Heard on the Hill: Reid’s Hangover

Posted June 22, 2009 at 6:51pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t drink (the hard stuff, that is), so we can only imagine that his outing on Saturday to take in “The Hangover— was an exercise in cultural anthropology.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Nevada Democrat was spotted at the AMC Loews Georgetown movie theater watching the booze-soaked hit, an HOH spy reports.

Reid spokesman Rodell Mollineau reports that Reid enjoyed experiencing the aftermath of a drunken night in Las Vegas — vicariously, of course. “He liked it. … It reminded him of a tamer version of his bachelor party,— he tells us.

The Torch Still Can Singe. Nothing makes a party interesting like the possibility of running into an ex … or an enemy. That’s why an upcoming fundraiser could turn seriously awkward if one of the hosts happens to bump into the guest of honor.

A June 30 event benefiting the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee features Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.), along with other unnamed Democratic Senators, as the draw. But it’s one of the hosts — former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) — whose prominently featured name on the invitation raised some eyebrows around town. Torricelli and Menendez notoriously dislike one another, with bad blood that goes back years.

The feud dates to at least 1999, when Torricelli (then the head of the DSCC) recruited an unknown Democrat, Jon Corzine, rather than back Menendez in the race to replace retiring Sen. Frank Lautenberg. And in 2001, when Torricelli was reportedly considering running for New Jersey governor, Menendez helped round up opposition.

And now it seems the two could come face to face at the fundraiser in New Jersey, which “the Torch— is co-hosting.

DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz downplayed the Menendez-Torch rift as simply stale. “In other news from 2005, Brad and Jen are about to split up, and Apple says they’re going to release some new technology called an iPhone,— Schultz told us.

Maybe, but old though it might be, the Jen-Brad plotline still sells magazines.

Political Scoops. Those famous cones of frozen custard the Obama girls enjoyed with their dad, President Barack Obama, this weekend? There’s a Congressional connection there.

When the first family stopped by popular Alexandria custard shop the Dairy Godmother on Saturday, they were visiting a business owned by Liz Davis, whose father was former Rep. Glenn Davis (R-Wis.). Davis tells HOH she tried to treat the girls like they were any other customers, not asking for photos or autographs. “My wish is for all the restaurants to treat them as normally as possible,— she says.

Her own experience as the daughter of a Congressman (her father was in Congress for much of her childhood) might have influenced her desire for the Obamas to have normal girlhoods. “But back then, in the old days, it was different, and it wasn’t anything like what those girls are going through,— she says.

Come to a Full Stop. If you eat your lunch in the Longworth House Office Building cafeteria today, be warned — you might be treated to a bit of performance art.

An unknown number of mostly young people are planning to stage a “flash mob protest— (an orchestrated event in which people arrange to meet in a public place to simultaneously perform an unusual action) in the cafeteria at lunchtime today. At 12:15 p.m., participants will freeze in their tracks for 120 seconds, then drop ace playing cards — some labeled with “the world needs better— — and quietly walk out, according to an advertisement posted Monday on Craigslist and social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

HOH hears the protest is being staged to push Members to strengthen the provisions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act, climate change legislation known as the ACES bill, put forth by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

Think of it as dinner, er, lunch, theater.

Mean Green Cleaning Machine. We’ve heard that D.C. is the new LA, what with all the new trendy cupcake shops and seemingly endless list of movies being filmed here. And although we’re still skeptical, the House certainly is living up to the la-la-land hype.

Along with serving sushi in the cafeterias and giving its beauty salon a sleek makeover, the chamber is in the beginning stages of opening an eco-friendly dry cleaners.

Chief Administrative Officer Dan Beard issued a preliminary notice seeking local vendors who can provide “environmentally-friendly service and environmentally-friendly supplies— for the chamber’s dry cleaning services.

And while a tree-hugging cleaners might sound trendy, it’s just another step in the House’s Green the Capitol Initiative. The cleaners would not use hydrocarbon solvents or the chemical perchloroethylene, which has been labeled as a possible carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The store would make its home in the Longworth House Office Building basement space now occupied by Annie’s Dry Cleaners, whose contract is expiring in December, according to CAO spokesman Jeff Ventura. House employees would drop off and pick up their clothing in Longworth, but the actual dry cleaning would be done off-site.

The CAO plans to release an official request for proposals in August, Ventura told HOH. Annie’s Dry Cleaners is welcome to bid for the new contract, he added.

And while the new eco-friendly spot might have an LA feel, we’re pretty sure the clothing dropped off will be a little less trendy.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.