Heard on the Hill: We’re Dye-ing to Know

Posted April 1, 2009 at 6:36pm

Sen. Tom Carper (D) might be the new senior Senator from Delaware, but it doesn’t seem that he wants to look the part.

[IMGCAP(1)]Carper’s hair has gone from its normal distinguished silvery-gray to a decidedly more youthful shade of medium brown.

HOH thinks Carper, 62, is lucky to have hair at all. Its color, though, was apparently sufficient, er, mature enough, to send him running to the bottle.

Contacted by HOH, Carper acknowledged the transformation and provided a witty — and April Fools’ Day-appropriate — explanation. “I have been wearing a wig for the past 40 years,— he tells us.

Carper jokingly explains that he was inspired by the late Sen. Bill Roth (R-Del.), whose signature toupee was once described in a news story as resembling a “slab of veal.—

King for a Day. It’s his birthday, and he’ll pout if he wants to. HOH is of the belief that birthdays should be all about fun. Rep. Dennis Cardoza apparently shares that sentiment — to an extreme.

A spy says the California Democrat stalked out of a meeting of the House Rules Committee on Tuesday, irritated by an exchange that was going on too long for his liking.

During the hearing, Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) was pressing Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) to explain a controversial comment that Grayson had made suggesting that only corrupt Congressmen would vote against his pay-for-performance bill. As the two men went back and forth, Cardoza appeared agitated.

He began complaining that the matter was trivial, what with all the serious problems confronting the country. “I don’t have time for it,— he said. Finally, Cardoza stood, visibly disgusted. “I shouldn’t have to listen to it on my birthday,— he declared and then walked out.

Cardoza spokesman Mike Jensen says his boss’s reaction wasn’t about birthday brattiness. “Debating the nuances of what somebody meant in their comments was not something he was willing to waste his time on while his constituents back home are suffering some of the worst fallout of the recession,— Jensen says.

Whatever happened to “let them eat cake!—?

Charles [Still] in Charge? If a picture speaks a thousand words, what are they saying over at the Democratic National Committee headquarters?

An HOH spy at the DNC headquarters Tuesday was admiring the artwork near the facility’s entrance (which mostly consists of patriotic photographs of the party’s leadership) when he noticed an oddity: The portrait of Sen. Charles Schumer identifies the New York Democrat as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

That is, of course, inaccurate, since Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) took the helm of the DSCC earlier this year. “Are they waiting to change until the winner of the [Minnesota] Senate [race] is decided?— our spy wondered.

The DNC didn’t get back to us for comment by press time. And while the party might be confused as to who is leading its Senate campaign efforts, Democrats certainly got their enemies straight. They pinned the blame directly on their right-wing counterparts.

“We tried to change pictures, but the Republicans are so averse to change that they’ve been holding it up with court battles and endless appeals,— DSCC flack Eric Schultz said.

A Visit From Dr. Quinn, J. Peterman and Mrs. Sting. They might not be Bono or an alum of “The West Wing,— but plenty of other celebrities came to town to lobby this week.

Actress Jane Seymour and actor John O’Hurley attended the National Day of Hope Congressional luncheon Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building. O’Hurley — a veteran of “Dancing with the Stars— and the current star of “Chicago— at the National Theatre — sang “God Bless America,— HOH hears. Co-Chairmen Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also spoke at the event, which highlighted efforts to combat child abuse.

On Tuesday night, Trudie Styler (aka the wife of musician Sting) joined Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) at the Motion Picture Association of America to watch the Sundance-screened documentary “Crude.— The film follows the class-action lawsuit brought by indigenous tribes in Ecuador against Chevron for oil contamination in the Amazon.

Styler called McGovern “quite a supporter— of the Ecuadorians.

Overheard on the Hill. “I also got involved in some other pursuits.—

— Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), explaining to reporters why a bill calling on the president to pardon legendary African-American boxer Jack Johnson didn’t pass in the last Congress. McCain and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) reintroduced the measure Wednesday.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.