every day — trying to get the dang DVD player to work.

Throughout the screening, the film skipped. A lot. The sound sporadically went silent, and the picture jumped around, making it difficult to watch. Eventually, the skipping became so unbearable that theater crews actually stopped the screening to switch the movie to a new deck.

But their efforts were to no avail. Moments after officials tried to fix things, the film froze entirely, effectively canceling the screening just as the movie reached its climax.

Still, the 50 or so attendees on hand were gracious about the whole thing, with most hanging around for a panel discussion afterward. Townsend personally offered his sympathies, declaring, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the shortest film in motion picture history.”

Musical Notes. All these A-list musical acts in Denver are making it difficult to tell whether this is a political convention or a weeklong mega-concert. Here are a few of HOH’s favorite musical moments so far:

• Former Fugees star Wyclef Jean chatted up Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Democratic leader joined him onstage at the DCCC party at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Tuesday night. The musician, who moonlights as an activist for Haitian causes, is a huge fan of the California Democrat, HOH hears.

• Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (and Senatorial aspirant) was spotted backstage at the Pepsi Center just moments before giving his big speech. The upbeat Pointer Sisters tune, “I’m So Excited,” was blasting on the hall’s speakers, and an HOH spy saw the gangly ex-guv bobbing to the beat. Says our fly on the wall: “He might make a good Senator, but his rhythm needs some serious work.”

• Talk about dedication: At a Human Rights Campaign concert Tuesday night at the Fillmore Auditorium, Rufus Wainwright dedicated “Hallelujah” to “Obama and his beautiful wife, Michelle.” Later, Cyndi Lauper (of 1980s hit “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” fame) dedicated her performance of Marvin Gaye’s anti-war song, “What’s Goin’ On,” to Obama.

All in the (Senate) Family. Plenty of celebs came out to honor Annette Bening on Wednesday at Earl’s Restaurant, where the actress received an award for narrating the 2007 film “14 Women,” a documentary profiling the 14 female Senators in the 109th Congress.

But the appearance of three of the film’s non-actress stars — Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) — highlighted the event, in part because two are related to the movie makers themselves.

Lincoln’s sister, Mary Lambert, directed the movie, and the Arkansas Democrat talked of the duo’s bond. “She’s my mentor — and was my very first contributor,” Lincoln joked.

Boxer’s daughter, Nicole, produced the film, and the California Democrat said the familial ties among the film’s creators allowed the Senators to open up to the cameras in ways they otherwise wouldn’t have.

Not that everything on the film is flattering, she joked.

“This took 40 years to make,” Boxer said. “If you don’t believe me, just watch the color of my hair change.”

The Affair of the Necklace. Unity, schmunity. We’re dubbing Tuesday night’s speech by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton “The Night of the Orange Pantsuit.” And although we don’t know who’s responsible for the New York Democrat’s bright orange (tangerine? mango?) ensemble, the designer of the delicate necklace Clinton wore to accessorize it is claiming credit for a fashion coup.

Designer Marco Bicego says the bauble, a “three-strand, handcrafted 18 yellow gold necklace” with citrine, amethyst and blue topaz, “has a fun, light-hearted and whimsical aesthetic.”

“We are so proud to have Mrs. Clinton as a client,” Bicego says in a press release. “She has true beauty and substance, and is an inspiration to women everywhere. Her choice is also right on-trend, as yellow gold with colored stones is a key look for the season.”

Buy My Book. It’s been a crowded market for books written by Members of Congress in recent months, what with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and even the Sánchez sisters all penning tomes.

With the field that cramped, you can’t blame Members for taking the opportunity to hawk their own books when they get the chance.

Take Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who appeared on Wednesday at the Starz Green Room for a panel discussion focusing on women’s issues. The New York Democrat said women still struggle to achieve equality, adding that there should be a revitalized effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

“I thought, somebody should write a book on that. Luckily, someone did,” she said, holding up her tome. “Rumors of our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.”

Maloney continued to hawk the book, which was released in May, saying it’s available in bookstores and online. But don’t think Maloney is just out for cash — proceeds will be donated to help various women causes, she said.

Tory Newmyer, Lauren W. Whittington, Jennifer Bendery and Nathan L. Gonzales of Roll Call and George Cahlink of CongressNow contributed to this report.

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