Heard on the Hill: The Holiday Hurl
The way booze freely flows at holiday parties, plenty of Washingtonians have overindulged in the past few weeks.
[IMGCAP(1)]Still, there’s a clear line between slurring one’s words and spewing them all over the boss.
But that’s exactly what happened in the middle of the Democratic National Committee holiday party at the swanky Josephine Lounge on Thursday night.
Jill Shesol, a junior-level DNC staffer, vomited on DNC Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon, HOH hears. Shesol appeared to lean in “as if she was going to tell a secret— to O’Malley Dillon. Suddenly, she threw up all over the executive director’s face and clothing, according to multiple HOH sources.
Total party foul, to say the least.
“We’re all very close at the DNC, maybe too close, but I’d rather be thrown up on by a good Democrat than listen to some of the stuff that’s been coming out of our friends on the other side these days,— O’Malley Dillon said, making light of the incident.
Parallel Universe. Ever since the cupcakeries arrived and a president who listens to Jay-Z moved into the White House, pundits have been eager to crown Washington as hip and happening, the center of the pop-culture universe.
But we know better. One needs only to look back at 2009, when the kookiest of Congressional stories were … well, just pale echoes of those from the real hotbeds of hip, from Wasilla, Alaska, to the Jersey Shore.
HOH couldn’t help but see parallels between the biggest national trends and those in our fair city. With best wishes for a fun and gossip-filled holiday, HOH leaves you for the year with this guide to the Washington versions of 2009’s buzziest storylines.
Vampires = the Public Option.
The randy teenage vampires that populated the year’s pop-culture products are life-draining media darlings, much like the most divisive and discussed policy issue of 2009. The public insurance option, too, seemed to thrive at night (another midnight session, anyone?) and find favor with romantics. And like the fanged phenoms, we’re never quite sure whether the public option is alive or dead.
Balloon Boy = “Going Rogue.—
Like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R) much-anticipated book, “Going Rogue,— the tale of balloon boy riveted the nation and ate up plenty of cable TV time. But we watched to find out the fate of the kid thought to be trapped in a science experiment gone awry (and we dutifully read the Palin tome), and reached the same conclusion: There wasn’t much inside.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi = Rep. John Hall.
The White House’s most infamous non-invitees edged out the New York Democrat as 2009’s gutsiest party-crashers. HOH brought you the story of how Hall brazenly wandered into a reception for a Republican Senator and proceeded to eat the snacks and thank people (including the GOP honoree) for coming. Both get bonus points for style — the Salahis brought TV cameras and Michaele wore a bright red sari; Hall brought two crotch-sniffing dogs.
John and Kate = Democrats.
Remember back in 2008, when now-messily divorced reality-TV stars John and Kate Gosselin were a happy family? Sure, things might sometimes have been tense in their unruly brood, but they stuck together. Ditto for the Dems, who’ve seen their 2008 unity dissolve into snipey backbiting. If they can’t reconcile, they could find themselves in the same boat as the Gosselins — with their show getting canceled.
“Jersey Shore— = C Street.
On the MTV reality show, cast members claim to have class but really make fools of themselves. Members who occupy the famous row house say they are committed to pious ideals but really, um, just make fools of themselves. (Cough, John Ensign, cough). A key difference: “Jersey Shore— is filmed, but C Street is very secretive.
Kanye West = Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).
In the slightly paraphrased words of the hip-hop artist: “HOH, I’m-a let you finish this item but I just want you to know that Wilson yelling You lie!’ during President Barack Obama’s address to Congress is one of the best public outbursts of 2009.—
Paula Abdul = Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.).
This year, the always-wacky singer finally flew the coop and left the “American Idol— judges’ table. Lieberman, too, wandered further than usual off the reservation this year by threatening to leave the health care reform effort. Does that make Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Simon Cowell?
Tiger Woods = Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.).
High-profile players with bright futures. Inappropriate mistresses. Endorsements in jeopardy. Need we say more?
Battle of the Congressional Cribs. And so the ongoing rivalry between the Senate and the House continues, and this time, the gauntlet has been thrown as to who has the better digs.
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin presided over a hearing on Thursday in room G-50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, a room that recently received a spectacular makeover — new paint, new furniture, the works. And according to the Michigan Democrat, Thursday was the first time his committee, and possibly any committee, convened in the room.
Levin couldn’t help but brag about that to House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), who happened to be testifying.
“I just hope that you will not report to the House the magnificent digs that we in the Senate now have,— Levin said. “Because we know there would be a claim at our next conference for some kind of funding for some new House committee room. So, if you could just keep this to yourself, we would very much appreciate it.—
HOH notes Skelton didn’t promise Levin anything — he laughed, then gave his prepared remarks.
Looks like your secret is out, Senator.
Phony Face. Note to Facebookers: If you get a message from Rep. Melissa Bean pleading for money to help an orphanage via the social networking Web site, don’t send any cash. The Illinois Democrat isn’t actually doing the asking.
Bean is the latest Member of Congress to become the victim of a Facebook scam. Her office reported last week that “unknown criminals— are using her “image, name, and the names of her family members to scam money via fake Facebook accounts.—
The online ruse is simple: The imposter Bean puts up a phony profile, and when people friend her, the faker sends an e-mail asking for money. In response, the real Bean notified Facebook and law enforcement officials, her office says, and while the fake pages have been shut down, she warns that more could pop up.
Bean isn’t the first to fall victim to devious Facebook users. HOH readers might recall that back in October, Rep. José Serrano’s profile was hacked, with the hacker posting a status message advocating a colon cleanse as a way to drop a few pounds. (The New York Democrat quickly put up his own message denouncing the rather, um, gross claim.)
Overheard on the Hill. “I know it drives him crazy. I’m definitely no fan of all the calls, meetings, and travel.—
— A “very special— fundraising pitch from Natalie Barrett, the wife of Rep. Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.). In the Friday e-mail, Mrs. Barrett asks for donations before the holiday so that she and her husband, who is running for governor, don’t have to raise money over Christmas. She adds that the checks will ensure that their kids “spend quality time with their Dad over the holidays and that it doesn’t involve making more fundraising calls (haha)!—
Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.
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