Heard on the Hill: In Enemy Territory

Posted April 21, 2009 at 6:48pm

Unfortunately for a guy who spent most of Tuesday with Members of Congress and members of the National Press Club, country singer Toby Keith doesn’t seem to think much of politicians or the media.

[IMGCAP(1)]Keith, who visited Washington, D.C., before departing for his eighth overseas tour with the USO, spoke at the press club and made it clear that he was none too fond of the two professions that make up much of official Washington.

Asked whether he could imagine running for office someday, the “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue— singer said he wasn’t cut out for the job. “I couldn’t take all the lies,— he said. “I couldn’t shake your hand and then walk five feet away and say something bad about you. That’s how politicians are — they kill me.—

Too bad for Keith; he was slated Tuesday night to attend an awards ceremony with the Military Officers Association of America at which he was expected to receive an award for his support of the military, along with Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Reps. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) and Susan Davis (D-Calif.).

Keith describes himself as a Democrat but acknowledges that he’s hard to pin down politically. “The lefty friends think I’m a Nazi, and my righty friends think I’m a hippie,— he said.

He also indicated that he wasn’t overly impressed with reporters, complaining during his press club appearance about journalistic sins from headlines that don’t match up with the stories that they hype to reporters who review his concerts unfavorably.

“I’ll take you all on,— he joked to the scribes assembled for the luncheon speech.

Life’s Lessons on Film. Sen. Orrin Hatch likes movies — in fact, the Utah Republican has found the cinema to be quite the educational experience.

Hatch joined actor Dwayne Johnson (better known as “The Rock,— although he doesn’t go by that moniker anymore) at a luncheon at Hotel Monaco on Tuesday hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America.

And during his remarks, Hatch shared some lessons that he’s garnered from watching movies over the years. Among our favorites:

• When police officers conduct criminal investigations, at some point it will become necessary to visit a strip club.

• A police officer is always assigned a partner who is his exact opposite.

• If the pilot of a plane becomes incapacitated during a flight, anybody can land it, so long as people working at a nearby control tower provide guidance.

• If a character is running from police, he can always take cover in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. (See: “The Fugitive,— which notably features a cameo from Illinois Democratic Sen. Roland Burris.)

• Most soldiers will survive a war — “unless you make the mistake of showing a picture of your sweetheart back home.—

• If a large pane of glass is visible on screen, somebody will get thrown through it.

• A single match can always light up an otherwise dark room.

• All bombs are outfitted with red, neon digits, “so you always know when it will go off.—

Hatch also praised filmmaking efforts in his home state, noting that “what matters most to my grandchildren is the fact that the High School Musical’ movies were filmed in Utah.— And he gave a shout-out to Johnson, telling the wrestler-turned-actor, “I wish I had a body like yours.—

“I’m the original 97-pound weakling,— Hatch joked.

Just before the luncheon began, Johnson told HOH that he was excited to be in D.C. and admitted he’s a fan of President Barack Obama. “He comes from a very truthful and passionate place,— he said.

And when Johnson got up to speak, he told the crowd that he “is just as good looking as our president.—

“They call me, The Rock’ Obama,— Johnson quipped.

Desperately Seeking Eva. Clearly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s no desperate housewife. But the California Democrat did select museum expert/“Desperate Housewives— star Eva Longoria Parker to serve on a panel that will study the possibility of creating a Museum of the American Latino.

Longoria Parker, best known for her role as the scheming Gabrielle Solis on the ABC series (and for being named Maxim magazine’s hottest woman), will serve as a voting member on the committee. Under a lands bill that Congress adopted, Pelosi may appoint three members to the panel to consider the creation of a Latino museum in D.C.

Longoria Parker, who is of Mexican-American descent, will serve with fellow Pelosi picks San Francisco “culture czar— Luis Cancel and Henry Muñoz of the architecture firm Kell Muñoz Architects.

No matter what the committee recommends, it sounds like Washington will be getting a little more scenic.

Security for Mr. Secretary. George Schultz has been a Cabinet secretary a few times over. (He has done stints as secretary of Labor, Treasury and State.) But while such a résumé might impress, it apparently still doesn’t give you the clout to sail through security.

An HOH tipster spotted the GOP statesman, now a distinguished fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, having a tough time getting through the Capitol Police screening on the way into the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday. According to our spy, Schultz’s belt set the metal detectors off a few times, and it appeared that his knee triggered the detector when he was subsequently wanded down.

Schultz, who’s often credited as the father of the “Bush Doctrine— on preventative wars, was ultimately determined not to be a threat (clearly, Democrats were not consulted on that front), and he was admitted to the building.

Go the Extra (Fraction of a) Mile. OK, no more complaining about that walk to work.

Rep. Linda Sánchez — who is, oh, about eight months pregnant with her first child — will mark Earth Day by putting on her walking shoes and making her journey to the office on foot.

Joined by her entire D.C. staff (and her beloved beagle, Chavo) the California Democrat will walk the vast distance from the corner of Fourth and A streets Southeast to Capitol Hill, spokeswoman Marsha Catron told HOH. Sánchez has invited reporters and photographers along and promises to chat about environmental issues during the journey, which measures about four blocks or so.

The goal, Catron said, is to show that everyone can mark the holiday, even in a small way. “It’s a day not only for celebrations, but also a reminder that we should all do something,— Catron added.

Dan Peake of GalleryWatch contributed to this report.

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