Heard on the Hill: Second City Regrets

Posted October 7, 2009 at 6:48pm

Chicago might have lost its bid to host the 2016 Olympics, but hey, the city is used to losing, says Rep. Mike Quigley.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Illinois Democrat took to the House floor on Tuesday to make the case that the Windy City is the “greatest city in the world— even if it isn’t the future site of the Olympic games.

But first he noted that the city’s beloved Cubs (who haven’t won a World Series since, um, 1908) have given the city plenty of practice in the fine art of defeat. “I can assure you there is no city better-equipped to handle a little disappointment,— Quigley said. He also quoted columnist George Will, who once noted that the team’s fans are “90 percent scar tissue.—

Quigley cited Chicago sports as one of the reasons people should visit (along with the city’s food, architecture and other fine points), noting that all of Chicago’s major teams have won championships — “some more recently than others,— he acknowledged. “But hey, everyone is entitled to a bad century.—

So, should we print those “Chicago 2116— T-shirts now?

Tickled Pink. Pink is the new black on Capitol Hill — or at least it was on Wednesday, when several Members wore bubblegum-hued attire to mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) — both breast cancer survivors — asked Members to wear the color in support of efforts to fight the disease and to honor those who have battled it. Wasserman Schultz and Myrick were set to host a special order hour on the House floor marking the month, and Wasserman Schultz testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on her legislation establishing a breast cancer education campaign targeted at young women.

Wasserman Schultz wore a bright pink skirt suit to the hearing (which she would later pair with black sneakers at a press conference touting the bill).

Fellow witness Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) chose pink accessories — including eyeglasses and a vibrant pink scarf — as she discussed other breast cancer-related legislation. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) opted for a pastel pink skirt suit, while Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) were among the many female Members who wore pink button-ups underneath their darker suits.

Even some male Members got into the action — Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) wore a pink tie, as did Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who also testified before the subcommittee on breast cancer legislation.

Not all Members sported the shade, however. Subcommittee on Health Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) joked that he “didn’t get the memo,— while Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) personally apologized to Wasserman Schultz for not wearing the color.

“I’m embarrassed… that I’m not wearing any pink today,— he said. “But I’m turning pink with embarrassment, and that will have to do.—

Two for Two-Stepping. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) might have ended his stint on “Dancing With the Stars— before he could perform a Texas two-step, but he’s not the only political type who knows about country line dancing.

Rep. Cliff Stearns introduced a resolution that the House was set to adopt Wednesday honoring country music, telling colleagues that he learned how popular the genre was when he operated a Quality Inn in Ocala, Fla.

The Florida Republican said he named the hotel bar the Ocala Corral and booked country bands from Memphis to play while patrons line-danced. “If I hit the right country western musical talent … they would storm the hotel,— he said.

Alas, Stearns didn’t demonstrate the moves.

Baby on Board. Do snowboards come in infant sizes? If so, it’s the perfect gift for Jackson Cabel Roe, the newly adopted son of GOP staffers-turned-political-consultants Jason Roe and his wife, Patty.

Jason Roe tells HOH the adoption felt like kismet: Jackson’s biological parents specifically wanted the baby to be adopted by parents who are snowboarders. Luckily, the Roes, now based in San Diego, are longtime boarders.

And the baby’s name, Jackson, was already on the couple’s short list of baby names. It’s a family name, and the proud dad also notes that Jackson, Mich., is “the birthplace of the Republican Party.—

A hearty HOH congrats to the family.

Time to Place Those Bets. It’s October, and that can mean only one thing: Members of Congress will take part in friendly wagers over which of their hometown Major League Baseball teams will fare best in the playoffs.

First up: Democratic Reps. José Serrano and Keith Ellison, who represent the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, respectively. The pair announced on Wednesday that the losing Congressman will be forced to “take to the House floor to sing the praises of the winning team— in a speech (although we think a better bet is making the loser actually sing those praises).

Not surprisingly, both Serrano and Ellison offered a little smack talk. Serrano noted that the Yankees beat the Twins in the 2003 and 2004 American League Division Series, while Ellison shot back with his own trivia, recalling that the Twins played their first game in 1961 against the Yankees — and dominated in a 6-0 victory.

Overheard on the Hill. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.—

— Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, quoting the Bard in a Wednesday press release. The GOP Senators argue that Democrats are making bold claims about their energy legislation that they can’t back up.

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