Heard on the Hill: Gohmert Won’t Dish

Posted March 24, 2009 at 6:30pm

Rep. Louie Gohmert doesn’t grill and tell. HOH hears the Texas Republican was the guest chef at a dinner Monday night held by the Minority Whip’s office, and that diners chowed down on Gohmert’s famous ribs.

[IMGCAP(1)]Gohmert, who is known for grilling up a few slabs on the barbeque he keeps on a ledge outside his fifth-floor office in the Cannon Building, has previously boasted of his rib dry-rub recipe, which he claims originated with President Lyndon Johnson.

But when HOH contacted his office to get the juicy details on the Monday night rib feast, the Texan clammed up. Seems he’s become quite proprietary about his recipes and techniques. Spokeswoman Laura Mszar said her boss hopes the guests enjoyed his dish, but he “prefers not to discuss his rib cooking— — and the reason might surprise those who know the ambitious Texan.

Gohmert just might have his eye on a post-Congress career. “Should he open a restaurant one day during life after Congress, he thinks it’s best if a chef doesn’t reveal his culinary expertise,— Mszar said.

You Betcha. When Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wagered a singing performance on the outcome of a football game that ended with the two Senators warbling “Rocket Man,— they upped the ante on Senatorial sports bets.

Going for slightly lower stakes are GOP Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who vowed to wear a tie of the other’s choosing if their team loses the University of Arizona vs. University of Louisville Sweet Sixteen matchup on Friday.

Kyl, whose Arizona Wildcats are considered the underdogs against the top-seed Louisville team, is trying to make things interesting. “We’ve picked out a really loud and obnoxious U of A tie,— boasted Kyl spokesman Ryan Patmintra.

McConnell, though, appears confident. Spokesman Robert Steurer said McConnell has warned his colleague to wear something that looks good with Louisville’s school colors, red and black.

McCotter’s No Rahm. Most Members see the House gym as a perk — and some (hello, Rahm Emanuel) even use it to conduct business. But it doesn’t do anything for Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. In fact, it kind of creeps him out.

“I don’t go there very much because A, they don’t have ashtrays,— the chain-smoking Michigan Republican divulged Monday night during an interview on Fox News’ “Red Eye.— “And B, the one time I was there, my first trip, someone sort of was talc-ing themselves, and offered their hand and I just said, Hey, we’re cool, dude.’—

So who was this mystery Member who greeted McCotter mid-grooming?

“I can’t reveal the name of the Senator,— McCotter said.

We don’t really want to know — we’re pretty sure that any name would provide a mental image we could certainly do without.

Awesome Mustache Alert! Actor Tom Selleck will be on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning, honoring Rep. Nick Rahall on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The hairy-lipped star of the cult ’80s TV show “Magnum, P.I.— serves as national spokesman for the planned visitor center at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and he has been spotted around town in recent months raising money for the facility.

The West Virginia Democrat was among Members who co-sponsored legislation that authorized construction of the center, according to his office. Rahall called Selleck — who notably once was considered for the presidency of the National Rifle Association — “a dedicated advocate for raising awareness on veterans issues.—

A Clean Slater. Not quite blending in with the usual tourist class around the Capitol on Tuesday was actor Christian Slater, with his two daughters and an unidentified woman in tow. The “Heathers— hunk (casually dressed, in tourist-issue white tennis shoes) was spotted strolling near the House daily press gallery and peering into the old Senate chamber.

Jackie Kucinich contributed to this report.

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