Heard on the Hill: When in Rome …

Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:38pm

Temporary Washingtonian Owen Wilson is on to one of the locals’ secrets: The hunky actor, who is in the city to film a movie, was spotted on Monday having coffee at Georgetown bakery Baked & Wired.

[IMGCAP(1)]The out-of-the-way cupcake nirvana is a favorite of in-the-know residents. (HOH even hears it’s become a favorite of White House staff, after the owners sent over an inauguration gift of three dozen cupcakes.)

Wilson, who is shooting an as-yet-untitled flick opposite Reese Witherspoon, is becoming something of a regular at the bakery — he was seen there a few weeks ago, too, our spy says.

Wilson on Monday was semi-incognito in a baseball hat and street clothes, shaking hands with one fan who approached him, but otherwise looking like a normal guy — albeit one who knows where to find what our HOH tipster swears is the “best coffee in town.—

Frank: Leggo My Ego. Barney Frank is arrogant. And that’s not HOH’s own judgment, though we have suffered a few of the Massachusetts Democrat’s withering insults — that’s from Frank himself.

In an interview with GQ magazine published Monday, the House Member admits he’s not exactly a humble fellow.

When GQ reporter Lisa DePaulo asked Frank whether he thought it was unfair to call White House economic adviser Larry Summers arrogant, Frank said the two men shared a healthy stockpile of self-esteem. “No,— he answered. “It’s not unfair that people call me arrogant. We’re both arrogant.—

And even though Frank’s notoriously prickly demeanor comes through in the interview, he does have an unusually cuddly moment in it. Early in the interview, DePaulo comments on a picture of Frank and his boyfriend, Jimmy, posing with President Barack Obama, saying she thinks Jimmy is “very handsome.— Later in the transcribed session, Jimmy calls, and Frank goes a tad mushy. “Hey, I’m just talking about you. … Yes, to GQ. … And the interviewer thinks you’re handsome,— Frank says into the phone, a smile creeping across his face.

Woodward’s Mind Is in the Gutter. Bob Woodward is reportedly planning to write his next book on President Barack Obama, and, apparently, the Watergate journalist is prepping for the task by copying the president.

Woodward was spotted bowling (read: the sport at which Obama very publicly failed during the presidential campaign) on Friday night at Chinatown’s Lucky Strike.

And he seemed to be using a nom de guerre, playing under the name “Oscar,— our spy says. The casually dressed Woodward was with another man and two kids.

But “Oscar— at least bested his soon-to-be subject, scoring a 107 to Obama’s 37.

Political Frenemies. While rumors continue to circulate that former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) might be contemplating a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, HOH can’t help but note that the GOP mainstay sure has been hanging out with a lot of Democrats these days.

On Monday, Gingrich joined former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to chat about health care for the baby boomer generation at an event sponsored by the Volunteers of America.

Daschle wasn’t the only left-leaner there: Prominent Democratic political strategist (and former Roll Call contributing writer) Donna Brazile moderated the event, held at the National Press Club. And while the conservative Gingrich and the liberal Brazile (who poked fun at Gingrich by noting he sat to her left) might not seem like good friends, Brazile recalled that their relationship goes back to the mid-1990s.

That’s when Brazile was chief of staff to D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), and Gingrich was in his “Contract with America— heyday as Speaker of the House. Gingrich made good on a pledge to address local concerns of D.C. residents, Brazile recalled, appearing at a town hall meeting she organized in Southeast Washington.

“Soon, he’ll be on the speaking trail with Al Sharpton,— Brazile said, mentioning another of Gingrich’s liberal friends. “I’d love to organize those meetings.—

Despite his recent bout of bipartisanship, HOH doesn’t expect Gingrich to switch parties any time soon. After all, Gingrich was set to headline Monday night’s GOP Congressional fundraising dinner — and he’s taken a lot of heat in recent days for calling (via Twitter) Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist.

Par for the Course. Golfing season is here — and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton wants to make hitting the links in the nation’s capital a bit more appealing.

The D.C. Democrat introduced legislation on Monday designed to improve the city’s three golf courses, which have deteriorated in recent years.

Norton’s legislation, which comes as the Langston Golf Course celebrates its 70th anniversary, would allow the National Park Service to use public-private partnerships to raise funds for significant renovations, according to a release issued by Norton’s office.

“All three golf courses are treasures in their own right, but they must be matched with the private market that would be quick to recognize their value and act to make them worthy of the golfing public in the nation’s capital,— Norton said.

Overheard on the Hill. “Banish the germs and hurry back! West Virginia needs you, the Senate needs you, the nation needs you, and so do I.—

— Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), in a note written to Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who is hospitalized with a staph infection. Like Byrd, Kennedy remains away from the Senate as he receives treatment for brain cancer.

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