Heard on the Hill: Meghan’s Emancipation Accessorization

Posted October 27, 2008 at 6:53pm

Meghan McCain’s role in her father’s campaign has been to try to imbue a bit of youthfulness and edge into the McCain brand, what with all the 24-year-old’s blogging, Twittering and dropping of pop-culture references. But really, what’s hipper than the younger McCain sporting an accessory featuring a really, really old dude — like, one who’s been dead for more than a century?

[IMGCAP(1)]Meghan McCain made fashion waves last week with an unusual necklace, a cameo of Abe Lincoln suspended on swags of pearls. Meghan’s fashion statement was certainly a nod to dear old dad’s party affiliation — Lincoln, of course, is one of the GOP’s Hall of Famers — as well as an eye-catching accent.

A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) campaign told HOH the necklace is from jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino, whose retro-inspired goods are favorites of trendsetters like songstresses Katy Perry and P!nk, the uber-stylish women of the show “Gossip Girl” — and, it turns out, the would-be First Daughter. L.A.-based designer Tarantino’s Web site features Meghan’s bauble as part of its “Liberty Loves Company” line. And at $215, it’s a relative bargain — at least compared with some of the pricier duds the GOP ticket has been snapping up of late.

Tarina Tarantino publicist Melissa Rosenfield told HOH that Meghan McCain has worn other pieces by the designer, including hair bows and handbags.

And she said the Abe Lincoln-themed pieces aren’t meant to be partisan. Lincoln was simply a beloved president, she said, never mind his political affiliation. If, say, the young Obama girls — Sasha and Malia, the daughters of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) — wanted to wear Tarina Tarantina’s patriotic items, “There would be so many items we would love to see them in,” she said. “You don’t have to pick sides to be fashionable.”

Bargain shoppers also can find something similar at the online shop Naughty Secretary Club, run by Texas-based designer Jennifer Perkins. Her “Abe Was a Babe” necklace sells for a mere $22. Perkins agrees that Abe the icon transcends party affiliation. “Honestly, a lot of young people probably don’t know what party he was from. Republicans and Democrats, everybody loves them some Abe,” she said.

Another Cafeteriagate? Astute HOH readers likely remember the story of Doris Cherry, the beloved cashier at the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria who was fired in July after being short just a few dollars at her register. Cherry, of course, was rehired when hundreds of House staffers united in a rare show of bipartisanship to threaten a cafeteria boycott.

Now, with another boycott already in the works (this one over the steep rise in the cafeteria’s prices), it seems another longtime Longworth cashier has been fired. Patricia Dennis, best known as “Ms. Pat” among cafeteria patrons, was terminated on Oct. 21 for violating the policies and procedures on handling cash, according to Gina Zimmer, a spokeswoman for Restaurant Associates, the vendor that runs the cafeterias.

Like Cherry, rumor has it that Dennis was fired after being short just a few dollars at her register, which Zimmer did not confirm. But she did say that Dennis — a 10-year veteran of the cafeteria — received “numerous” warnings, counseling and additional training. And because of her longtime service, Dennis was given two final warnings instead of just one, Zimmer said.

“They really tried to do whatever they could to get her up to speed,” Zimmer said. “We value all of our employees.”

For her part, Dennis isn’t rolling over. She contacted UNITE HERE Local 25, the union that represents cafeteria employees, and filed an official grievance against the vendor on Oct. 22, according to John Boardman, the chapter’s international vice president and executive secretary-treasurer.

Lions and Tigers and Hannity, Oh My! The same zany folks who brought you last Halloween’s famous downloadable mask of the face of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) are back with a fresh batch of spooky political disguises.

Art-school buddies and subversive comic artists Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall have debuted an expanded lineup of scary (well, at least to Democrats) masks.

The ready-to-wear sketches include presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), wife Cindy McCain, vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), first lady Laura Bush and columnist Charles Krauthammer. The bonus mask: Ashley Todd, the McCain campaign worker who made a false police report about being attacked by a supposedly anti-McCain mugger.

Persoff told HOH that the masks seem to be just as popular as last year’s Craig.

The instructions are simple: Download the images from www.ep.tc/intro-archive049.html, punch holes for the eyes and affix string to the back. For maximum safety, HOH also recommends wearing them only to parties where GOP-ribbing will get you treats, not tricks.

Runner’s High. Who would win this foot race: a Navy Lieutenant-turned-reality-television star with a penchant for triathlons or the mayor of a big city known for its rampant bureaucracy?

Score a point for the bureaucrat.

OK, OK, so D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty (D) isn’t your typical chubby, out-of-shape politician, since Sunday marked the eighth time he has run the Marine Corps Marathon. But Fenty’s time of 3:37:20 (his personal best) was especially impressive since he beat out former “Bachelor” star Andy Baldwin, who landed 3:47:18.

Since appearing on “The Bachelor” in 2007, Baldwin — now a 31-year-old Navy doctor stationed at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery — has competed in a slew of triathlons and other rigorous athletic events. But he apparently couldn’t beat Fenty, 37, who grew up running. Fenty’s parents own Fleet Feet, Adams Morgan’s popular athletics store.

Despite Fenty’s athletic prowess, his office was nothing but politically correct about the feat. “The mayor had been preparing for and looking forward to this marathon for some time,” spokeswoman MaFara Hobson told HOH. “He’s proud of his time and was excited that so many participated.”

That leaves the smack-talking to be done by HOH, who would note that Fenty has nothing on Roll Call production/copy editor Blake Whitney, 26, who finished the marathon with a time of 3:03:09, his personal best.

Jessica Brady and Emily Yehle contributed to this report.

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