Heard on the Hill: Blunt Impact

Posted May 8, 2009 at 6:33pm

Rep. Roy Blunt wants to land a Senate seat, but he’s finding the terrain in the chamber more dangerous than he might have anticipated.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Missouri Republican got into a fender-bender outside the garage of the Hart Senate Office Building on Wednesday, an HOH spy reports, when he steered his black SUV into a Senate staffer’s car.

Blunt hopped out of the truck and offered his card to the Democratic aide, whose rear passenger door was “pretty dinged up.—

Blunt spokesman Nick Simpson confirms that his boss accidentally backed into another car as he was leaving a meeting in the Hart Building. Simpson said Blunt, ever the gentleman, spoke to the driver personally when she called the next morning to work out insurance arrangements.

And although the run-in could have been worse, one Democratic staffer still found partisan significance in it. “We knew the Republican Party was in trouble — but thought it was more of train wreck than a car crash,— the staffer joked.

Not to be out-snarked, Simpson shot back: “You can’t turn around in Washington these days without hitting a Democrat. I guess while they keep looking back to cast blame, this just shows Mr. Blunt is looking forward.—

We’re just hoping Blunt, who is looking to vie for the seat to be left vacant when Republican Sen. Kit Bond retires, finds the Senate a little less perilous next time he ventures over to the other side of the Capitol.

A Storm[y] a Brewin’. When porn star Stormy Daniels first announced a potential run against sex-scandal-plagued Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) in next year’s election, most observers laughed the whole thing off as a publicity stunt.

But it seems the award-winning adult film actress’s could-be candidacy is no longer just a joke — when the Louisiana-born Daniels and her “Draft Stormy— campaign supporters traveled through the Pelican State last week on a listening tour, the novice politician got some legitimate political support.

Brian Welsh, a former spokesman for the state Democratic Party’s 2008 campaign efforts, assisted the sultry siren throughout the week, moderating at least one of Daniels’ listening events and accompanying her throughout the state. He was even photographed by the Associated Press at Daniels’ side during a meet-and-greet.

HOH couldn’t reach Welsh by press time, but the Baton Rouge Business Report quoted him as saying that Vitter “has allowed the opportunity to show that somebody who is actually sincere and has the honesty, integrity and strength of character to run for office can do so.—

And Welsh wasn’t the only veteran Democratic political operative spotted with Stormy: consultant Brad Beychok — who ran Rep. Charlie Melancon’s (D-La.) first campaign and helped re-elect Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) last year — also attended a listening event in Baton Rouge. Beychok insisted to HOH that he attended solely as an “interested citizen— and wasn’t there for work.

“I didn’t have any better offers for lunch that day,— he joked.

But the mere fact that consultants attended the listening tour has delighted Republicans, who gloat that Democrats are having a tough time finding anybody legit to run against Vitter.

“I’ve heard about parties trying to recruit rock-star candidates, but never thought the Democrats would be desperate enough to recruit a porn-star candidate,— said Brian Walsh, a spokesman for National Republican Senatorial Committee. “Questionable political strategy, but then again they’ve come up empty trying to find anyone else.—

Despite Daniels’ ties to Democratic consultants such as Welsh, the Louisiana Democratic Party maintains that it has no affiliation with her.

“If I had a dime for every inquiry I’ve gotten about Stormy Daniels, I’d be a rich man,— spokesman Scott Jordan told HOH. “But I have no info on her or her political ambitions, because the Louisiana Democratic Party is not involved or affiliated with the Draft Stormy movement in any way.—

Age Before Beauty. We get it — he’s young. Rep. Aaron Schock is still the youngest Member of Congress, even though he’s turning a year older soon. The Illinois Republican is marking his 28th birthday with a fundraiser that rubs in the fact that most people attending are older — much older — than he.

Schock is asking attendees of the May 21 event to contribute $1,000 for a political action committee or $500 for an individual — or (and here’s the rubbing-in part) $1 for every year of their life. “No cheating!— the invite warns.

Schock spokesman Dave Natonski says his boss is counting on those attending the event to ’fess up to their real ages, but adds that no one will be asking for documentation. “The honor system will be in effect,— he says.

Schock’s birthday is actually on May 28, making it his “golden— birthday — the year in which he turns the age of his birth date.

It’s a Boy. Second-term Rep. Steve Scalise is a second-time dad.

The Louisiana Republican’s wife, Jennifer, gave birth to a son on Friday. Harrison Joseph Scalise was born at 12:30 p.m. at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, La., according to a Scalise spokesman.

Harrison joins sister Madison, 2.

“Baby and mom are recovering from the delivery and are both doing fine,— spokesman Luke Bolar told HOH on Friday afternoon.

David M. Drucker contributed to this report.

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